RESTAURANT REVIEW: Caribou Creek
Plenty of good eatin' at Caribou Creek
By Ryan Hickman
Caribou Creek Alehouse & Cookshack
557 Wellington Rd.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could go to the cottage every weekend? Just imagine the rustic surroundings, the sweet smell of pine trees, canoeing and the sweet serenades of birds singing.
Wish no more. Make a quick jaunt up Wellington to the Caribou Creek Alehouse and Cookshack it will satisfy both your cottage and food cravings.
The birds of the great white North chirp at you as soon as you walk in the door (and in the bathroom too), filling your head with memories of summers trips with your family.
The interior décor is head to toe wood wood booths, wood tables, wood canoe paddles you get the point.
A seat in a booth is relaxing amongst the rugged motif and a stool at the bar for a cheap Corona or Margarita (both $2.75 on Thursdays) could help you ease into the weekend. There is even a monstrous stone fireplace in the middle of the restaurant where you can sit back, drink warm cider and poke at the burning embers. OK, so the fireplace is just for looks, but it still gets you in the mood to sit down for a good meal.
Although the appetizer menu doesn't present anything really original, the best choice is the oversized smorgasboard of starters they call the Cabin Sink.
This baby is a smattering of most of the appetizers on a wicker tray. It has onion rings, potato skins, calamari and garlic cheese bread, accompanied by side kicks carrots, celery and a trio of dips. The platter is enough to completely fill up a couple of people or could serve a larger clan looking to get a jump on their meals for $11.99.
The pasta selections are a plentiful little group and highlighted by the staff favourite, the Anti-Social Penne, filled with roasted garlic, shrimp and scallops for $14.29.
The menu is far from chinsy, with a long list of burgers, seafood dishes and even stir-fry if you aren't feeling that "cottagey." The scale of prices slides from an $8.39 quesadilla dinner platter to an $18.99 10oz. peppercorn New Yorker steak.
Caribou Creek boasts their made-to-order Jack Daniels barbeque sauce that they use on their delicious J.D. Mushroom and Bacon Sirloin ($16.79) which, of course, has to be cooked at medium-rare for it to tenderly slide down your food tunnel. The oversized mushrooms lay on top of the eight ounce, bacon hugged sirloin accompanied by a starter of soup or salad and a choice of fries, baked or mashed potato or wild rice on the side.
The Kentucky ribs also use the J.D. sauce and you can choose the half rack ($12.99) or the full rack ($17.99) to fill your meat quota. The choice of large or smaller size portions also extends to many of the pasta dishes, therefore catering to appetites of all sizes.
In general, the prices at Caribou Creek are a little lofty for the product, but there is no arguing that this restaurant has something which will appeal to all tastes.
A hop, skip and a jump to south Wellington is a pleasant change from the Masonville monotony. The Caribou Creek is not going to blow your mind with its grub, but its atmosphere, service and all-around presentation will likely bring you back for more.
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