Best of 2005

by Adrian Bryksa

Well, it seems that another year approaches, so I wanted to give a bit of a review of the Best of 2005 from my vantage. I have managed to maintain and reaquaint relationships with new and old friends, and have managed to keep my job for another year (lucky me). Keeping with the R4NT minimalist philosophies, on to the best:

Best Restaurant

Vietnam Restaurant
227 12 Avenue Southeast, Calgary, AB T2G 1A2
(403) 263-0995

This is my absolute number 1 place to eat in Calgary. What I love about Vietnam restaurant is the service and the speed in which food is delievered. I have sampled several selections off their menu and I must recommend the 67 and the 56. I eat there about 2 times a week and I was pleasantly surprised when I took my wife their, she enjoys it as well. This is one restaurant we both enjoy where we can eat for under $20.00 I recommend going 15 minutes early at lunch if you plan on getting a seat. Make sure you bring your appetite with you too, as I have never left Vietnam Restaurant feeling hungry.

Best US Destination

San Francisco, California

I was in San Franscisco this year through work, but I wanted to bring it up as I found it to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. The city itself is huge with tons of interesting architecture and sights to see, but the best thing I found was that it was warm and humid and the people were so friendly there. I know understand why people flock to San Francisco; I mean you have a ton of museums and culture to behold, Napa Valley to the North and a hundreds of places to see within the city such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Zoo. What I really loved about San Francisco was the ability to get lost and just be, a true must stop for those travellers out there.

Best Energy Drink

Monster Energy Beverage

For those of you that know me, I am a huge fan of energy drinks. Over the past year, I have tried to sample as many as I could and easily, my number one choice is the Monster. What I like about Monster is its flavour, I find that most of these drinks have a distinct medicine like aftertaste to them and with Monster, that is just not there. I find that it is a fantastic pick me up for the day after the night before or as a sub for coffee or tea during the day. Monster also acts as an excellent mixer for those nights where you want to party. Widely available (look for the big black can with the Green M) and cheaper than Red Bull, Monster gets my vote this year.

Best Concert Event


What can I say about this show? Ok, I got free tickets which kicked ass but the finer parts were the people there. I was in line for a drink when these two cougars got behind me. Of course, I am half corked and I started to chat these ladies up. Number one rule for a older woman; make sure you guess their age and subtract that number by 10. Anyway, what made the show great was getting down to the floor, and witnessing the events from there. Tons of headbangers and plume of potsmoke. I am not a huge Audioslave fan, but I must say they did a fantastic job of bringing together two distinct sounds ( R.A.T.M. and SoundGarden). I also enjoyed their rendition of Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog. Great band, free show…absolutely the best of the year for me.

Best Stampede Memory

The Trews on the Coca-Cola Stage

I am not much of a Stampede guy, I like to get dressed up one day and get absolutely shitfaced. This year was no exception, but one bright spot in that Stampede melee was seeing The Trews on the Coca – Cola stage. These guys rocked, and I mean rocked the crowd. There is nothing that is complicated about their music; simple and straight forward rock and roll. The crowd kept asking for it and The Trews delivered. These guys are going to be huge and I love to see bands before they get there.

Best Club Event

Paul Oakenfold at The Whiskey

Paul Oakenfold is a legend, I mean when I started listening to electronic music, he was the shizzle. I had seen him once before in Edmonton at the infamous Ascension rave, and I had a hankering to get down to his beats again. Oakie brought his prized tracks from the Creamfields (Grammy Nominated) mix and let the crowd have them. Best memories of the show were the U2 tracks (Vertigo and Beautiful Day), Red Bulls and Vodka (Rocket Fuel) and the hoard of little hotties trapsing around the club wearing nothing at all. Be sure to catch Oakie the next time he is in town, he is royalty and can still lay it down.

Best Podcast

Tiki Bar TV

Ok, I admit, I am a friggin geek, but this podcast keeps me coming back for more. First off, Lala is a cracker, I mean that bird is friggin gorgeous. Secondly, the comedy is right up there. I love when iTunes tells me there is a new chapter at the Tiki Bar and Dr. Tiki writes another script for a new forbidden cocktail.

Best T-Shirts


I highly recommend a stop by the Threadless site to have a gander at their wares. Their shirts are a bit expensive, but they foster design creativity through the submissions of designs by its users for printing on its shirts. Create an account and you too can rate the designs. Also, look for their 10 buck a shirt sales, making these little beauties a bit easier on the wallet. I own 2 shirts myself and have bought several for others. Shibby.

Best Wine

2003 Clos de Los Siete (Vineyard of the Seven)

I picked up a bottle of this at Richmond Hill Wines along with a few others to make an assorted case. It absolutely blew me away with an unbelievably powerful taste and great finish; it knocked my socks off. You know a wine will be exciting the moment it is poured into the glass and this one did not disappoint. The 2003 vintage consists of 40 percent Malbec, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot and 20 percent Syrah. This is a rich, thick and complex wine, carrying flavors of dark berries with a dash of raisin. If you are into wine, buy as much of this pup as you can.

So ends my best of 2005, if you get a chance, try out some of the above… you’ll be glad you did.

  • Best of 2005
  • by Adrian Bryksa
  • Published on January 1st, 2006

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