Thunder Bay Dining 1st Annual Grub Crawl

Natchos from Tony and Adams
Natchos from Tony and Adams

Natchos from Tony and Adams
Nachos from Tony and Adams

THUNDER BAY – Food Now – On July 21, 2012 the Thunder Bay Dining page group held their first Grub Crawl. A grub crawl is where members of the dining group walked thru the streets of the downtown north core and attended three different establishments for approximately one and a half hours at each location.

Each location donated a few of their signature appetizers and our group enjoyed sampling, of course we enjoyed beverages as well.

The Thunder Bay Dining group limited the amount of members who could attend to 20 for this event as this was the first time we have run this sort of thing.

The group met at 5:30 pm at the first location which was Tony & Adams on Court Street. We were lead to a private area in the back, many members of group met for the first time, and there were some regulars who frequently attend group outings.

For anyone who has not attended this sort of event where total strangers meet, let me tell you it’s a fabulous experience.

All the group members chatted and got along quite well and at the end of the night, we left as friends.

Tony & Adams brought the group out two trays of their Nachos, and three specialty pizzas.

Oh we were surprised by the amount of food they donated to our group, many in the group have never been to Tony & Adams and said they would definitely go back.

The bar staff, and the Managers were awesome, they talked to the group members and made us feel very welcome, if you haven’t been to Tony & Adams, let me suggest you go and try them out, apparently they have a Prime Rib dinner night which I hear is fantastic.

I try to find out all the information on local dining establishments and this was news to me, I had always assumed that Tony & Adams was more of a bar then a restaurant, so this was pleasing to know that it is more than a night club, but a fully licensed restaurant as well.

After enjoying the appetizers at Tony & Adams, we walked over to the Ruby Moon, which by the way has a new proprietor, Ken Martyn.

Pizza at Ruby Moon
Pizza at Ruby Moon

Ken has added new food items to his menu and kept some of the old favorites. The atmosphere inside Ruby Moon was fantastic, the servers were friendly and very inviting to our group members, when we arrived they had an entire section of the restaurant ready for us. Ruby Moon brought our group two different flat bread pizzas which were amazing; they also brought out stuffed mushrooms which the group thought were awesome. A few members ordered the French onion soup as it has locally made Gouda cheese from the Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, it was truly amazing.

All the group members enjoyed the food and the great staff at Ruby Moon!

Did you know that Ruby Moon now offers Brunch on Saturday and Sundays with a live Bluegrass band playing from 11am to 4 pm, and on Thursday evenings they offer dinner with a classical violinist.

After we finished at Ruby Moon we headed over to the newly opened Foundry on Red River Road, I must admit, the place blew us away with the woodwork, the bar area and the acoustics. The Foundry just opened on July 13th 2012 and it’s already become a big hit, they offer live music and local beer, Sleeping Giant is on tap, as well as Apple Cider beer.

The Foundry has a great assortment of appetizers and at this location they brought the group out individual Chili Cheese Fries, they are simply amazing, we also ordered the Garlic bread which I have to admit it had to be the best garlic bread I’ve ever tasted, not only loaded with cheese but real roasted chunks of garlic, simply amazing.

Deep Fried Pickles from The Foundry
Deep Fried Pickles from The Foundry

Other group members ordered the Calamari and the Deep Fried Pickles, now I am not a fan of deep fried pickles, but these pickles changed my mind, they are sliced not speared and the coating on them was amazing, it was served with a chipotle dip, truly a favorite among the group members. I ordered the Nachos and they were loaded with cheese and a variety of toppings.

The Foundry staff was amazing and treated us like we were celebrities, they thanked us for choosing them to be a part of the Grub Crawl and look forward to next year’s event. Just a quick note to anyone who has been to the Foundry since opening, the furniture that is in the Foundry right now is rented as their furniture has been delayed due to the flooding in the USA. Soon the Foundry hopes to receive all their tables and chairs and then the place will be complete.

The Foundry also has a special upstairs area that can be reserved for special events or large groups. The inside of this place is simply astounding, to see such beautiful woodwork and the amount of time these owners put into this first class establishment, I’m sure it will be a local favorite.

Natchos at The Foundry
Nachos at The Foundry

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all three places, Tony & Adams, Ruby Moon and the Foundry for donating their appetizers to our Thunder Bay Dining group. I’m sure many of our members will be back and just like I have done in this column, we will spread the word of the good food and the great service we had while visiting your establishments.

We hope next year to make the Grub Crawl bigger and add possibly two more locations to the event. It was truly an enjoyable experience for all who attended.  If you’re not a member of the Facebook group Thunder Bay Dining, you may want to join as the group not only has information on all the restaurants in town, the group also is interactive and does outings such as the Grub Crawl, or the Dining Club, where group members vote on restaurants and whichever restaurant has the most votes, that is where the dining club attends that month.

We also have many awesome upcoming events such as a pig roast in the fall. Many restaurant owners or managers are in our group and love seeing the feedback from our members.

Thank you to all the restaurants who participated in this year’s Grub Crawl and we look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Kim Berly

Kim Berly
Kim Berly

Kim Berly was born and raised in Thunder Bay. She grew up in Shuniah Township and attended Hillcrest High School. She shared, “I am 43 years old, married 24 years and have 3 grown children, and 2 grandchildren. I’ve always enjoyed trying new restaurants and decided why not create a on-line group where people could discuss their experiences at local restaurants”.

Kim will be writing for sharing the local dining treasures in our community.

Interested in joining the discussion? Join the Thunder Bay Dining Group on Facebook!