My hubby, Al (or Allen as his mother likes to call him), is originally from North Bay, Ontario and he still has family there, including his mother. So for Mother’s Day weekend, we started the trek north after work. We had both cut out of work early so were on the road before dinner.
We had a nice dinner at a new-to-us restaurant in Washago call R Cottage. Place is pretty small and we ended up sharing an outside picnic table with another couple. We made the mistake of being indecisive and waiting to order. Place got busy while we were making up our minds so server was a bit slow getting back to us to take our order. Al ordered the special of the day which was salmon jambalaya; I ordered the Caesar salad. His special came with a green salad. When his jambalaya arrived, it was a nice piece of salmon atop a mound of dirty rice. He said it was very good, just not jambalaya. My Caesar salad was very good; I really liked the addition of goats cheese to it. After dinner, we were off to our next stop.
Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst. We had seen something on the internet just recently and thought it would be a good stop. Al likes beer; I do not. Al really likes to try new beers. I usually find something of interest at the craft breweries to keep me entertained. Sawdust City has a retail outlet out front and a saloon in the back. Retail outlet is pretty upscale and sells beer and a bunch of accessories. Saloon was doing a good business — not bad for a place that just sells beer and butter tarts. Al says the beer was good. We didn’t try the butter tarts.
In North Bay, Al’s brother was telling him that North Bay now has a craft brewery — New Ontario Brewing Company. We made plans to go the next day with a few other family members. Pay dirt! Small bare bones operation with great beer. Luc was behind the counter and was a fountain of information. They’ve been in business just over seven months in a gas station turned car rental agency turned brewery. He gave us a tour of their operation and even demonstrated how they can the beer one at a time. Growlers are available for the regular brews and seasonal beers are available in resealable plug top bottles. Glasses, t-shirts and a few other goodies are available for sale. At seven months in, they have a good distribution to local restaurants. Luc was telling us they are going to add a patio and a food truck in the very near future. If the owners are as dedicated to their operation as Luc, this little company should do really well for themselves.
I’m sure you’ll hear more about beer stops in coming posts. If you know of a good craft brewery, let us know in the comments below. You just never know if we’ll be in the area and be able to make a stop.