Review: Meet me at the Crossroads of my heart

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Graphic by Harshitha Damodaran

Hey Food Fans,

Welcome to Date Night. Date Night is the extravagant, exclusive reporting of adventures in romance by yours truly. 

Let’s meet our contestants. In one corner, showcasing a sophisticated retro style, dazzling the competition with her brilliant sunbeam smile, the Goddess of Guelph, it’s Queen G. 

In the other corner, sacrificing his taste buds for the good of the people, joking first and asking questions later, the dude who likes food, it’s me (Mario).

Our Waterloo rendezvous was scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m. at the mutually agreed upon venue: Crossroads Boardgame Café. Nestled in the heart of Laurier country at 258 King St N, this trek through Waterloo’s backstreets was complicated by the ongoing transit strike. My good buddy Uber was there to assist, but as is often the case with working acquaintances, it was at a cost.

Arriving early for the date, I had the opportunity to take in the sights. Much like myself, a charmingly dishevelled atmosphere pervaded the entire space. Worn booths and tables, superhero and anime posters, and humongous shelves of regimentally organized boardgames greeted my eyes. The faint stale scent of molten brains, courtesy of past Dungeons and Dragons quests, wafted through the air. While initially quiet, the anticipation of a boardgame bloodbath hung ominously overhead.

My early arrival was predicated by the fact that they do not take reservations. Luckily, it wasn’t too busy.

After choosing a booth, I was instructed on its operation. A button at the table’s end facilitated waitering service by sounding a tone throughout the restaurant, not only alerting the staff, but also the entire establishment, that you are feeling needy. For entertainment, I was to choose from the dizzying variety of board games present for a flat charge of $6 per person. It was revealed that the washrooms were protected behind a curtain of darkness, which could possibly drag me into the abyss. This threat was in effect, at least until they replaced the lightbulb in the hallway. Menus were provided, and my host bid me a pleasant evening, gliding away with the grace of Gandalf the Grey and the pep of a middle-aged Astro Boy.

My date arrived, and we quickly launched into the evening. We combed the boardgame treasure trove, settling on the mutually unknown game of Babel. Requiring brusque play and cunning tactics, this boardgame promised to ignite the fires of competition between us. However, the pedantic setup quashed such an activity. A lengthy and complicated rule book, potentially written by Bathilda Bagshot, stood staunchly in our way. It resolutely instructed us in the dark arts of conquest with the soothing voice of Morgan Freeman and the descriptive content of J.R.R. Tolkien. Needless to say, the ring did not make it to Mordor. 

In the meantime, we ordered drinks. I ordered the vanilla milkshake ($5) while my date had a London Fog ($4.50). My date’s drink did indeed have the foggiest idea, offering a salient mix of ingredients. Two per cent of milk was detected immediately, as was a sugar content comparatively milder than Starbucks. After the temperature decreased to a manageable level, the tea and other flavours settled in comfortably, lazily unwinding on the palate like cats in the sun. Luckily, they were hairless cats.

My milkshake was thick and creamy (that’s what she said), offering the flavour profile of vanilla ice cream and the texture of slightly warmer vanilla ice cream. Pompously expounding the air of a 1950s diner, the milkshake was built like a Sunset Boulevard, although it handled like an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Overall, it offered a “mac and cheese” type experience, mediocre but satisfying.

Amid the cries of battle from neighbouring tables, my date and I got better acquainted. I rolled a 20 for courage and scored a critical hit with a quick compliment. She fired back, boggling my mind by bopping a triple word combo and moving her bishop into a checkmate. I had no choice but to bribe the GM with a Yahtzee, knocking my final domino in the table and declaring Uno. However, she turned out to be a jack of all trades, clubbing me with an ace up her sleeve and becoming the queen of my heart. She truly was a diamond in the rough and gained a Monopoly over my attention. Our boardgame sat forlornly on the table between us, missing the warmth of our touch. It pulled out its cellphone and quietly dialled an old flame. 

We talked well into the night, becoming the lone survivors of the surrounding boardgame carnage. With the exceptions of Friday and Saturday, Crossroads closes at 11:00 p.m., and we were hurriedly rushed out. While paying the bill, I noted that it could be readily split. This would have been handy in the event that chivalry was dead.

All things considered, Crossroads provided a fantastic venue, especially for a first date such as this one. The boardgames readily broke the ice, the drinks wetted our whistles for rampantly splendid conversation, and the atmosphere was conducive to establishing great interpersonal connections. I would avidly recommend this establishment for any date, especially those which are preliminary.

As for the rest of my date, that’s for me to know and you to speculate. You’re really just here for the restaurant reviews anyways.

Until next time, stay hungry Food Fans.

Special thanks to Queen G for her help with this review!

A Note about Ratings: the Dateworthiness rating is different from our typical restaurant rating, which is based on food taste, texture, amount, price, service, and atmosphere. The Dateworthiness rating takes into account different criteria including the presence of shareables, ability of the bill to be split, no-hassle service, romantic atmosphere, and unique appeal to either contender to determine the worthiness of an establishment for dates.

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