Tag Archives: Dining

Taste, Tour, Explore! – Ride the Bine

From two local ladies with a true love for Norfolk came one incredible idea! Last year Amanda & Susan broke the mold in Norfolk launching a unique tour featuring local beer, wine, cider, agriculture and Norfolk County charm.

For tourists and locals alike this new tour was a opportunity to immerse into Norfolk County’s culture.  A true experience of the County’s emerging beer, wine & cider industry along with it’s deep agriculture roots.  And of course the breathtaking views and beautiful landscape that our country side has to offer.

Ride the Bine offers tours curated by local guides to provide an extraordinary experience sipping and tasting your way across Ontario’s South Coast.  Visits to Norfolk’s inspiring wineries and authentic breweries enjoying the flavourful wines, ciders and craft beers were amongst the original tour options. The new season’s tour line up will include some local food, sightseeing, awesome full beer tours and stops at brand new facilities offered on seven new tours! And those just are a few of the new and shiny items for 2018.

Soaring through their first season with incredible success, Susan & Amanda are proud to be part of a supportive local force. “Such a huge group of people in the community put supporting local first and has allowed for a very successful first season”  said co-owner, Susan Judd. Pushing through obstacles and finding their footing as a new business in a fast paced industry doesn’t come without challenges.  But the entrepreneurial duo surpassed all expectations with their work ethic and infectious passion earning the the title of Norfolk County Youth Entrepreneurs of the Year at Norfolk’s Economic Development Symposium.

“Their passion, knowledge and spirit for Norfolk is inspiring! We love that we have an opportunity to work so closely with them, the team is truly amazing.” – Shantel Bosgoed, Inasphere Wines.

The love goes both ways between Ride the Bine and the vendors “Working with these businesses is what makes our job even more special!” – Susan Judd

With incredible success comes exciting growth for the Ride the Bine team entering in to their second season. Along with the seven new tours they’ll be introducing a new Mercedes Sprinter to the fleet.  They’ll also be including some neighbouring county’s with stops in Haldimand, London & St. Thomas area’s and coordinating custom pick ups for a door-to-door experience.

Ride the Bine is also excited to introduce their From the Field experience! Let’s face it, a visit through Norfolk isn’t complete until your hands are a little dirty and you’re enjoying some fresh local product. With the From the Field tour experience you’ll be sipping your delicious drinks and heading out to pick your own bounty from Norfolk County’s sprawling fields. I cannot wait to sign up for this adventure! And if you like new adventures, keep you eyes peeled on Social Media throughout the year. Ride the Bine will be announcing one-off speciality tours that you are not going to want to miss!

As an emerging wine region, a craft beer and cider hot spot, a farm to table producer and a “place where almost anything grows” Norfolk County is evolving in to a completely unique experience. The spirited team at Ride the Bine is providing the perfect opportunity for you to relax and explore the coast with them.

Maple Syrup Season in Norfolk

Sugaring season is in full swing in Norfolk County which means delicious, local maple syrup is filling the shelves! Sugar shacks across the county, and the country, are working to hard to produce the sweet syrup that we love so much in the few weeks when that magical sap is flowing from the wondrous Sugar Maple Trees.

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At one well known local maple sugar shack, Chambers Pure Maple Products, they are busy tapping trees, boiling sap and turning their tasty syrup in to a variety of maple products, including their famous maple syrup! You can purchase any of these sweet products at their eclectic gift shop, ‘The Maple Shop’, in Villa Nova. And chances are you’ll also be able to find their syrup at quite a few local stores, shops and restaurants.

For a taste test of their smooth golden brown syrup, you once could to stop in at The Pancake House. For 20 years the Chamber’s would spend the busy sugaring season creating their tasty syrup while serving piping hot pancakes smothered in pure maple syrup to awaiting customers. Serving a seasonally fresh and delicious breakfast, of course The Pancake House was a popular place for those eight busy weeks of the season. Two years ago the Pancake House was converted in to The Maple Shop bringing a change of pace to the sugar season for the Chamber’s family.

