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Heading up to Curve Lake (Peterborough Area)

Hey Chows,
I'm heading up to Curve Lake this week, and our team will probably need to grab lunch along the way/back to Toronto. Any suggestions? Probably won't wan to venture too far off the path (401 then the 115 then the 7 North)

Quick thoughts:
- Hot Belly Mama's doesn't appear to be open for lunch
- Lakefield is out of the way
- Looking to arrive in Peterborough by 11AM, so Buster Rhinos is probably not the best option (out of the way anyways)
- Maybe El Camino's for Mexican?
- Olde Stone Brewing Company - if it's open for lunch?



Hot Belly Mama's
380 George St N, Peterborough, ON K9H3R3, CA

Buster Rhino's
2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

Olde Stone Brewing Company
380 George St N, Peterborough, ON K9H3R3, CA

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  1. By far the best food in the area is the Riverhouse in Lakefield (really not far out of your way), but alas, it's only open Wed - Saturday for dinner and Sunday for lunch. Rivals anything in Ontario. Try to fit it in the next time you are in the area.

    Otherwise, HBM is hit and miss. Many like it but my experience has been so-so at best. Better options IMHO are Cosmic Charlies (Pad Thai and Mee Goreng are v good), St Veronus (creative food with nice beer selection), and Montreal House (warning - a real "Dive" but with one of the best burgers in Ontario, great sides, cheap beer, and friendly locals. Fun if you are in the mood).

    3 Replies
      1. re: PoppiYYZ

        I have very very sad news. The Montreal House is now under new management and - more importantly - Dan the cook has moved on and taken his amazing burger with him.

        The only ray of hope is there are rumors Dan is opening his own place (Apollo Grill) in the west end.

        1. re: PoppiYYZ

          I also have very very good news. The Riverhouse in Lakefield is now open regularly for lunch (Thursday to Saturday) with a very long breakfast on Sundays (9am to 2pm). Have only tried the Sunday breakfast and it is excellent. Scratch made, mostly local (even the excellent coffee is locally roasted and blended), beautifully presented, reasonably priced, and above all delicious. Destination restaurant. Ya gotta try it.

        2. It is lighter fare but I am a big fan of Planet Bakery, a vegetarian restaurant just on Water Street.

          Planet Bakery
          374 Water St, Peterborough, ON K9H3L6, CA

          5 Replies
          1. re: Otonabee

            Thanks!! Lighter fare might be a good idea, seeing that we're in for a long drive there and back, and have work to do!

            1. re: ekim256

              If you're picnicking or eating on the go.

              Bridgenorth Deli
              871 Ward St, Bridgenorth

              HUGE sandwiches.

              1. re: Doopsylalolic

                This was the best option as it was spotted on the way there. Grabbed a sandwich ont he way back - I wanted corned beef, but my friend bought a schnitzel and his eyes went as wide as the sandwich itself so he asked me to split it. Not that great...but I can't fault them for it because from the looks of it, their strength would be in the deli meat

                1. re: ekim256

                  Sorry you ended up with that. Those sandwiches need some work.

                  I really hope you get a chance to try Riverhouse, St Veronus, Cosmic Charlies (only the noodles), or - trust me on this one - The MoHo (next to Burgers Priest, I don't know of a better burger in Ontario).

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                    I'm sorry too! I'll see if I can persuade them next time, but given everyone's hectic schedules + long drive, it'll be tough...but worth trying :3

          2. Sam's Place on Hunter Street West (between Aylmer and George) is easily the best deli in the region. If you're looking for burgers, Reggies (Hunter Street East, at Mark) is also phenomenal.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hailing

              Sounds great!! I love burgers...but truthfully I love a good deli even MORE. I hope they have corned beef if I go!

              1. re: hailing

                Thanks for the tip hailing, gonna give Sam's a try. I've found Reggies burgers are just average, but MoHo's are right up there with Burgers Priest's.

              2. How many people are you and are you looking for sit down or road food?

                Hot Belly Mama's was open for lunch today when I went by. A local version of Cajun serving up an average meal. Its right beside the Olde Stone which offers up pub food (decent sandwiches, interesting soups) alongside a few exotics (Nasi Goreng) and brews its own beers. The beer sampler tray is kinda fun, the place is basic but good.

