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Thunder Bay, Ignace report

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Restaurants & Bars

Thunder Bay, Ignace report

Mike | Nov 27, 2002 10:50 AM

Recent visit to Thunder Bay and across to Ignace. Notable was "Up in Smoke" at Thunder Bay, which is off the main drag between the airport and the harbor (whose street name escapes me). It's a little farther towards the harbor from the Best Western near the airport. Consult the phone book. It's in a small mini-mall next door to a laundromat & a Shell station.
We had a dinner for 4 at "Up In Smoke" which was quite pleasant. The escargot were a disappointment owing to the addition of hideous cheese (to be fair: this was mentioned on the menu); but my New Zealand miniature lamb chops were plentiful and extremely flavorful. Also (difficult for such small cuts) done rare as requested. The ever-present menace of "Cajun-Style" food reared its head a little on the menu. Cajun always seems to attract restauranteurs and chefs, where it truly belongs down on the bayou, and rarely if ever travels well. But with wine and cocktails the tab was extremely reasonable. Less than $100 USD. The room is extremely small and there's likely to be a wait if you don't arrive early. If you are the sort of diner who finds people wishing for you to leave is unharmonious to enjoyment, it might not be your scene, although we were not hurried and the service was good, and if anything leisurely: not rushing. Overall: good experience.
On then to Ignace and the dining room at the Northwood Motel. Few places to eat between Thunder Bay & Dryden and this was a very pleasant relaxing largely "what-you-might-expect" room, but with good quality steaks, and a nicely arranged salad bar. Excellent pie for dessert. We shared a blueberry. My wife and I depleted the red wine supply (of only 2 bottles apparently) after two dinners here. But hopefully they'll have restocked. As someone from south of the border (but of British extraction), it was a delightful surprise to be offered the option of brown gravy on the french fries. Way to go! Beware of breakfast here in winter however: the small adjacent dining room they use for that meal is kept at tundra-like temp's which attracts the hardy Trans-Canada truckers but is a bit rigorous for the rest of us. Better choice for breakfast is at another motel west 1/2 a mile on the other side of the street, easily identified by the O.P.P. patrol cars parked outside.

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