Don’t worry you can still sample their fresh syrup at a few local restaurants. Kerrys St James Street Eatery in Waterford is loading their flapjack and sausage breakfast with Chamber’s Maple Syrup. Or, visit the Crepe House in Port Dover to try it layered over a sweet or savoury crepe.

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If you’re really looking to immerse yourself in the marvellous maple syrup tradition, then you must pay a visit to Richardson’s Farm & Market just west of Dunnville. Take a breathtaking tour through the sugar bush and experience the sap collection using both traditional and modern systems. Get a peak at the sap boiling and the syrup creation process.  And of course, enjoy some hot pancakes and sausage with some seriously fresh syrup.

Growing up, I remember tapping the maple trees around town and boiling the sap to make our very own maple syrup to load on our pancakes.  I’m no longer tapping trees, but I absolutely love a little local syrup as a tasty natural sweetener in my morning coffee.

So, my fellow Norfolk syrup lovers, what’s your favourite maple treat?

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Norfolk’s Fav Chicken Wings

Amazing adventures, locally grown goods, authentic wineries & breweries and inspired restaurants.  Norfolk County does a lot of things right and serving up epic chicken wings just happens to be one of them!

We took of a poll of Norfolk’s favourite places to order wings and here’s what you had to say about it!

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The Blue Elephant

This ever-evolving Simcoe favourite creates with fresh, local ingredients and continues to serve up exceptional wings to their patrons. The best part is that their rave worthy drum sticks, flats and sauces can be paired with their very own draught beer. With a variety of small batch fresh brew to chase down your dinner, you will not be disappointed on wing night at this local brew house!

The Catherwood & The Kiln

Tucked deep in rural Norfolk County is this inspired rustic gem. The Catherwood and the Kiln is best known for their gourmet pizza and incredible wings. Their facebook page is filled with rave reviews from happy customers on their authentic style, awesome service, and delicious food! Venture out to Vittoria and give this one a try for yourself.

The Boathouse

In the summer months, you’ll find this harbour front Port Rowan restaurant is a popular choice for both locals and tourists. Aside from their perfect pickerel and perch dishes (a tip from this Port Rowan local), their mouth watering wings have their customer’s buzzing! Maybe it’s the tequila lime sauce, or maybe it’s the lemon pepper rub that keep bringing customer back for more!  Saucy or dry, stop in at The Boathouse and order up a couple pounds of these juicy wings.

The Barrel

This traditional Italian restaurant has steadied as a local Simcoe favourite for as long as I can remember.  In traditional style, you can order the Barrel’s wings in mild, medium, hot, suicide, or honey garlic. There’s something to be said for enjoying a classic wing night at an authentic and comfortable local restaurant.

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The Beach House

A picture perfect beach front view is certainly not the best part about this Port Dover restaurant. Their incredible menu is the real treasure. Some may say it’s their perch, and some certainly say it’s their chicken wings! With menu inspirations from local sources as well as some local names found on the beer and wine menu, The Beach House is the perfect local place to enjoy a wing night out.

Sandbar on the Beach

With an enticing creative menu and incredible view, there’s no doubt that Sandbar on the Beach is serving up some popular chicken wings. With some serious wing sauce and dry rub options to choose from you’ll need need to make a few visits to this Turkey Point restaurant to try them all (which we highly suggest you do)! The relaxed beach vibes and unique local inspired menu make this waterfront restaurant is an awesome place to kick back and order up some their amazing wings!

211 Main

A 3 tier patio, live music, and a unique menu set the tone at this Port Dover Pub.  Their customers are raving about more than just a few of their menu creations and the chicken wings are definitely getting mention! These hand breaded favourites are tossed in some totally unique sauces including garlic maple cajun and peanut butter! You’ll need visit 211 Main to cross a couple of these amazing flavours off of your chicken wing bucket list.

