Bacon and Ale Trail-Stratford, ON

October17

Hello readers.  Many of you know that D and I recently took a mini vacation to Stratford, Ontario to take in the Festival.  Upon arrival, it was clearly apparent that Stratford is fast becoming more than a theatre town.  Their skilled chefs and exceptional restaurants would be reason enough to spend a week.  One of the many aspects that we enjoyed was following a couple of culinary trails.  The Bacon and Ale Trail was a fun way to add some structure to our “sight”-seeing tour.  In other words: see it and eat it!

In addition to a number of dining treats, the trail included a couple of retail visits as well.  First up was Bradshaw’s for a copy of the Little Black Book of Beer.   Just around the corner to where our B&B was located on Birmingham was Turnbull & Stewart’s where we were gifted with a cellar of Bacon Sea Salt.  I first used it to brighten up some Swiss chard back home and the results were lovely.

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We peeked in the windows of Monforte Osteria on Wellington the evening previous and knew that we would love our light lunch the next day as a part of the trail.

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We were heading to a matinee at the Stratford Festival Theatre and did not want to become sluggish, so the small plates of house-made charcuterie featuring pork from whey-fed pigs, were just perfect.  The tastes of capicolla sausage, pork confit, summer sausage and a Tuscan sheep cheese

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washed down with a half glass of Ontario craft beer celebrated many of the best tastes of the region.

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This was our simple perch for lunch.  At another table in the vicinity we listened as visitors tasted water buffalo milk ice cream (did I hear that correctly?) for the first time.

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D and I are quite addicted to all the new (to us) wines that we sampled from Ontario vineyards and Monforte promotes a fine selection.

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The simple design of the Osteria was so inviting that I would have loved to have curled up with a book and a cuppa tea.  But alas, “the theatre awaits….”

Monforte on Wellington on Urbanspoon

Foster’s Inn Restaurant & Bar was one of our stops on our first evening in Stratford.

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We loved this cozy corner in the lounge.  If I were to one day open my own version, it would look a just like this.

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I was able to take these between the breakfast and lunch rush on our last day in Stratford.

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I had returned for Foster’s hospitality to pick up another item from our trail: country style pork terrine wrapped in smoked bacon and accompanied by tomato chutney.  The delicious treat is usually served with Mill’s Street’s Tankard ale but ours was “to go” and we enjoyed it with the picnic that we had later in the day at the vineyards of Jackson Triggs.

Foster's Inn on Urbanspoon

D attempted to single-handedly complete the Maple Trail as well.  For my international readers (and yes, I do have a few): Maple is a cherished Canadian product which is a natural sweetener produced for centuries from red and black maple trees.

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Another addition to our late afternoon picnic were the individual blueberry and pecan pies (they had sold out of the maple pie) that we picked up once we left Stratford at Shakespeare Pies. 

Stay tuned.  There are many more “see it and eat it” adventures in Stratford to come.

Kath’s quote:  “And, most dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words: Away! Go, away!”  – Shakespeare- A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Love-that is all.

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