Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Exploring Perth, Ontario

2017 Nissan Versa Note with statue of legendary Canadian horse Big Ben on the shore of the Tay River in Perth, Ontario.

Dating back to 1816, the town of Perth, Ontario is primarily a Summer tourist destination these days, with shops and eateries all through the town. When checking in to the surprisingly cool Best Western Plus right in downtown Perth, we asked the Front Desk Dude where he would go if he were looking for a late afternoon snack and a pint. Without hesitation, FDD suggested we check out Fiddleheads, which is conveniently located directly across the street.

Situated in the basement of the historic Code’s Mill, Fiddleheads has a super cool pub vibe that features 176 year old stone walls and wood beams. Our waitress had a lovely Irish accent, which made the place that much more inviting. We nibbled on fresh, house made pizza with locally sourced toppings. It wasn’t the best pie we’ve ever had, but it hit the spot. We will return.

It is kinda wrong just how badly I want this van.

After a swim and a nap, went for a walk around the town and eventually wandered over to O’Reilly’s Ale House, which has some pretty solid reviews on Yelp and a pretty sweet looking location. It was a Thursday evening, about 8 o’clock and every other place we passed was almost empty, but O’Reilly’s was packed.

We grabbed the coolest table, which was elevated above the bar, ordered drinks and a charcuterie platter. It looked fantastic and came on a wonderful, live edge wood tray. The ciabatta demi was nice and warm and the cheese duo were fantastic if a little bit on the skimpy side. The meats however seemed like a bit of an afterthought. Too thickly hand cut, basic, middle of the road grocery store deli meats were not what we expected. The quick pickled red onions were fab. The real surprise however, and the absolute star of the platter, was the dipping sauce, of which no specific mention was made.

That little, red dish of heaven is TOTALLY worth a mention of its own. Made by local company, Perth Pepper and Pestle, this stuff is a Curry Cardamom Everything Sauce. Click the link and either order some online or find some in a store if you live up that way. It will change your life forever!

While we were there, we noticed a tiny shelf on the way to the bathrooms, with nothing on it. We asked our waitress about it and she had never noticed it. She asked a long time employee and she hadn’t noticed it either. A couple of days later, we returned for a pint and left a friendly surprise on the shelf. I can’t wait for our next visit to see if it is still there.

The following day, we made a short trek over to Smiths Falls to grab some shoes. Yeah, I know, flip flops in March are a gamble. Anyway, we found the town to be absolutely gorgeous and yet hideously depressed at the same time. There wasn’t even a single pub that looked interesting enough to entice us out of the car. Very sad, as there is so much tourist potential there.

On the way back, we found an incredible spot that is worthy of its own episode of American Pickers. The gent who owns Rideau Antiques has been collecting stuff for 55 years. His assistant is just a pup, having only been helping peddle junk for 35 years. The place is on Rideau Ferry Blvd, between Perth and Smiths Falls and offers maybe an acre of hunting on one side of the road, and a barn full of stuff on the other. You know you are in for a hunt when the owner hands you a flashlight before you venture into the barn! There is a lot of new-ish junk, mixed in with some truly vintage finds, all sort of loosely organized. We easily spent a couple of hours, pretty much overwhelmed by the amount of stuff. I did at least by a scruffy old Matchbox Can-Am car.

Day 2’s dinner did not go as we had hoped. Perhaps the best thing I can say is to check out my Yelp review. Our post dinner visit to DQ was uneventful and successful.

This cool ’63 Chevy van, turned into a chip truck, is on the Rideau Ferry Road on the outskirts of Perth.

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