                Lakefield is not that far off your route. The Riverside's hours won't suit you though. Maple Moon is a new family place that serves a decent meal nicely complemented by various baked goods. The Thirsty Loon is a nicely appointed cottage-style pub place. Don't do the fish and chips place or the Chinese. There's McDonalds and a Subway. A Greek place opposite Tim Hortons used to be a Country Style until crushed by Timmies. Affordable, tasty Greek souvlaki and salads, some pizza and pasta

                Buster Rhino's is gone, replaced by Sam's Best Deli which serves a proper deli sandwich (although I still lament the loss of the Euro sandwich place that was there 2-3 years ago <sigh>). Its on Hunter St. which is home to a motherlode of small restaurants. Gabby's does franchise pub grub. Gerties is also pub style, but with a nice homestyle twist and some offerings that are not total pub grub cliches. There's a noodle house, which is a little too industrial to my mind. Karma's Cafe is still standing after doing the Restaurant Makeover thing (!) and serves up some decent Thai/Himalayan stuff. The Night Kitchen for exotic pizza slices at $3 each. Caribbean Cream has an absolutely awesome selection of rotis (chicken, beef, goat). There's a sit down Mexican place, too. Something for everybody in a small zone.

                Up the block on Hunter is St. Veronus. Interesting and tasty Belgian/Euro food and a great beer selection. One of my favs.

                I found Cosmic Charlies to have a pretty limited menu and its never really blown me away. McThirsty's Pint a couple doors down has really well prepared chicken wings and a selection of 20-odd beers on tap. 2-for-1 wings on Monday and Wednesday. There's a passable sushi joint sandwiched between the two and a Wild Wing across the street.

                The Bridgenorth Deli is where I go for my sandwich meat, rye bread and Euro pickles, mustard, etc. Its got a very basic hot table lunch counter thing which is fine as far as it goes, but don't be looking for a really well-dressed deli sandwich there - meat and bread basically, some kraut, that's it. Sam's for deli I'm thinking.

                There's been some sort of Mexican invasion in Peterborough in the last 6-8 months. El Camino is a burrito joint run by the same guys that do Reggies. Big ass burritos, fairly priced, interesting toppings. Some seating, but more of a take out place. I near had a stroke when I saw the prices at Miguel's on Lansdowne, so I have no clue as to what the food tastes like there. It's in a tough location that used to be a real good schnitzel sandwich place and looks perpetually deserted. Dante's is opposite the bus station on Simcoe, which sounds kinda ghetto, but I've been consistently impressed with burritos that are well prepared, fairly priced and fresh, served by friendly people. Small sit down or take out. Good road food. Offers a credible veggie burrito.

                Planet Bakery is well prepared food. A small wee place. Eclectic. Right beside an interesting cheese shop.

                Reggies is basically a seasonal burger trailer. It wasn't open yet when I went by last week. I'm agreed with the view that its very average as far as burgers go. Its got a great location by the university along a busy walking/cycling trail, so its all about the buzz. Sunshine, pretty girls and buff young men, the great outdoors, and poor starving university students who have been eating KD all week (or some other form of their own rudimentary cooking) and are ready for any piece of meat prepared by somebody else.

                There's next to nothing in the vicinity of Curve Lake that I recall, so some sort of side trip to Peterborough or Lakefield seems like your best bet. There is near zero at the top end of 115 and that's getting away from your destination in any case. Marks Finer Diner near Fowlers Corners is kind of neat, city chef escaping to the country to do his own thing. He's trying to find his groove I think, so there's no telling what you're gonna get, but it'll be properly prepared.

                Hot Belly Mama's
                380 George St N, Peterborough, ON K9H3R3, CA

                Buster Rhino's
                2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                Night Kitchen
                229 Hunter St W, Peterborough, ON K9H2L1, CA

                Cosmic Charlie's Cafe
                170 Charlotte St, Peterborough, ON K9J2T8, CA

                Planet Bakery
                374 Water St, Peterborough, ON K9H3L6, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: wiggy.

