SimcoeDining’s Barrie Patio Guide


The Potted Pig

10 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
Formally the At The Five restaurant, The Potted Pig has a large west-facing patio right downtown at the five points.

“There is also a nice patio you can choose to dine in – there are half-circle booths, raised tables for bigger groups, smaller booths for couples, and cushioned wicker couches for casual encounters.”
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Info.: The Potted Pig


The British Arms

29 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
On the main downtown, The British Arms is on the south site of the street and features a large patio and a good selection of beers as well as other drinks and a menu of British fare favourites.

“During the summer months, there is a nice patio where one can sit with an ice cold beer enjoying the warm breeze and live music.”
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Info.: The British Arms


The Queens Hotel

94 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
A large patio in downtown patio at this popular restaurant and night-club. Maybe not the place for a quiet evening, but you can do that anytime.

Info.: The Queens Hotel


Skybank

66 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
Barrie’s highest patio with a great view of Lake Simcoe. On top of The Bank nightclub, this enclosed patio offers a great view of downtown Barrie and Lake Simcoe.

Info.: Skybank


Kensington Burger Bar

40 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
Features a front and back patio open late and, well, massive (and tasty) burgers made from scratch including The legendary Kitchen Sink (they need 48 hours to prepare that one) as well as other Canadian favourites including a heaping poutine.

Info.: Kensington Burger Bar


Donaleighs Irish Public House

28 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
Serving authentic Irish ales, lagers and stouts along with quality pub fare prepared from fresh ingredients plus front and back patios make this a spot worth checking out.

Info.: Donaleighs


Fitzy’s Crabshack and Wine Bar

143 Dunlop St. East, Barrie
This downtown spot features live jazz Sundays, martinis and front and back indoor patios. A good spot for passing a Sunday afternoon.

Info.: Fitzy’s Crabshack

A Night at The Potted Pig

The general ambiance of The Potted Pig is very casual. A wood furnished dining room creates a more countrified atmosphere, making the diners feel right at home. There is also a nice patio you can choose to dine in – there are half-circle booths, raised tables for bigger groups, smaller booths for couples, and cushioned wicker couches for casual encounters.

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You see Caesars and cocktails topped with olives, and sometimes you see fruit added as a finish on slushy drinks. Now, it might just be me, but I have never seen a drink topped with a strip of bacon. However, if you come to The Potted Pig you can enjoy a refreshing, strong cocktail and munch on the bacon strip resting on the rim of your glass. This is the ultimate combination for people who love to eat and drink. Looking at the drink and dinner menu, it is evident that bacon can be added to anything you can imagine.

For me, The Potted Pig proved to be a particularly difficult restaurant to dine at. Bringing a vegetarian to a restaurant called “The Potted Pig” is probably not the best idea, but there are a few options on the menu that can be altered to accommodate a vegetarians needs. I ate the Irish Grilled Cheese – hold the bacon, please. This sandwich had beer braised onions, a smoked tomato aioli, and cheddar cheese grilled on a thick piece of bread. I also had the Prosciutto & Melon Salad, but minus the prosciutto. Now, you would think that this salad would seem inadequate without the prosciutto, but it was actually quite good. It was a salad made of spinach, melons, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, all topped with a balsamic and herb vinaigrette. I went with a few carnivores so they were able to provide their experience with the bacon-filled options. One friend ordered In the Piginning, which is a ground prime rib stuffed with cheese and served on a bun filled with lettuce, tomato, and red onion with french-fries as a side. The cook puts a little scorched piggy on the top of the sandwich – an appropriate finishing touch.

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There are some fairly uncommon items on this menu, with very inventive names. For instance, as an appetizer, The Potted Pig offers a Poblano Pig Popper (talk about a mouthful). This is a grilled poblano pepper wrapped in bacon and cream cheese with chive sour cream to dip. There is also a wide selection of pizza for the Italian in all of us.

