Chip Trucks of Almonte!

August 15, 2010

Based on a sudden population explosion of chip trucks in Almonte this spring, Peter and I decided to do a little experiment. We would eat at each and every one of them (at great risk to our health!) and decide which would be our “go-to chip truck” for the summer. We did this on the May long weekend, sorry it took me forever to post about it! There’s still time for chip truck goodness though – go and check it out! Here are our very scientific findings, in order of distance from the 417:

The Hot Potato (JR’s parking lot, near Ottawa and Industrial)

The side of this new’n’shiny chip wagon says “Not your ordinary chip truck”… so expectations were high! Fortunately the friendly fellas working in this truck lived up to them. The chips here are good, although I find them a little light in colour (that seems to be how people like them in this part of the world though.) Peter loves the poutine, and most importantly, THE CHICKEN BURGERS ARE AWESOME!! They bread and fry a flattened breast of chicken, and it is sooooo tasty. Served with tomato, lettuce and mayo, I could eat these every day. If I was a hollow-legged teenager again.  Bonus points for the picnic tables, umbrellas and the nice and clean and bright truck. 5 stars out of 5!!

 

Willy’s Wagon (Formerly Nan’s) Near corner of Ottawa and Martin

Willy's Wagon - An Almonte classic!

Nan apparently passed the torch (or fryer?) to someone named Willy for 2010, and it seems like she passed the recipe box too. The menu is the same as it was, pretty standard chip wagon fare like hotdogs, fries and onion rings. The fries here are Peter’s favourite, but again, I find them too pale. I like mine a nice deep brown! Willy’s gets bonus points for friendly staff, easy parking, and for letting you put vinegar and salt halfway. 4 stars out of 5.

Poutine Queen (Behind the Beer Store, on High near Bridge)

This one stands out, since it is painted BRIGHT PINK! Yes, pink. Here, my favourite thing is the sweet potato fries – they are super fresh! (I saw them cut the sweet potatoes.) There was a surly customer ahead of me in line here who complained that his fries were – wait for it – TOO DARK! He said it was a sign they hadn’t cleaned their oil in months, and I told him (sort of snottily) that they had only been open for a few days. In any case – I loved finally getting me some nice dark fries! And he said he wouldn’t be back, so no worries about seeing Mr. Grumpypants again. Bonus points for marketing (pink!) and student discounts. And sweet potato fries. 4 stars out of 5.

And that was actually the end of the experiment, since my arteries couldn’t take any more. There are more wagons, one at the corner of Mill and Bridge and Mike’s in the “Wee Bee” parking lot on Ottawa St., but we were too full to carry on. So this is not a complete review, but its a start. A delicious start! Come to Almonte, have some chip truck chips!!

PS – Just so you know, I recommend trying these Almonte chip trucks, but no chip truck anywhere in the world will ever be better than Ye Olde Chip Truck chips in Kenora. You can take the girl out of Kenora….

This post is dedicated to all of my friends who travel across Canada and want to get a taste of my hometown. This is a completely biased list of things to do in Kenora! This is what I would do, if I were there with you. In no particular order!


  1. Buy some chips from Ye Olde Chip Truck (either one!) and eat them on the town docks. Watch out for seagulls. And no ketchup!! Only loads and loads of vinegar. All the vinegar you can drink…
  2. Rushing River Provincial Park

    Rushing River Provincial Park

    Go to Rushing River Provincial Park (1/2 an hour southeast of KTown) and play in the falls. There’s a little gully near the bottom that acts like a whirlpool when the water level is right! When its wrong, you go tumbling over the edge and get all scratched up. Fun stuff! Bring some BBQ and use one of the grills and have some lunch, or you can even camp here! Also, about three minutes down the road there is a pretty sweet (read: ghetto-licious) miniature golf course. Check it out!

  3. MS Kenora

    MS Kenora

    Take a spin on the MS Kenora! I recommend a dinner cruise which gives you a nice sunset view of everything. Tour the stars homes, see an eagle’s nest and possibly an eagle (we are pretty sure its stuffed) The food is kind of overpriced and somewhat hit and miss, so if you are on a budget, skip the dinner and head straight to Hap’s when you get off the boat! (See #4) You will get the best seat on the patio because you will be there earliest. Very important.

