Sunday, 30 June 2013

Moose Winooski's

20 Heldmann Road
Kitchener, Ontario


In her opinion:
After a very long winter and slow start to summer, we finally were blessed with a beautiful, patio weather day.  So where do you go in order to enjoy a few beverages and good patio food? Why, the Moose of course. So while driving around on this beautiful summer day, it was only natural that we stopped in to enjoy their gorgeous patio.

Moose Winooski's is a long standing choice with our family and my son's absolutely favourite of the few that he actually enjoys food off the kid's menu. It is also part of the Charcoal Group of Restaurants and regardless of their recent legal issues still remain ready to serve you. They have two other Moose Winooski's in Ontario, one in Brantford and one in Barrie.

We were lucky to find an available spot on the patio. Our waiter was very attentive, even though we never got his name and took our drink orders right away. We ordered a couple of beers to start. Rickard's White for me. I enjoy beer best on a hot summer day and since the weather was cooperating; it was only natural that I order a beer instead of a cocktail. Rickard's White is a good tasting, easy to drink beer. I love the citrus notes and well balanced flavour.

We decided to order a couple of appetizers to share. Our theory was that we didn't want anything to heavy just something delicious and light. Edgar picked the Fish Tacos...I was going for my usual choice of the Spinach and Artichoke Dip but was informed by my darling husband that it wasn't his favourite. Instead, I surprised both him and myself and ordered the Cobb Salad...yes, you read that right...the Cobb salad.

The Fish Tacos are described on the menu as "strips of haddock lightly battered and fried served in a warm soft taco shell with shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, diced tomato and cilantro." It was served with a lovely tartar sauce. The Cobb Salad at the Moose consists of "crisp lettuce, apple smoked bacon, red onion, ripe tomatoes, maple smoked ham, cucumber, cheeses, hard boiled eggs and grilled chicken breast. With your choice of ranch or balsamic dressing."

Let me start by saying that both choices were great for beers on the patio. The Fish Tacos were delicious...the fish was crispy and light. I loved the combination of the guacamole and cilantro...very refreshing. 

The Cobb Salad was split into two servings in the kitchen for us and the portion size was perfection. It was a nicely constructed salad...the chicken was nicely grilled, hard boiled eggs were cooked properly, the apple smoked bacon cooked to just the right level of crispiness and the combo of the maple smoked ham and cheese were the perfect accompaniment for the remaining salad ingredients. I enjoyed this salad very was a nice change from the greasy, heavy choices that we normally order.

Moose Winooski's has a wonderful patio to enjoy a few drinks this summer. But keep in mind that the Moose also has a great dining which serves good food year round!

In his opinion:
Patio season is a very anticipated stage of the year by most Canadians. The beer flows easier, the BBQ's run in full force and everyone tries hard to work on their tan, or their farmers tan.

The "Moose" as everyone knows Moose Winooski's by, is definitely one of the most sought after patios in the Region. It is consistently quite busy as the need to bask in the sun with a cold beverage in hand increases. On a long weekend as it was this Canada Day one, those that didn't make it to cottage country were looking for some patio fun.

Although we frequent Moose Winooski's quite often, we have never wrote any blog post about it. Highlighting the patio season for people in Waterloo Region seemed like the perfect segue to finally share one of our experiences at the Moose.

Sitting on the patio looking at the menu with a Mill St. Organic in hand, felt like a perfect way to enjoy a Saturday afternoon. We decided to just get some light food to share, maybe healthier than usual, that would surely hit the spot as well. I opted for the Fish Tacos and a Cobb salad. Having inadvertently taken a bite of the fish taco without squirting some lime on them made me realize how much that small step really influences the overall taste of the tacos. Kind of like Corona...see any patterns here?

Taking a second bite with lime juice on it made all the difference and I must admit that the fish tacos were quite tasty, with just the right amount of condiments. The tartar sauce served on the side completed the taste. My only complain would be that the taco shells were a little too grilled and had hardened a bit too much, flaking and falling apart as I tried to bite into it.

As for the Cobb Salad, it was excellent. I reckon I don't usually just order salads and when I do I'm usually less than impressed with them. This one had a bit of everything in it and felt very fresh, light and perfect for a summer patio day. I even caught myself eagerly eating the cucumber slices, something that I would either leave for last or put on the side of the plate when I encounter it in a salad.

As the afternoon went on, the patio got busier and busier and by the time we left there was no seats available on our side of the patio. It is always a good time at Moose Winooski's, especially if you are there for a group. 

Patio time is to enjoy a good refreshing drink in good weather but, given the recent issues with over drinking and this establishment, it is always good to remember to enjoy the patios but don't drink and drive, and to always be aware of your consumption if you are getting behind the wheel to get home.

The Good: Good amenities, friendly staff and good pub style food make this place very popular (the pie in the face helps too). The patio itself is a great place for a drink and some food and serves as a place to see and be seen as well.
The Bad: Usually very busy at peak times. Even though the staff is very friendly, you never do get that "make you feel special" feeling from them.
The Verdict: Seldom, have I had a bad experience at Moose Winooski's, although they do happen. The food is consistently good, maybe because they have good cooks or because they keep things simple. The enormous Moose outside is also a big draw for kids and grown-up kids alike. Have lots of fun in a patio this summer and if you choose Moose's patio, you surely won't be disappointed.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

Moose Winooski's on Urbanspoon

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