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“Hidden gem - Simply Amazing!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Loondocks

Loondocks
98 Joseph Street, Port Carling, Ontario, Canada
+1 705-765-5191
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Price range: $6 - $36
Cuisines: French, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Description: Fresh and local fine dining in the heart of Muskoka.
Frankfurt, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Hidden gem - Simply Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

We picked loondocks for our birthday celebration on our way to the cottage near rosseau. When we arrived, we were immediately charmed by the view of the patio and the politeness of the server. The ambience is very classy overlooking the water of port carling locks. The menu has all you look for - from duck breasts, steaks, maple trouts, scallops...

We place our orders and immediately drinks and breads were served. The pacing is simply perfect - not rushing and not slow.

While we wait, we saw a whole family of loons, crossing the bridge efficiently - which were soooo cute. we then thought may be thats why this place is called loondocks. But we didnt ask the server this question.

The food is simply amazing - we can tell the passion from the chef on how the food was being decorated. The desserts were even more wonderful - we had the creme brulee, hot peach crumble - mix with cold icecream (what a awesome contrast), cheese cake and chocolate bar. All four of us were very impressed.

We took lots of pictures - the view of the port carling locks and the food. All in all, definitely a 5***** experience that i would recommend everyone to visit. A "Hidden Gem" in port carling that i would love to keep it to myself forever. Im sure this place will become a hot spot in no time.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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71 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    51
    8
    9
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mississauga, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Always Awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

I was up visiting a friend in Port Carling and having been to Loondocks before, I made the most of my few days in Port Carling by stopping in twice. The first time I came in during lunch where I had the sliders with a Muskoka salad. The 3 sliders were cooked perfectly and came with very nice fresh baked buns and had a delicious spread on them. Both the sliders and the muskoka salad were very good and obviously had the ingredients either purchased fresh or made in house.
The next day I stopped by for dinner where I selected the Saigon Rolls and the Mac n Cheese. The Saigon rolls have hand made written all over them. Every ingredient is sliced and organized for the perfect balance. Roll are often overlooked when it comes to care and preperation and are probably pre made in a lot of places; not these ones. It comes with an amazing peanut sause that I should have asked for more of. If you like peanut butter at all, ask for extra, you'll love it! As for the Mac n cheese, hands down the most flavourfull ever. I didn't think any mac n cheese could ever be that good. Aged cheddar and prosciutto are the frontline to the flavor that will leave you disappointed should you ever eat a "normal" Mac n cheese again. I want another one right now!
As a final note I see that anyone that leaves anything short of a 5/5 usually has an issue with the price. Loondocks is not a place that serves frozen, pre made, re heated dishes. You can see and taste the difference in homemade bread, sauses, spreads and other ingredients. If you want pre packaged restaurant industry food, good to TJ's. If you want a healthy, flavorful, home style experience that will challange even your best home cooked meal, go see Loondocks.
PS All of their servers are fantastic!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Barrie, Canada
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Disappointed: Poor Service & Value”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

We chose Loondocks for our anniversary dinner because of the great reviews & outdoor seating. We reserved a table on the patio 2 weeks prior & were pleased when the chef/owner replied to our request thanking us for choosing his restaurant for our special occasion.

When we arrived, we told the hostess of our reservation & were seated inside in a dark, cramped corner despite the restaurant being empty. We asked to sit outside as we had reserved. We were told that there was only room outside in the uncovered section & we would lose our inside table if it rained. We were then seated on the lower tier of the patio which has a beautiful view of the locks & comfortable plush seating.

The menu had a good selection of food to suit any taste. We ordered the fresh spring rolls to share. They were tasty but extremely small! We were given three 1"x4" rolls for $12! I ordered the maple trout which was fresh but bland. However, I enjoyed the butternut puree, carrots, & maple merlot reduction that accompanied it. My spouse was underwhelmed by the duck. We then ordered dessert; the creme brulee was basic & very small for $7. I wasn't told what the flavor of the day was & couldn't taste it either. My husband enjoyed his cheesecake.

Our bill was over $100 not including drinks. The food was good but not great. The portions were small & we felt that the value was poor. We were not impressed by how we were greeted. We won't be back.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChefKevin99, Owner at Loondocks, responded to this review, August 24, 2013
Thanks for your comments and I am very sorry you were dissapointed on your anniversary. We strive to provide excellent service and value to every guest on every night. Unfourtunatly we have a small dining room, with only 8 tables inside, and are therefor at the mercy of the weather. We cannot reserve two tables for our guests "in case" it rains (one inside and one outside). That would be like asking an airline to hold both the aisle and window seat depending on the view. We try our best to make sure your experience is not ruined by the weather, that is why you were initially sat inside on that day. I am glad you enjoyed most of your meal. Our spring rolls are $11 and are hand rolled every day with fresh cut vegetables and garnishes, accompanied by a hand made peanut sauce with peanut butter made from scratch. Unfourtanlty I would be losing money if I were to charge less. In any event we are here to serve you, had you made your server aware of your impressions we would have taken steps to make you happy. I am truly sorry your anniversary experience was not a positive one. Hopefully we can welcome you back in the future for a 5 star dining experience.
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Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Perfect Muskoka evenings.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

An evening at Loondocks is a essential Muskoka experience. The setting (overlooking the locks in Port Carling) sets a perfect atmosphere for relaxing with friends on the patio with a drink and a great meal. It is clear that everyone who works there really cares about the restaurant and it's patrons. Our server paid close attention to detail, even remembering us the second time we visited and was efficient and friendly.

The food itself is very unique. The Chef clearly pays close attention to detail and brings together winning combinations using fresh and local ingredients. DEFINITELY try the Muskoka salad to start (got it both times...amazing). Make a reservation before you go, the patio especially fills up fast every night.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Over rated,”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

It was just okay. Over rated over prised small portions. We had appetisers and main coarses and we both left hungry. We had reservations for 6:30 pm arrived around 6:00 on Saturday the place was practically empty. We asked for patio and we were told that there was no room, I asked if they had reservations for 8:00 that we would be done in an hour. We left 7:00 to 7:15 the place was not even half full including the patio. Staff was not accommodating, would never go back or recommend.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChefKevin99, Owner at Loondocks, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
Thanks for the feedback. I am sorry you did not get to sit outside. Our patio in one of the best dining vistas in Muskoka, and does fill up, often several weeks in advance. We recomend calling well before and not waiting until the day of, especially on a Saturday in August. We do not "flip tables" here as often our guests like to relax and enjoy the experience for several hours; therefor a reserved table is held for the entire night, regardless of the time. In response to your comments regarding value: I am confident you will not find comparable fine dining at a better price. Our prices are very low considering the quality of the ingredients and preperation.
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