Don’t be put off by the unprepossessing Quonset hut, unpaved driveway with pretensions of becoming a parking lot, the rural discard dump in the orchard at the rear, an unfinished interior all of which greet you. The warmth of the welcome, the excellent service and generally very good food will quickly dispel any doubts about why this unique restaurant, in the proverbial “middle of nowhere”, has been a food draw for years.
The menu (better organised on their website www.meaford.com/rrdiner.htm) is physically scattered on an unco-ordinated myriad of small, sponsored blackboards that cover one wall and the bar area and takes some time to read and digest lest one miss something. Not all of the exotic meats for which this restaurant is noted will be available on any one night (no kangaroo or crocodile yesterday) but there will enough to make your selection adventurous. In addition to this untraditional fare, there are lots of tried and true items from farm and field, lake and ocean.
And, with a few mis-steps, it’s really good stuff!
The appetizers, for once of proper appetizer size and not a “meal-for-six” as at some restaurants were the lesser in quality. While the mussels got a 7/10, the scallops were overcooked and stringy; the garlic bread was nice but the $13 alligator strips were just ok, rather undistinguished and the accompanying plum sauce was bottle-bland.
Entrees were the strength however. The tasty and meaty double lamb shanks were heartily demolished, the seafood bake scrumptious but needed a little kick. The two of us who had the ostrich medallion raved about the tender, perfectly cooked, flavourful, substantial meat, the dark, pungent gravy and the unique stir-fry veggie mix. The crowning glory of my meal though, was a huge, decadently dynamic, full-on, loaded, double-baked potato…$4 extra and worth every cent.
Desserts are locally made with a varied selection, the wine list bare bones but adequate (2 reds, 2 whites). A nice quaffy surprise awaits with the, unusual for this part of the world, rich, full-bodied Granville Island ale on tap, redolent of the glories of the west coast, Vancouver style.
Overall, certainly not cheap and a drive from most anywhere (I’m an hour and a half away) but worth the dollars and the miles. And a return visit. Check the website for days and hours of operation.
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