The service was excellent. Our server was very friendly, casual, and made light-hearted jokes with our table. The appetizers came out in good timing, while the main courses took a little longer to be prepared and served. Prices can vary depending on what you order; they are somewhat expensive, but well worth it. The portion sizes reflect the price, so you are definitely getting your money’s worth. Sitting outside, the only thing I can recommend is to constantly be on the alert for bird droppings. Being in a prime location for birds to perch overhead, the birds will leave you a little present if you’re not careful. The patio is also fairly noisy because it is located at the five-points on 10 Dunlop Street East.

Overall, The Potted Pig is a fine new restaurant where you can eat like a pig and not feel guilty for it.

View Potted Pig Profile

Valerie Colangelo is a writer from Barrie. Read her blog at: www.accordingtovalerie.com and follow her on Twitter at @vcolang

Ciboulette et Cie in Midland

I am an avid fan of Andre Sanche, Executive Chef and Owner of said establishment. I was introduced to his fine fare when a friend started a new job in Midland and raved to me about the scones, the lunches and the bountiful take out options. My palate was teased and tempted by the offerings she would deliver for me to try.

I had the opportunity to savour first hand, Chef Andre’s culinary expertise at the Midland Public Library’s “Books2Eat” event, a few months past, and then again, at the recent Wine and Chef Series dinner at Georgian College.

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With the weather turning towards spring, the time was right for a road trip. Meandering along Highway 93, my thoughts tuned to lunch options and I arrived with an appetite.

Ciboulette et Cie is in the heart of downtown Midland. I was duly impressed with the strong sense of community values shown by Chef Andre and the other local proprietors as I explored King Street.

Local is the key word as Andre Sanche strongly supports locally sourced foods and sustainably grown products. This is evident not only in the superb fare coming forth from the open kitchen, but in the well-stocked shelves; overflowing with products both made in house and from local suppliers. Looking for pickled garlic scapes, they have them, a wondrous wooden bowl, it is there. Charcuterie and cheeses, dips and spreads, delicious desserts, gluten free goodies, catering options and cooking classes. Belly ice-cream, Nate’s Bagels and Sheldon Creek Dairy products are all available. Ciboulette et Cie has it all. Well stocked freezers provide take home choices. Space design gives a nod to the general stores of days gone past; with wood floors and benches, and chalk board signage assists customers to find what they are seeking, urges them to explore what is in store.

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My dining companion and I both ordered the daily soups; one a gingered carrot, the other a beefy vegetable, both were rich and flavorful. I wish I had better understood the process for creating a phenomenal sandwich, but my simple grilled cheese was still a solid choice. While sipping a great café au lait, I enjoyed a lush lemon square, while my friend found the vegan vanilla coconut macaroon to be a great choice. Chef Andre sent me home with fresh fiddleheads to cook and a quinoa salad, both were greatly enjoyed.

Chef Andre did wax poetic while sharing his food philosophy with me; that being, food is a part of everyone’s day, whether one is happy or sad, we have our daily experiences but we all need to eat, so why not put the emphasis on good food. For him it is a joy to prepare, share and teach others what it means to eat good food. Eating should be an experience!

Chef Andre’s support for his community is evidenced in many ways; he has been teaching a dual credit class at Georgian College, as he believes strongly that teaching youth the skills to cook, helps to prepare them for life. Additionally he is a key champion for “Start Local: a truly local film project”, created by Nate Lacroix and Ashley Matt. This is a documentary exploring the tremendous value of local shopping and the impact that supporting local has on this one community. Chef Andre supports local fundraising efforts, by donating $25 gift cards; he views this as an opportunity for him to share his great fare with others, while introducing them in the store, to the local experience. “Dinner for 8” is an extremely popular charity auction event held annually to benefit Community Living Huronia. Clients of Community Living Huronia also have opportunities for on the job training at Ciboulette et Cie.

The stunning photographs adorning the walls are the work of Kelly Moss Photography in Midland; the flowers are from the florist down the street, while the local print shop created the “Start Local” t-shirts. Clearly Andre Sanche is inherently altruistic, and Midland is a community working together for the good of all, this to me, is highly commendable.