 Uncle’s

Port Rowanites must love their chicken wings as this is the second restaurant from the quaint lakeside community that is serving up popular wings in Norfolk!  Uncle’s offers a casual vibe and is definitely doing the classics right. You will not be disappointed with an order of chicken wings (or any menu choice) from Uncle’s and you will certainly be welcomed with friendly small town service.

Three West Trends 

If you like your wings giant, juicy, saucy and with a perfect crunch then you will love the wings at Three West Trends in Simcoe. There is a full menu of sauces and rubs to choose from to dress your wings including apple butter mesquite, butter chicken, lemon pepper and (my personal favourite) hot butter! Make your visit Monday through Thursday to take advantage of their popular wing night special!

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Swazzee’s

There’s no doubt that this small town sports bar is serving up some crowd pleasing chicken wings. While it’s been a popular local establishment for years, it’s recent renovations have created an awesome space for watching a game, catching some live music, or joining in on Karaoke night. According to their fans, Swazzee’s in Waterford is the place to go for some great chicken wings and a fun night out!

The Hideaway

This particular wing joint is another rustic rural find.  The hideaway can be found on a side street in Langton and it’s worth a second look.  These delicious wings are served up smothered in flavourful sauce and we’ve also heard that their pizza is a must try.

Circus Room

Famous for their poutines and stacked burgers, their wings are getting noticed too. The Circus Room is offering some unique twists on family restaurant classics including the mouth watering wing sauces. Their exciting menu states that these delicious wings are fresh, local, and as large as they can get!

Craving an order of wings yet? Let us know which of these Norfolk favs you’ll be ordering your next pound of wings from!

Lunch Break in Port Rowan | Olde Tyme Deli & Eatery

Embracing the sweet smell of freshly made waffle cones from Twin’s Ice Cream Parlour when we’re arriving to work in the morning. Having five or six strangers greet us with a friendly “hello” on our daily walk to the post office. Visiting the Farmer’s Market by the lake on our Friday afternoon break. There are definitely a few perks to working out of an office in Port Rowan, Norfolk County.  Popping over to the Olde Tyme Deli & Eatery on our lunch break is one of our favourite perks! 

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I typically order the Black Forest Ham & Swiss on freshly baked, thick cut bread.  Of course, it is topped with a crisp pickle and served with a side of my choosing. My favourite desert? The homemade maple walnut tarts are to die for! I mean if dying for a sweet, perfectly gooey and crumbling tart is your thing, because clearly it’s mine.  But I don’t speak for the masses. Sandy says the apple fritters and cinnamon buns dripping with fresh icing are her customer’s favourite desserts.

The menu features generous wraps and sandwiches made with fresh local ingredients and typically features a drool-worthy daily special. Supporting local suppliers is something Sandy is proud of. You can find goods at the Olde Tyme Deli & Eatery from Jensen Cheese, Kernal Peanuts, Gunn’s Hill Cheese, Fiedler Meat Products and more.

Untitled design (59)Sandy has been serving great food to Port Rowan locals and visitors for 19+ years as the previous owner and cook at Sunrise Cafe and she has always had a desire for opening a local deli. The Olde Tyme Deli & Eatery offers a shabby-chic and small town vibe making it easy to get comfortable and enjoy your visit. More than just lunch items, you can purchase meat, cheese, fruit and veggies platters “made with love” and local goods. Aside from the fantastic eats and baked goods, the deli & eatery offers Dutch sauces, spices, mixes, preserves and goods for sales.

Two years ago this November, Sandy & George opened the doors to the Olde Tyme Deli & Eatery in Port Rowan. Our advice to you, make the trip to Port Rowan to try out this local favourite.

Schofield’s Bistro

This past Christmas I was the lucky winner of the Erie’s Edge Real Estate Facebook contest – Best Decorated tree. I won a $100 gift certificate to the Norfolk County Restaurant of my choice. The choice for me was a no brainer…Schofield’s Bistro.

I have lived in Port Dover all of my life and have eaten at all of the great restaurants that the town has to offer. When a new establishment opens, I can’t wait to try their food. I am usually not disappointed. When I first dined at Schofield’s Bistro on Main Street four years ago, I was amazed.

