Ontario: Eats and Treats

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Niagara Falls

Between our day time Niagara Falls viewing and the fireworks over the Falls we stopped into Ruth’s Chris for dinner. While on the road we don’t usually choose places we could dine in at home, but after not finding seating at a couple other places we wandered in and found bar seating. The design of the restaurant was actually very different from any other Ruth’s Chris I’ve ever been in. In the evening there would be live music and the bar area would essentially turn into a night club. A woman was walking around selling roses to diners. The ladies room had an attendant (which I always find strange), a shoe shining stand and a large variety of perfumes to choose from. It was all a bit bizarre.

We skipped our typical steakhouse fare in favor of salads (the Ruth’s Chris Chopped Salad for Sriram and the Harvest Salad for me), which both turned out to be terrific. For dessert, I ordered my favorite – the Berries and Cream. It’s definitely my go-to dessert.

The staff at the bar was great, and were the ones to give us the tip for the Trius Winery, so it was definitely worth the stop.

Niagara on the Lake Golf Club
Niagara on the Lake

In the morning we grabbed a couple of muffins at Tim Horton’s for a quick bite before heading to Niagara on the Lake where we eventually had lunch at the Niagara on the Lake Golf Club. We lucked out and got there just slightly ahead of the crowd so were seated at a nice patio table with a wonderful view of Lake Huron. The tables were same as the tables at one of my old favorite places, Cafe Shannon – which made me smile.

We ordered drinks. I got the special, which was a Mango Smoothie. It was ridiculously fresh and delicious.

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After reading through the menu, I decided I had to get the Baked Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese with Tortilla Chips. It was a warm dip and extremely good. It was different from any other warm cheese dip I’d had. Better, too. The cranberry added just enough tang, the walnuts added crunch, and the goat cheese was as wonderful as you’d expect goat cheese to be.

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For lunch Sriram got the fish and chips and I got a spinach sausage sandwich which must have been a special, as I can’t find it on their menu. My meal was amazing, and not only for the discovery that Canadians put bacon in their Caesar salads (brilliant – why do we not do this, America?).

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The service was a little slow, but they had seated the entire patio within 15 minutes of our arrival, so that was to be expected. Besides, when you are sitting someplace so beautiful, there is no hurry. We simply enjoyed the sailboats going by and the view of the fort over in the U.S.

Shipwrecked Lee’s
Tobermory

In Tobermory, after our tour boat adventure, we wandered over to Shipwrecked Lee’s. It seemed like an appropriate place to stop in. It looked like a lot of fun from the outside, and how could I resist a place advertising a beer called “Flying Monkeys” – even if I don’t drink.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The atmosphere in the outside dining room was fun and festive. The staff were super friendly, some dressed in the restaurant’s pirate theme. Locals and tourists alike filled the picnic tables, staying out of the rain under the awning.

We ordered a strange array of items – Pepperoni pizza sticks (just because we kept seeing them on menus and decided to give them a whirl – they were a miss), mini vegetarian samosas (which were quite tasty), a jerk chicken dish (that was good, but the sauce was not quite as good as others we’ve had), some spicy corn on the cob (delicious), and poutine fries. The portions were really big, so we ended up with a bunch of leftovers that we packed into the cooler for a later date. I’d say a successful outing.

The Sweet Shop
Tobermory

After dinner we strolled over to the Sweet Shop. The shop was filled with the usual fare – fudge, brittles, candies of all sort. There was also a pretty extensive ice cream bar. We checked out the menu and noticed an item called a “Boston Cooler.” Intrigued I went to the counter and asked what it was. I was told it was ice cream and pop blended. Once my brain translated “pop” to “soda” I realized it was like a float, but put through the blender like a Frappe (or a milkshake for those not from the Boston area). Interesting. I asked why it was called a Boston Cooler, as after 41 years in Boston, I’d never heard of one, but no one in the shop knew. Sriram was intrigued enough to get one, while I opted for a cone. I ordered a creamsicle (orange sherbet swirled with vanilla ice cream) in a cone. It came in a wafer cone. A pointed wafer cone. In Boston wafer cones come with a flat bottom, only sugar cones come with a point. Fun and delicious.

Cafeteria
Chi-Cheemaun Ferry

Our final day in Tobermory started with some toast at the motel’s continental breakfast. Lunch was on the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry. The ferry has a pretty big cafeteria. The options were basic, but still more plentiful than any ferry I’ve ever been on. My last ferry ride was on the Provincetown II. I was riding it last January in the Virgin Islands, where it winters. I had a hotdog. I’m pretty sure the hotdog had made the trip south with the ferry. On the Chi-Cheemaun we each got a salad for lunch, and then after seeing the size of the bowl, split a bowl of chili. Our expectations for the chili were not high, but it turned out to be pretty good.

Tim Horton’s
On the Road

Before heading to the border, we stopped for one final treat on the road. Just as we had headed out of Massachusetts with a Boston Crème Donut, we thought it only appropriate to leave Canada with a Canadian Maple Donut from Tim Horton’s.

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Farewell Ontario!

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