Lakeof the Woods Brewing, Winter Bites, Kenora by Guest Bloggers J1 and J2

March2

I believe it is apparent how much we enjoyed our stay in Kenora and all of the amazing culinary experiences we encountered. It is soon to be apparent which was our absolute favorite!

June 29th 2013 marked the opening of the first brewery in Kenora for 59 years. The quality of the beer that is coming out of the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is incredible. We were taken on a tour of the brewing facility and through the brewing process from grains to glass. For the sake of time though, we will focus today on the food that we encountered with a small sprinkling of beer here and there.

We were able to have absolutely everything that the brewery had to offer on the Winter Bites menu and then some. The very first thing that we enjoyed on our first day in town was the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Tender pulled pork with sarsaparilla BBQ sauce, drunken beer pear, goat cheese, hammer and sickle sauce and arugula in a filone bun.

This sandwich is the real deal! It set the tone for all the food that we were going to enjoy over the next few days and I can’t even put into words how much we enjoyed this offering. Sweet, flavourful, hearty, and more.

After this lunch, we took some time exploring Kenora as a town and imagining what it would be to live there year round as well as having it be a home destination for cabin life. We were only out of the brewery for a few hours before we returned for dinner. The amazing part of how the Winter Bites menu is put together is that as a couple (or two people dining that don’t mind sharing plates) you can experience everything they offer for only $50 total!

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The two apps that started the dinner off were…
Beer Battered Shrimp – Golden fried beer battered shrimp with house made zesty cocktail sauce.

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Goat cheese Bruschetta – Grilled garlic focaccia with goat cheese, tomatoes, onions and herbs topped with three cheese blend and baked hot.

The bruschetta was amazing bursting with layers of flavours. The shrimp really took the cake though. Beer battered shrimp will never truly surprise you due to the simplicity of the dish. Shrimp, batter, sauce… simple right? These shrimp somehow found a way to be very dynamic with such a simple nature. The sauce has a beautiful kick that some establishments will not try to develop anymore seeing as though you can succeed with a dipping sauce using just ketchup and horseradish. The sauce was exactly what was needed to add to the malty sweet crunch that the batter brought to the table.
The dinner came out next which only added to our amazement of the menu.

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Number one was the Meat loaf. House made bacon wrapped meatloaf drizzled with sarsaparilla BBQ sauce, served with twin skewers of new potatoes, with house vegetables, roasted garlic and beer gravy.

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Number two, the Pork Schnitzel. Bread crumb encrusted pork loin grilled crispy, served with smashed potato, beer caramelized red and green cabbage, roasted garlic, side of beer gravy and dill sour cream.

Obviously when you are eating at a brewery, you expect the menu to incorporate beer into the items which sometimes can find its way into items in an unbalanced way. Sauces and caramelizing are very easy ways to bring beer into a meal where they will not overpower in any way, but will naturally enhance the diversity of the flavours. The Meat Loaf was juicy, and very well seasoned with the ‘can’t wait to swallow so I can have another bite’ kind of effect. The Schnitzel was an amazing dish with so many different ways to eat it with the sides and sauces it seemed like every bite was different. Perfectly executed, and an item I will personally have again.

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Finally, we found ourselves at the dessert part of the meal with the Firehouse Beer Chocolate Cake and Gluten free Turtle Cheesecake

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I (J1) have never been the sweet tooth type of person. I believe I got this from my mom, but I will more likely have another helping of fries, or another dinner roll, or something crunchy and salty for dessert than a sweet. That being said, the brewery might find themselves with a bakery attachment in the future based on popular demand. These desserts were out of bounds. The use of beer in the cake is again such a smart way of incorporating the presence of malty sweetness, and it didn’t dry out the cake like can sometimes happen when introduced. Turtles cheesecake… need I say more?

Kath’s quote: “Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life.”-Georges Blanc

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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