As a child, Chef Andre learnt to cook at his grandmother’s side, and obtained his professional training at Algonquin College. He shared with me a cherished memory; his grandmother’s intent was to send him to Paris when he became a professional chef. While that didn’t occur, she did present him with Madame Benoit’s famous cook book, a treasured heirloom.

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Chef Andre said his home garden expands seasonally, the pumpkins grown there became the pumpkin chutney on our plates, and he specializes in growing heritage vegetables.

Chef Andre lives, cooks and eats with local flavour, in season he will create an ever changing array of edible treats. His food is a passion, one that he eagerly shares with his customers, students and staff.

Ciboulette et Cie has tripled in size since opening; progress is now laughingly measured by the placement of his basement office, having generously yielded his space upstairs for more food related square footage. Coming soon are some amazing expansions for Ciboulette et Cie; another chef has joined the team, and an expanded menu will include more breakfast items and by fall, he hopes to open for dinner once a week. That will warrant another road trip, and I know it will be well worth it!

www.cibouletteetcie.ca
248 King Street
Midland, ON
L4R 3M3
Tel: 705.245.0410
info@cibouletteetcie.ca

Written by: Penelope Morrow

Penelope Morrow is a writer, editor and food aficionado from Barrie, follow her tweets
@penelopejmorrow

A Night At The Clarkson Pub

The restaurant is in the shape of a “U” – there is a large bar directly in the middle that divides two areas of seating. There is also an excellent patio that you can choose to dine in, weather providing that is.

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The service is very relaxed in The Clarkson Pub. Our waitress was very casual and friendly, allowing me and my friends to feel more comfortable and unrushed. She also took great patience with our indecisiveness when choosing our meals and drinks.

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The Clarkson Pub has a fairly selective menu with options that are not entirely normal of most restaurants. Many of the appetizers were focused around sea-food, but the rest of the menu had a good variety of fish, meats, and vegetarian meals. It was quite refreshing to have so many uncommon meal options. Being unable to choose only one, my friends and I decided to share a few appetizers – we had Sweet Potato Frites, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Coconut Shrimp, as well as an Antipasto Platter (a platter consisting of sliced meats, an assortment of cheeses, as well as green and black olives, vegetables, and oiled bread). For dinner I decided to have a Clarkson Green Salad – a salad composed of mixed greens, chopped cucumbers, avocado, carrot, and radish, but I added crumbled goat cheese and finished the salad with balsamic vinaigrette. I was absolutely enthralled with how delicious this salad was. One of my friends ordered the Veggie Wrap, and another ordered the Chicken Quesadillas – a flour tortilla that was stuffed with chicken, peppers, onion, and layered with pepper jack cheese, sour cream and salsa. The entire table was thoroughly impressed with the quality and taste of the food, and the portion sizes were small enough so as not to overeat, but big enough to feel satisfied.

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There is a fair selection of drink options, ranging from domestic beers to martinis and mixed drinks. I had an Envy Martini – all I can say about this beverage is if you like tequila then this is definitely your drink. The martinis are very strong, but they certainly get the job done well. A couple of my friends had the Caesars and said that they were delectably spicy. With an appetizer, main course and a martini, I dined for under $25. The Clarkson Pub is affordable, the food is wonderful, and the atmosphere is very inviting. I will definitely dine at The Clarkson Pub again.

To keep the pub full of entertainment, Jukebox Bingo takes place on Mondays and Karaoke is on Tuesday nights. For those of us who enjoy cheap drinks, The Clarkson Pub offers $3.00 domestic beers on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

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Hours of operation are from Sunday to Wednesday from 11am to 12am, and from Thursday to Saturday from 11am until 2am. Located at 130 Dunlop Street East, The Clarkson Pub is waiting for you to come discover its hidden splendor.

Visit The Clarkson Pub’s Profile

Valerie Colangelo is a writer from Barrie. Read her blog at: www.accordingtovalerie.com and follow her on Twitter at @vcolang