One-Tank Trip for March 31/18
“Food, glorious food!" From Oliver!
(c) By Jim Fox
Any road trip can be enhanced and made more memorable by food.
Discovering new taste sensations and quirky eateries along with outrageous indulgences blend the meals with the destination.
|Writer Jim Fox prepares to tackle the monstrous Holy Cow Burger that’s a handful and a mouthful at the Simcoe Yard House at Casino Rama. (Barbara Fox photo)|
Sample what’s great, new and retro in the Simcoe-Port Dover area at Eat & Drink Norfolk next Thursday through Saturday (April 5-7) at the Simcoe Fairgrounds Aud (172 South Drive).That’s where you will find “Norfolk County’s best restaurants, wineries, breweries and food producers all under one roof,” said publicist Wendy Brick.
As one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals and Events, there’s also live musical entertainment and voting for the favourite restaurant, winery and brewery.
Admission prices and hours are: April 5, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., $12; April 6, 5p.m. to 10 p.m., $14; and April 7, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., $14. Must be 19 or older. norfolkcountyfair.com/eat-drink-norfolk
Port Dover’s population of 6,400 will swell by tens of thousands of bikers getting their machines out of hibernation to roar into town on April’s Friday the 13th.
This phenomenon started with some motorcycle buddies getting together on the infamous date in 1981 and it has grown to attract 100,000 bikers and spectators in the summer (the next one being in July).
Motorcycles outside fish dinner haven, the Erie Beach Hotel, in Port Dover. (Jim Fox photo)
A favourite eating spot in Dover is the Erie Beach Hotel for 72 years and its Lake Erie perch and pickerel dinners.
It’s all in the name
It seems to help if flamboyant or outrageous food and diners have cool names.
- “Holy Cow Burger,” costing $23, is at the Simcoe Yard House in Casino Rama near Orillia.
This multi-meal pleaser has two, eight-ounce prime rib patties, sauteed mushrooms, onions, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and pickle.
It’s garnished with a hot dog carved to resemble a spider and served on a garlic-toasted bun with a grilled-cheese sandwich inside.
There’s also the “Ultimate Hot Dog – Half Yard (18 inches) $16.90, topped with cheddar cheese, chili and bacon and served with fries and soup.
- The Crazy Canuck Cafe across from the St. Jacob’s Farmers Market is run by a couple of wild and crazy guys as an offbeat counter-serve sandwich joint.
You’ll find specialty poutines, barbecue fare, gourmet pizzas and more, with a new location in downtown Kitchener.
- Little Louie’s Burger Joint and Souperie in Cambridge is an eclectic diner serving great house-made burgers and soups.
Recently featured was the “Nut Job” burger with a substantial beef patty on an egg bun with walnut risotto, smoked almond mayo, corn-flake-crusted peanut butter fritter and garnished with spicy house-made peanut brittle. With soup or fries or salad, it’s $18.50.
- It’s worth the drive to Greater Detroit to savour pizza that’s rated among the best in America at Buddy’s.
Buddy’s server Janine Braun delivers a “Henry Ford” pizza. (Jim Fox photo)
The family chain, now with 12 locations in Michigan, has made traditional Sicilian-style square pizzas since 1946 along with made-from-scratch soups and iconic antipasto salad.
The original recipes, featuring cheese from Wisconsin, makes these pizzas taste like no others, said Larry Simone, operations manager.
Among the Great Lakes’ pizza varieties, Ontario has the Motor City cheese blend, cilantro, Canadian bacon, grilled pineapple and barbecue sauce.
In the Motor City collection, there’s Detroit Zoo with cheese blend, roasted tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and tomato basil sauce, and the Motown has cheese blend, Old World pepperoni and bacon.
|French’s has been serving hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream cones since 1920 on the Orillia waterfront. (Barbara Fox photo)|
- Don’t miss French’s food stand, circa 1920, at the Orillia waterfront; Weber’s iconic cottage-country hamburger haven near Muskoka; Tally Ho Restaurant, Hamilton, where the thick brown gravy is pumped onto roast beef sandwiches; Brantford’s San Frano’s Drive-In with “special burgs” as they were in 1967; and Five Guys, the U.S. chain now in Ontario where they fill your bag with fries on top of the fries.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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