  4. Haps Patio is a must-do Kenora experience. It doesn’t have much of a view, but the locals can be pretty entertaining. Get a seat and grab a Little Amik (A frosty mug of beer with a shot of gin and some bar lime) and some chicken fingers (with the best dill sauce ever!) Make sure you aren’t driving home. Mom’s house is within walking distance! Watch out for bears.
  5. So now you need some morning after breakfast… there are a few choices, but the old standby is the restaurant across from the Tim Horton’s on Hwy 17 W. I think its called Pattie’s now. Get the perogies on the side! While you’re in the neighbourhood, you can take Mikana way to Anicinabe Park and go for a quick swim! There’s also a nice golf course nearby, if you are into that.
  6. Go shopping! Yes there is some good shopping in KTown. You will be surprised! I like Indira on Second Street for clothes, and kericFunk a little farther down has nice jewelry and bags. Go to Abundance and get some Lake of  the Woods Sunrise Soap! It is the greatest. The Blue Heron is also cool. Lots of souveniers, if you are collecting. And while you’re downtown:

  7. Tour the Lake of the Woods Museum! It has lots of info about the history of Kenora, the aboriginals, the lake, the mining and fishing industries and its cheap. Its little, but there’s a lot to read, and partway through the summer they have an amazing quilting exhibition. Its cooler than it sounds!! Its also a nice thing to do if its raining. Just behind the museum is the Wharf Marina, where you can get an ice cream and sit on the dock! Yes, we do a lot of sitting on docks. You can also see the Grace Anne II, if she is in.
  8. Now to spread out a bit – go to Keewatin! OK, Norman. There is a nice trail, the trailhead is just on the side of the road (Hwy 17 between the Super 8 and the Bridge before the Husky). You can see the dam and lots of water rocks and trees! Its about a 1 hour hike, depending how fast you are and which sections you do. This is a map of what it will be like in the future – the trail part is right! Maybe you can find a better map in town, or just ask someone.

  9. Still haven’t had enough nature? Rent a Kayak! You can paddle around the lake and see the sights from up close, or take Laurenson’s Creek – watch out for the jail at the end! Rent kayaks at The Hardwear Company on Main Street. You can paddle to Coney beach and go for a swim. Its also a good place for some frisbee golf! Or, if you are tired from all the awesomeness, take a boat taxi from the Wharf Marina.
  10. You’ve worked hard. Time for dinner!
    Husky the Muskie, Kenora Ontario

    Husky the Muskie, Kenora Ontario

    Wait, one more thing. You have to walk over to the Huskie the Muskie and take your picture under it. Something to show the grandchildren. NOW! Go to the Plaza for dinner. It is my favourite restaurant on this earth. Try the Kalamari Appy, the Chicken Souvlaki and DEFINITELY the Avgolemono Soup.

And that is basically everything I try to cram into a Kenora visit. That and a giant family to visit. I see now that its a lot of eating. What can I say, they have good food in Kenora! Good luck, and send pictures!

Ben Sollee makes cello pop. yessss…. and as if that weren’t enough credibility for you to give him a listen, he also is known for a tirade against kanye, set to cello. i have liked all of the songs that i have heard so far, but this one is my current favourite:

Ben Sollee – How to See the Sun Rise

[ via aurgasm]

And in other news… Had a chill long weekend of beach going, golf playing and order finishing. Also watched all but the LAST TEN MINUTES of the dark knight, before the power went out, the screen went black and the theater employees gave us free passes and told us to go home. Now I have to sit through 2 hours and 50 minutes of it again… all without knowing the ending!? Grrrr…. It was good though, I’m not complaining. Don’t shoot me please.

On a somewhat related note: this is a picture of the gorgeous sky on the way home from golfing at Richmond Centennial It called for rain all weekend but obviously it DIDN’T! Gorgeous. I was snapping pics at 80 km/h – classic lazy photographer. Pretty though…

i was in love with the clouds pt. 1

Coming up:

  • i am whitewater rafting with peter’s cousin from india tomorrow?
  • this weekend: canoe camping in the gatineaus!
  • and after that: shawndel wedding extravaganza! featuring my toast to the bride, which i must finish soon….
  • and after THAT! camping honeymoon at gordon lake!

this summer is shaping up to become summery. about time!