Their food which is described as “casual gourmet with Norfolk flavour” is outstanding, but where it comes from is even better. Everyone who lives in Norfolk County knows how great the variety of fresh ingredients that our area has to offer are. Schofield’s Bistor uses these local elements to their advantage. Not only do their dishes consist of farm to table ingredients, they offer a variety of options that feature the work of other local businesses such as The Port Dover Cheese Shop, Silver Lake Vodka, and my personal favourite, The Little Cheesecake Company.

Schofield’s offers a variety of succulent dishes ranging from their popular Grazing Plate appetizer which features the chef’s weekly selection of artisanal crafted charcuterie to their beef tenderloin medallions. They also offer different daily specials, depending what is in season. I cannot get enough of their linguine alfredo with chicken. The creamy white wine sauce is packed with cheesy flavour and the chicken is grilled to perfection. The dish is served with crusty garlic loaf that I look forward to every time I dine there. 

As a picky eater, I enjoy checking out a restaurant’s website prior to visiting. Schofield’s website does not disappoint and describes everything they have to offer in detail. Make sure to check it out at http://www.schofieldsbistro.com. Their Twitter and Instagram pages are also great as they often post their specials which will be sure to get your mouth watering!

The ambiance of Schofield’s Bistro is just right. It is located in a historical building and features hardwood floors and exposed brick walls which are decorated with pictures of Port Dover’s past and the work of local artists which is available for purchase. The tables are always decorated with fresh flowers and in the evening, the lights are dimmed and candles are lit, making it my favourite date night location with my fiance. Schofield’s is next door to The Lighthouse Festival Theatre and offers a dinner special for those attending a show. This is perfect both locals and those visiting from out of town.

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The Little Cheesecake Company’s Coconut Cream Cheesecake available at Schofield’s Bistro

If you are attending the theatre, or just looking for a great place to dine with friends or someone special, do not overlook Port Dover’s Schofield’s Bistro.

Written by Andrea McIntyre, winner of the Erie’s Edge Christmas tree contest.

A Taste of Something Beautiful

Port Rowan’s former Masonic Lodge is now home to “a taste of something beautiful.” 

Bella's Bakery & Boutique
Bella’s Bakery & Boutique
Bella's Bakery & Boutique
Bella’s Bakery & Boutique

Bella’s Bakery & Boutique is located at 1048 Bay Street and has quickly become famous for their mouth watering sweet treats, delicious light lunches, impressive custom designed cakes and some pretty neat boutique buys of fashionable kitchen and tabletop finds.

Bella’s is the creation of owner Elle Bouck’s love of baking ever since she was a little girl combined with her passion for creating a small town community atmosphere where people could enjoy tasty treats. Her passion shines through with a delectable section of tasty delights served in a comfortable and welcoming location.

High Heel Cupcakes
High Heel Cupcakes

Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9AM to 5PM, breakfast is served from 9AM to 11AM while light lunches are served from 11AM to 3PM. While I’ve yet to make it in for breakfast, I’ve enjoyed several lunches at Bella’s. Amongst my favourite lunch time menu items are the Layered Cobb Sandwich, Turkey Panini and Philly Steak Panini. The next time I stop in for lunch I’m going to try Bella’s Seasonal Salad.  

Make sure that you try one of Bella’s signature “Bellalicious” Pink Squares with a portion of the proceeds going to the Haldimand-Norfolk Women’s Shelter, a charity close to Elle’s heart after her co-op placement there during college.  

Baby Belly Cake
Baby Belly Cake
Minnie Mouse Custom Birthday Cake
Minnie Mouse Custom Birthday Cake

Bella’s means beautiful in Italian. Elle says “We are passionate about promoting being beautiful inside & out” hence Bella’s tagline is “A Taste of Something Beautiful”.

A beautiful experience awaits you at Bella’s Bakery & Boutique. You won’t be disappointed.