                  Wow wiggy. I too thought the Euro sandwich place (Taste of Europe?) was one of the best I've ever had. Right up there with the best of the best from German (BTW, the deli in the bottom of Frankfurt Airport is fantastic for sandwiches, many envious people on a plane asked where I got it while they ate Air Canada food).

                  Anyway, Taste of Europe's fresh home made baguette, good quality ham and cheese AND a sliced hard boiled egg was to die for. Ate there a lot but only saw one other person in there (maybe it was you). Still shaking my head how a place like that didn't have daily line ups. Says something about what most people eat. Very sad loss.

                  More to ekim's subject, tried Moveable Feast pressed sandwiches recently (turkey and chicken). Both were pretty good, but soup was just so-so. Good place for a lighter tasty sandwich.

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                    Yes, the late lamented Taste or Europe. Amazing sandwiches at the same price point or better than Mr. Sub and 10x the sandwich! It still boggles the mind that they couldn't make it work. Real meat, real cheese, fresh baguettes, interesting salads, flavours that popped. <sigh> On the plus side though, it encouraged me to put a bit more effort into making my own sandwiches by copying some of their simple techniques. Wherever those folks are now, I hope they're having some sort of success. In a really dense urban environment they'd have been a local legend. And yes, its great fun to lay your hands on something simple and proper and work on spreading that bit of gospel.

                    Never done A Moveable Feast. I must try.

                2. We had lunch today at Marks Finer Diner for the first time and both of us give this place two thumbs up. Very friendly people and great food, the only down side is going to be the lineups to get in when more people find out about it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lefty

                    Drove by tonight and it was looking pretty busy. That's always a good sign.

                  2. Stopped in Orono (just off Hwy. 115 at Taunton Rd., about 10 minutes north of the 401) last weekend to catch breakfast on the way home from Peterborough. Drive by all the time but have rarely stopped and all I'm familiar with in town is the Dutch delicatessen/bakery on Main St. (NOT the New Dutch Oven buffet visible from the 115) which is a decent enough place (but not today's subject).

                    Had an inexpensive, simple and tasty breakfast at the Orono Country Cafe. Joints serving up some form of eggs, bacon/ham/sausage, toast and fried potatoes are ubiquitous, but not everybody gets even that much right, so I'm always on the lookout for a "safe" place for breakfast. OCC has pretty much got it right. My eggs came with an Oktoberfest sausage on the side which was tasty and not greasy and proper home fries that were clearly not out of a bag (odd sizes, cooked from light golden brown to having that nice deep brown crispy crust from a proper long turn on the grill). My wife enjoyed a nicely made mushroom omlette. The coffee was only so-so, but overall a very nice breakfast experience.

                    Very friendly servers, prompt service. A small place that seats maybe 25-30. It was steady busy the whole time we were there. Also does lunch and dinner and offers up a simple menu. Thumbs up for breakfast to this point and I'll likely make a future visit. Orono is trying to cast itself as a destination for folks interested in antiques, so there are several antique stores on the main drag to explore if that is your thing.

                    Orono Country Cafe
                    5348 Main, Orono, ON L0B1M0, CA

                    1. I love Curve Lake! Are you going to the WHetungOjibwaCentre? I love stopping off at Reggies Hot Grilll. 2 Locations, one right in Peterborough and one by Trent U, a chip truck, ti should be open now that the weather is nice. Or Hi Tops Chinese is really good too!

                      Hi Tops
                      415 George St N, Peterborough, ON K9H3R4, CA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Farmersfeedcities

                        I didn't make it there because I had to go back to work :( In hindsight, the long drive from Toronto messed up the workday anyways so I should've just went. Next time!
                        I would like to return when the weather is nicer :)

                      2. Some more good news out this way.

                        After waiting impatiently for weeks as the roadside sign teased us about opening day, Lakefield has a new smokehouse bbq place, Revolution Kitchen Smokehouse and Churraso. Pulled pork, piri piri chicken, ribs. I'm loving the pulled pork sandwiches @ $7. Enough smoke to enhance the flavour of the meat without being overwhelming, red cabbage coleslaw as a topping. Great sandwich. Tried the piri piri, and it was good, but not in the same class as the pork in my opinion. Still, both good sandwiches. Haven't tried the ribs yet. So far I'm likin' this place.

