Earlier this week you learned that I am one of those people who are pulled in by highway tourist attraction signs and will drive kilometers out of my way to get a jumbo chocolate milkshake. But did you also know that I love planning every detail of a restaurant outing including what I'm going to eat, drink and what I'm going to suggest to friends to eat? Just call me Katy Control Freak.
For my road trip through Bracebridge, Ontario I did a little research online and asked Twitter where the culinary hot spots of cottage country were. Fellow beer fan @VinceTripp responded saying I should visit The Griffin Gastropub as well as a few breweries close by. Since The Griffin doesn't have a menu posted, I trusted his recommendation and went in without an idea of what I was going to eat or drink - a control freak's nightmare!
Walking into The Griffin Gastropub you can tell this is a pub that really loves its beer - the walls are lined with retired taps and the solid wood tables are emblazoned with craft beer logos and mottos. The menu is small, but offers upscale versions of pub favourites as well as some unique creations (pulled pork pizza anyone?). They offer a varied tap list that changes frequently depending on what's available from one of the many breweries they get kegs from. They also have a board listing which kegs will be coming soon - a cute feature this beer geek loves.
My parents and I ordered risotto balls to start and opted for pies as our main; chicken for my parents, steak and mushroom for myself. The risotto balls were beautiful - lightly fried, gooey in the center with chunks of sausage. My parents were reluctant to try them, but couldn't stop eating once they did! Our pies were also wonderful; I liked pushing the pastry into the broth, soaking it and enjoying a beefy, goopy spoonful. Beer-wise I decided to go local and sampled a pint of Sawdust City's Gateway Kolsch-style Ale and Lake of Bays Pale Ale.
For my third beer I was brave and ordered the mystery beer left over from the Sessions Craft Beer Festival (most likely the Vienna Lager from Saint Andre's) and their dessert special - peanut butter cookies, raspberry reduction and vanilla ice cream.
The Griffin was everything this control freak wanted it to be and I didn't even plan it - thank you.