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Give your brain a workout!

November 25, 2009

It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dark. November in Vancouver can be a challenging month to get outside and Mondays are even tougher, but there is a carrot dangling if you can set that one foot on the path. Monday Night Quiz at the Cascade Room hosted by the dazzling Karen Nicolay.

Karen Nicolay hard at work

I first discovered Quiz through my ex-pat friend Laura and was immediately hooked!
This popular pastime in pubs throughout the commonwealth has found a home, and a slight twist, through Karen.
“In the UK teams play for the pot – but there’s too much negative competition”. Karen’s solution, each team nominates a charity and the money collected is donated to one of the charities (either the winning teams or drawn from the hat – she likes to mix it up). This year, Quiz has donated approximately $8500.00 to local charities. Amazing! Some of the frequently nominated charities include Covenant House, Downtown Eastside Women’s Shelter, and the SPCA.
Quiz has been running for about 18 months. Cost is $2.00 per person to play.  Four players per team or lose 3 points for each player over the limit.  Each week it consists of three rounds of questions ranging from Geography, History, Current Events, Entertainment news and Sports. Karen spends 7 to 8 hours each week building and researching the quiz.  I-phones and Blackberries are not permitted and the  Quiz Mistress is always right.

Our quiz with Geography questions - oh man did that fuel some debate!

There is lots of time for some serious debate and good-natured team rivalry. My favourite question last night, and one that caused a great deal of discussion, ‘If you are being sized with a Brannock device, what are you being sized for’.
Karen is very passionate about Quiz and has a lot of loyal regulars, ‘There was this one team, ‘Can You Hear Me Now’, they tried so hard to win. It came down to a tie game but they ended up winning on a technicality because the other team had one too many players. They were so happy, they kissed their beer!’
The room has a great vibe, with a mostly 30-something crowd of smart people.  My team had two Bachelor degrees and two Master’s degrees.  I wondered if Quiz had sparked any romances? “No romance that I know of, but maybe a little Bromance!  ‘Wow – you have such an awesome brain.  We should be team mates’.'” Probably the best place to spark something would be the washroom line up between rounds!

I asked my friends why they liked coming to Quiz and the most common response, ‘I always learn something interesting  – a new tidbit to share with my partner/husband/wife/co-worker.  Oh and the food!  Polenta fries are a big favourite at our table.  Cascade Room has a good variety of small plates and full dinners, local drafts and a classic cocktail list. We had veggie burgers, (made on the premises with chickpeas, lentils and edamame) ,crisp salad and generous portions of fries (polenta or regular).  The draft pours well with a perfect creamy top on my Storm Scottish Ale while some of my table mates enjoyed a Kettle Valley Pinot Noir.  Laura almost always starts with a champagne cocktail – it gets the brain limbered up!

Two teams hard at work

Last night’s winning team ‘Do you like my tight sweater’, achieved a score of 47/50 and received a gift certificate for Habit restaurant. (Yes there are even prizes!)

You’ve got one last chance to quiz this year.  Monday Nov 30th is the last quiz until January 11th.  Quiz starts promptly at 7:00 PM but you should plan to come at least 30 minutes early to guarantee a table. Next week’s charity, the Vancouver Food Bank.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday night with friends!  Great room, workout for your brain, yummy food, prizes, and you get to raise money for charity!  It doesn’t get much better than that!

A big THANK YOU to Karen and all the staff at Cascade room for the Charity and the good times.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie permalink
    November 25, 2009 11:07 am

    Great blog! I always learn something new about my adopted home town Vancouver.

    • November 25, 2009 1:56 pm

      Debbie! You will love Monday night Quiz.
      Join us in January!

  2. Yvonne permalink
    November 28, 2009 8:49 pm

    Looking forward to being a regular in the New Year! Sounds like a great time with great people.

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