Thursday, September 24, 2015

Found the Foundry & Discovered Hot Dog Heaven!

A bit of reminiscing here. Downtown Windsor has certainly changed, has it not? It used to be bustling with people all day and night, not just on the weekends.

We had the amazing Palace Cinema, if anyone remembers that gem. I used to love going there every week, especially to check out all the foreign/independent films. I loved riding up the escalator to the chosen theatre entrance, buying over-priced popcorn (when popcorn tasted like real buttery popcorn, not whatever disgusting stuff is currently available at theatres with the faux butter!) or sneaking in some gummies from the convenience store near-by, and being greeted by an usher, who would take my ticket.

Food and drink-wise, there were tons of a little coffee shops too, like the Beans Cafe. You could stop in for a cocktail at the Avalon Front, and if you were hungry and wanted a fancier place to eat, you'd head over to Ye Old Steak House. I will always remember that restaurant because I had the best filet mignon steak.

Later on, nightlife came alive and so you had a variety of clubs to bar-hop to, from Jokers and Bentley's to a bit more upscale places like Dean Martini's. Ah the memories!  I remember having my very first alcoholic drink on my 19th birthday at Bentley's. My brother bought me a "Sex on the Beach" with added maraschino cherries. Yup, you could say I was a late bloomer. If you were kind of into the non main-stream scene, you'd head over to places like The Loop or frolic with the gothlings at Zebra Room.

The one place that I think almost everyone misses is Fast Eddy's Arcade. It was a great haven to escape into the world of classic arcade games and have a round of air hockey.

If anyone recalls, labelling us as “Sin City” in my opinion, was not something positive. After a while, many of the bars and nightclubs that were virtually all the same, really took a beating, as they switched from one name to another, and eventually shut down. Sure the American crowd flooded over here because of the 19+ drinking age, whereas over there, it is 21, but we cannot rely on just alcohol to be our only downtown attraction.

To be honest, after so many of my favourite places closed its doors over the years, I rarely had any interest in spending my time in the downtown core.

Slowly, that has changed, as a majority of the “booty” bars are now just a distant memory, and the atmosphere is starting to feel a little more inviting.  Sure there are still numerous vacant spots, but we can be hopeful more business owners will see the value of investing here.

From a bit of exploring downtown Windsor just this last week, it seems an abundance of pub-style restaurants have opened up and this is one of the new trends.

The Foundry Pub known as “Windsor's premier craft cocktail and deluxe deli destination” which is located at 459 Ouellette Avenue, ended up being our chosen place to sit down for some conversation and grub. The drink menu seemed endless, but I honestly couldn't tell you much about it because it's not something that I gravitate towards at all when we're dining out. Food, service and atmosphere rank the highest.

A welcoming atmosphere. Photo by Melissa Arditti

Sitting down, my eyes immediately saw on the menu "gourmet hot dogs."  It was a done deal, as the description of the Pizza Dog (smoked pepperoni, marinara, mozzarella, red onions, and parmesan cheese)  seriously had my mouth watering.  Sorry, no photo!

I was also with my boyfriend, and he decided to go with the Porky Dog (pulled pork smothered in Guinness BBQ sauce, chipotle aioli, sweet relish and red onions.) With each entree came either kettle chips and a yummy french onion style dip or a mix of veggies with ranch dressing.

Porky Dog with a side of carrots/celery   Photo by Melissa Arditti
 The softness of the hot dogs were incredible and I guess they steam them to perfection. I have steamed hot dogs before at home and they never came out like this. I guess that's why i'm not a chef and they are. ;) This is a meal you just devour. I'm the messiest eater when it comes to food like this, so I tried to use a knife and fork and then just said f-it, i'm going in! Everything was delicious and we were quite full by the last bite.

Customer service was great, as well as the whole look and feel of the pub.  Our meals took a little while, especially on our second visit when they were really busy, but worth the wait because everything is made fresh. Our waitress was really friendly and bubbly. She even made Bill a special blend of fruit juices.

So, an update. We were back a second time and Bill had his usual Porky Dog, but I tried the Guinness BBQ Chicken (open faced hoagie, smothered in their signature BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese, garlic aioli and red onions. . The chicken was tender and all the flavours were so good together.  I asked for “light” on the sauce though because for me, I don't like my food smothered in any kind of sauce.

My meal; Guinness BBQ Chicken. Oh yum! Photo by Melissa Arditti
My only suggestion would be to offer a whole wheat option on any of the buns, as I would prefer that over white.

Also, maybe a few more dessert options that are on the lighter side, or even some fresh fruit. We couldn't fit in one of their decadent desserts after the meal.

There is no doubt that we'll be back!

Check them out on Facebook

**Please remember that if you wish to use any of my photographs, contact me for permission! It's just the proper thing to do. :)**

My rating scale: Foundry Pub gets 4 out of 4 Purple Muse's.

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