                        I mentioned Maple Moon in passing and have since stopped in for Sunday brunch. It was quite good. Lots of your traditional favs with some stuff a little off the beaten track, well prepared, tasty, happy atmosphere - just an all round pleasant experience @ $13.99.

                        A new bakery has opened up on the main drag. Haven't tried it yet, but its always busy and I'm hearing good things about it so far.

                        Up at Young's Point, the General Store have refurbed their bakery and its all good. It can be a tough job to find a properly made pie, but these guys have it down. They also offer a great selection of bakery treats like cupcakes, carrot cake, butter tarts, cheese bread sticks, etc. etc. Working my way through this stuff is gonna be a (tasty) summer project I think. Thumbs up on the carrot cake.

                        And as a backhanded bit of good news, Canadian Eh? - a chip shed bakery thing tucked in beside the local cheap gas place has gone under. My most miserable peach pie experience ever - nominal bits of peach floating around in tasteless goo. The memory still burns. For the daring, the shed is for sale. Just paint it a new colour and cook real food, please.

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: wiggy.

                          Thanks for all the updates. I didn't think I'd get so much feedback on this request!

                          1. re: wiggy.

                            Thanks Wiggy,

                            Haven't tried the new Smokehouse but will try getting over there today. I think they are only open Thurs - Sun for lunch (so far). Interestingly, I heard that the owner is the same as the recently closed chip truck Canada Eh.

                            I'm still in shock that the farm house bakery AND the Scottish bakery are both closed. After a long absence, I tried a large sampling from the Kawartha Bakery recently. The little fold over meat pies were excellent but the rest (bread, pastries, especially the tarts) were horrible / inedible. Oh how I wish someone near knew how to bake bread (I'm not a baker, but out of desperation, I'm seriously thinking of building an outdoor woodburning oven). Will try the new bakery and the YP bakery again though.

                            Tried Sam's Place deli (per hailing) and it was pretty good. Will definitely go back.

                            Been to Maple Moon for lunch twice now and both times it was uninspiring, maybe my bad luck. It's not a "brunch", but the Riverhouse's Sunday a la carte breakfast / lunch is excellent. Blueberry stuffed french toast, eggs bene, house smoked peameal, and lighter stuff like yogurt and homemade granola too. Really really good.

                            1. re: PoppiYYZ

                              Revolution and Canadian Eh the same guy?! No way! I'm stunned. The difference is night and day! I guess then that persistence pays, as it looks like he's found his niche. The two places couldn't be more different. Overhearing a snatch of conversation I get the sense that bbq is his thing and his new place appears to be a better way to express his talents. Wow. Incredible. I seem to recall that CE underwent a change of management at one point and it may be that my experience was with the first owner. The bbq guy doesn't look at all like the guy I recall handing me that evil peach pie ... .

                              Yeah, I noticed the Farm House was closed. That was another good spot for pies and baked goodies and its sad when a fav goes down. I don't, though, recall the Scottish. I drive by the Kawartha all the time, but it always looks so desolate and cold and closed. I'll have to set that aside and try again. Only ever been once and all I can remember is mediocre coffee alongside what were actually pretty good donuts taken to work as an alternative to Timmy's.

                              Ever been to Stricklings? Lunch joint in town by the old post office and a bakery outlet out on the gasoline alley past Mark's Finer Diner. Dunno if they are decent or not, but could be part of the search. Only ever had a couple small things there (quiche, pizza bun thing, mini pie). There is also a sketchy-looking Chinese place out there near the 115 that is always packed on weekends for some reason. It's either good or the only place for miles around or ??? - a question that has always intrigued me as I drive by and see all the cars. I'll have to pop in one day and settle the mystery for myself.

                              The bakery in Bridgenorth, Buns and Sweets, makes a great chocolate croissant. I find his other stuff sort of hit and miss, haven't tried the bread.

