My friend and I ate lunch at the Woodpecker in Port Elgin in April as I had heard that it was a must try restaurant. The first thing I noticed upon arrival is that it was small, clean and decorated quite nicely. They have cast iron and glass tables with chairs that could have been a little more comfortable. Since the place is small to begin with it seemed a little crowded as there were only two free tables and they are quite close together.
Their menu features a soup of the day, french onion soup as well as section called their "signature dishes" which includes quiche lorraine, baked egg soufflé, mussels, turkey chili, asparagus croque monsieur and a few other dishes. They also offer 3 "signature tossed salads" that looked interesting and delicious. Then it moves on their "signature sandwiches", pork, sirloin, lobster, panini and grilled cheese all with their own twist and ingredients.
I ordered the French Onion soup and my friend ordered the soup of the day which was Minestrone. The French Onion Soup was okay ... it came out very hot just the way I like it and had lots of cheese and bread in it ... a little too much bread ... and the broth was wonderfully delicious. My friends Minestrone Soup was very thick and hardly had any broth ... lots of bloated pasta and big pieces of carrots. She said it tasted good but that she had expected more of soup than this very thick soup that was more like a Minestrone Stew!
Then my friend ordered the Baked Egg soufflé and I ordered the Panini which came with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese on a Crusty French Baguette (that of course was squished down into a panini type sandwich in their panini maker). The Bake Egg soufflé came out looking so wonderfully puffy filled with ham and cheddar and my friend really seemed to enjoy it. She had only eaten half of her minestrone stew in order to leave room for her main ... and was happy that she did as she said it was very good. My Panini sandwich was okay ... I've had much better panini sandwiches and this one was just okay ... the filling was very sparse and I felt that it could have had more cheese, tomatoes and I could not taste the basil very much.
Overall their lunch menu is okay but there really is not a lot to choose from. It's more of a girly type restaurant as I could not see my guy enjoying this menu very much ... and that is one of the things that I had heard before going there was that it was more of a restaurant where the girls might want to meet and I have to say I agree after going.
I've checked out their dinner menu and there seems to be some repeats of the lunch menu and they just call it something different and add an extra ingredient but it too seems limited in choices.
Our server was very personable and the service was a little slow. They were busy that day but there are not a lot of tables.
There will be a patio opening in the back for the Summer months which was not open in April but I may have to go back and try out the patio as it seems to be in a very weird place ... all fenced in beside Ziegler Lumber ... from the outside it looked very enclosed and small but I was not on the patio and could only see so much because of the big fence!
There are other places in Port Elgin that I would have rather had lunch but had decided to try this new restaurant. Like I said I may go back to try out the patio ... maybe, because I was not as impressed as what others had made it sound like!
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