Saturday 21 May 2011

The Good Grub List

     "You can almost taste the hot dogs and french fries they sell..."
                                                                                  -The Drifters

     Docksters, I need your help!

     One of the benefits of sailing out of a port with a healthy tourism industry is that there are lots of eateries, some good, some bad, some indifferent and some better than good.   I am compiling a Good Grub List, a compendium of worthwhile places to eat in Port Dover and area.   The list will have a permanent home in the upper left hand of the blog, and will be updated as needed.   SWMBO and I have not eaten everywhere in town, although my expanding waistline might lead one to think otherwise, (explain to me again how quitting smoking and becoming a fat bastard is healthier, because I am not buying it at this point).   I need your input to make this work.  Fire me a comment, or an email about where you like to eat and why, and I'll add it to the list.    To kick it off, here's some of our faves:

Breakfast Grub:

Dover Dairy Bar-
Main Street, right beside the Norfolk Tavern
519 583 1312
Worn but comfortable decor, earnest waitstaff, and solid food for little cash.  The walls are covered with interesting photos of historic (and almost unrecognizable) Port Dover.  Which is good, because it gives you something to look at while you wait for your bacon and eggs, delivery of which can be a little slow when it is busy, and the Dairy Bar is usually busy.  When you can get a decent serving of bacon and eggs, toast, home fries and coffee for under $5, it's easy to understand why.

Murphy's Diner
410 Main Street
519 583 3463
Slightly higher price point than the Dairy Bar, and slightly more sophisticated- Murphy's has booths and powdered sugar on the french toast.

Pizza and Wings Grub:

Harbour Pizza
1 Main Street
519 583 3000

Great crust, tasty sauce, generous toppings, meaty wings. A slice and a pop,  under $4.  A large three- topping pie will set you back less than $15.  Dine in, pick-up, AND they deliver to the Dock!  The best pizza in the County.

Pub Grub:

348 Main Street
519 583 0416

It's a dive.
That's a compliment.

Waitresses who ask "What can I get yuz?"  and call everybody "honey." Live music on weekends, beer on tap, and  you can play coin-op shuffleboard while you wait for your order. Daily specials and lots of deep-fried options, served the way they should be- in wax-paper lined plastic baskets.  Need a beer and a bite after a long hot day of sanding and bottom painting, but you're covered in paint spatters and dust and you smell bad?  Nobody will blink an eye at Angelo's.  Make sure you come back later for the band.

Chinese Grub:

305 Main Street
519 583 1810

Forty years ago, small-town Chinese restaurants had tile floors, a counter with stools, and no buffets.
Ming's is still like that.  Great sweet and sour wontons, decent fried rice, and really good sliced barbecued pork.

Grub with a View:

Callahan's Beach House
On the beach
519 583 0880

Location, location, location.  It's hard to get a bad seat at Callahan's- every table overlooks the beach.  Modern cuisine of the sweet-potato fries -and -chipotle school,  it's a great place to watch the sun go down... if you don't have a boat.

168 New Lakeshore Road
519 583 0706

Off the beaten path, David's wins the "Restaurant with the Best View" award...
Because it overlooks Dock Six.
Executive chef John Crowley puts together a palate-pleasing menu that changes with the seasons, and makes great use of local produce.  David's is not a bargain, but for a special occasion it is an impressive choice.

Legacy Grub:

The Cove Room at the Erie Beach Hotel
19 Walker Street
519 583 1391

   Your parents likely ate here.  Your grandparents likely ate here.  Today they'd still recognize the room and the menu.  An anachronism and proud of it, the Cove Room  continues to boast a salad bar AND a dessert cart.  Trends come and go, but year after year the Erie Beach continues to serve perch and celery bread by the metric tonne.  Hey, if it ain't broke...

The Arbor
101 Main Street
519 583 0611

     Another Port Dover tradition, the Arbor has been serving up hot dogs, french fries and Glow drinks for 85 years.  You haven't visited Dover until you have had a dog and a Golden Glow at the Arbor.  Add tasty homemade condiments you won't find anywhere else (zucchini relish is much better than it sounds), and their  fresh cut fries and you have a meal  that becomes a memory.

Okay Docksters, now it's YOUR turn- get your grub on and add to the list.


  1. Perch Grub.

    Nothing better after a sail on a sunny afternoon when the wind dies down to drop anchor near the shore and take a stroll down the beech to pick up a perch snack from Knechtels.
    We like to eat this on one of the picknick tables by the beech where you share some of it with the seaguls.

    For a more formal way of consuming this fish we like the perch dinner at the Fishermanscatch.


  2. How can you forget Willie's?! Their onion chips are divine. A burger, onion chips and a tornado for desert and it's a great day!