                              Maple Moon does bread and bakery stuff and some of that was part of the brunch. I've only done lunch there and I'd agree, it was okay, not blow you away. The brunch I think has enough stuff that everybody can find something they like and it came across nice and homey. There was nothing fouled up about it, which can kill an experience. Its something I'd do again on occasion. Sounds like Riverhouse is maybe a notch above. Must try so as to be able to compare.

                              There is also a new KFC(!) in Bridgenorth (Kawartha Fried Chicken), that looks to be a burger/chicken/ice cream joint. Not my typical pick, but I'll probably pop my nose in some day.

                              I split my time between this neck of the woods and Brampton, and there is just waaaay more stuff happening out here in the sticks than back the other way. It's just buzzing out here right now with the summer touristy crowd making their appearance.

                              Mark's Finer Diner
                              7960 7 Hwy, Peterborough, ON K9H, CA

                              1. re: wiggy.

                                You are a spring of local info !

                                I was just passing on what I heard about Revolution. Sounds like it's something that needs to be verified. I'll don my sunglasses, trench coat, and gumshoes ...

                                There are a few other regular posters from this area and lots of vacationers, we probably should start a Peterborough / Kawartha thread.

                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                  Update :

                                  OK, the rumor was half right. John, the owner of Revolution BBQ, ran the chip truck on the Lakefield Hwy (NOT "Canada Eh" in Bridgenorth).

                                  More importantly, tried the piri piri chicken, pulled pork, and ribs. Everything scratch made with a unique style that I think will really grow on you. Slightly sweet, slightly smoked, exotically spiced, peppery, dry rub style ribs were very good. Nice addition to the area.

                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                    Whew! I thought it was some sort of Dr. Jekyll-Chef Hyde sort of thing and it was weirding me out.

                                    Yeah, I like the flavours he's got going and I like the feel of the space they've set up. I hope they can make a proper go of it.

                                    Thanks much and good job on sorting that out! I was having a hard time wrapping my head around being so far off base.

                                    1. re: wiggy.

                                      Good point. I forgot to mention the atmosphere. Nothing fancy but it does have a nice vibe. Jazzy background music was very good too.

                                      PS Draught beer and Sangria coming soon too !

                                  2. re: PoppiYYZ

                                    I think it's critical to support your little local guy, otherwise we'll all be stuck with eating what the big factory chains can feed us, and that'll be about what's cheapest, not what's tastiest.

                                    There are some great places out there that deserve our business. I find it's great fun to share a good place with other people, or to pick up a tip on a good local joint to check out. When someone knows how to whip up a good meal they deserve to be acknowledged.

                                    Wade in folks. Eat and be heard.

                                    1. re: wiggy.

                                      Carrying on. The bakery in Lakefield has great cinnamon buns and cookies. The Bohemian BBQ is coming along and is now doing dinner hours Wed-Sun. Lakefield is also about to be blessed with a couple new pizza places. A Free Topping Pizza will open up in the old fish & chip shop site on the main corner by the Foodland, but far more interesting, a non-chain joint with a wood-burning oven in the old Scottish Bakery premises.

                                      1. re: wiggy.

                                        Yes, Lakefield/kawarthas continues to improve on the culinary front. If you're driving through on a Thursday between 10 and 1, the farmer's market is a great place to get lunch. Try the Mexican or Balkan offerings, and follow up with a pastry from one of the baking stalls. Yum!
                                        Thumbs up as well to the new Bohemian BBQ/revolution kitchen mentioned by others, and of course to Riverhouse's continuing amazing food. Not such luck for the remake of the restaurant at Mt. Julian near Viamede. Went there last week after much bragging by new Viamede owner about the new chef. Found it to be just ok, which is not sufficient for the toronto-like prices. You'll do FAR better spending your dinner dollar at Riverhouse in Lakefield (which, while pricy, always feels like money well spent) or the Old Bridge Inn in Youngs Point.
                                        A more casual place worth a mention is the Old Mill in Youngs Point, which has a great patio overlooking the water. The food has improved over the last couple of years (the steak sandwich was downright great!) tho the service is not terrific.
                                        We await the opening of the new Kazabella pizza (which reportedly has imported a wood burning oven from Italy) in Lakefield.
                                        Finally -- wish I could recommend the wings at the Loon in Lakefield as heartily as poppiyyz does, but they've been a real disappointment the last few times. Seriously overcooked, as if they were pre-fried and then fried again when ordered. I do love the 40 creek whisky BBQ sauce tho! Service at the loon still leaves much to be desired.
                                        Maybe we do need a kawarthas board....

                                        Old Bridge Inn and Restaurant
                                        , Youngs Point, ON K0L, CA

                                        1. re: orphish

                                          You are right orphish, the Loon's wings aren't as consistent good as they were when I mentioned them last. I shudda updated since I've had some that weren't that great.

                                          There seems to be quite a few different cooks in there and I think that's the problem. That being said, the last order I had were one of their best and it was a cook I haven't seen before. Guess I'll have to keep trying them and get to know the cooks better...

                                          1. re: orphish

                                            Thanks Orphish,

                                            Tried the Old Mill steak sandwich and it was very good indeed. Place ain't nuthin' to look at, but it was busy at lunch, service on the deck was snappy, although the food was a little slow coming (but we came in after a few other groups). After a recent disastrous lunch at the Old Bridge Inn, the steak sandwich at the Old Mill was a very pleasant surprise.

                                            1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                              Update : Been back to the Old Mill in Youngs Point a couple of times and this place is legit. Owner operated and they are cranking out some real neat things. Asian Lettuce wraps that you make yourself with beautiful boston lettuce, Fried shrimp in either a Po Bo Sandwich or in soft tacos with corn chips and salsa, fantastic mixed salad with grilled salmon, ...

                                              Running out of weeks to try everything since they close up for the Winter.

                                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                Wow, I'll take those as recommendations for my next trip to the Old Mill. Sorry to hear, though, that you had a bad experience at the Old Bridge -- I've had nothing but good there. However, I notice that it's up for sale, so maybe their hearts aren't in it so much now...
                                                Update on Riverhouse brunch: the last couple of weeks they've had live music on the porch for brunch. A trio of lovely young men playing bluegrass-ish stuff. Very nice, very summer-sunday-ish. Highly recommended if they're doing it again. Worth a phone call to see.
                                                Planning to try the new wood-burning pizza restaurant in Lakefield this weekend (Kazabella) (word of mouth is that the other pizza place, that opened in the old fish and chip shop (Free Topping Pizza) is not so good, but haven't tried it myself).

                                                1. re: orphish

                                                  I've tried the Free Topping place and it wasn't bad. Medium three topping for $11 or so. Crust is crisp and a little biscuity but in a good way. Overall not bad pizza, reasonable price, and better than Hamblins or the place in Bridgenorth IMHO.

                                                  Really hope this Kazabella is good though. Oh to have good Neapolitan style pizza close by, sigh,...

                                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                    Finally tried Kazabella and posted my thoughts on it : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761241

                                                    The Loon really, really needs some competition. Last week we had the worst food EVER there, and the service is just soooooo indifferent. I waited tables for a good part of my younger years, and I'm really sympathetic to servers, but they're really trying my patience... Part of the blame needs to go to management for sure (understaffing, undertraining....)

                              2. Hot Belly's and Olde Stone Brewing next door are open for lunch beginning at 11:00am. Sometimes the windows can seem a little dark from the outside, especially when they've got the summer screens up.

                                1. In Curve Lake itself, a little place called Down by the Bay cafe. Local food as much as possible, i believe, and the meal i had there was quite tasty.

                                  Close by in Lakefield, definitely Riverhouse. Awesome food, excellent service -- pricey, but for a lovely dinner SO worth it. Rivals stellar meals I've had in Toronto.

                                  Also in Lakefield, Nuttshell Next Door, a little cafe that serves healthy delicious food.

                                  Cassis was definitely decent, but nothing like Riverhouse.

                                  Hours for all of these place, and seasonal opening, might be a bit hit or miss.