Inspired by the dramatic life of Jumbo, the P.T. Barnum circus elephant, Railway City emblazons every growler of its Dead Elephant IPA with a bold-faced reminder to "live life large." Railway City embodies that motto daily as staff turns Ontario-grown grains and hops into small-batch craft beers. Besides regular brews such as the Dead Elephant IPA and the Iron Spike blond ale, the company also concocts monthly seasonal beers, such as the Cranberry Pilsner and Honey Elixir, which is only made after local bees call to say their honey has hit its peak flavour.
To retain optimal character in each batch by sourcing as many local ingredients as possible in small batch brews, Railway City never dulls robustness through pasteurization. These uncompromising standards complement its environmentally sustainable practices, such as dispensing refillable glass growlers and donating their spent grains to local farmers for feed. An online directory lets fans know where to enjoy Railway's brews, and also share some of their favourite recipes that pair well with their beers.
The word reheated is blasphemy at Al's Pizzeria, where chefs bake pies to order rather than premake them and place them beneath the infrared glare of a food warmer. This approach permits guests to customize their meals with more than 20 fresh-cut toppings, picking from staples such as pepperoni and sausage and creative garnishes such as broccoli and pineapples. The culinary team can finish off cheesy discs with complimentary add-ons of garlic, extra sauce, and flavoured crusts. The menu also features wings in 1-pound increments, which can be ordered along with pizzas well past the sun’s bedtime—Al's Pizzeria stays open until midnight during the week, 2 a.m. on Thursday, and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Jesika, the baking mastermind behind the by-order-only bakery Just Right Cakes, collaborates with clients to transform their visions into custom hand-carved cakes, gourmet cupcakes, or cake pops. The freshest ingredients go into each of her seven cake flavours, which she tops with rich, buttery frostings. In addition to her creations, Jesika can also take care of party supplies, picking up festive balloons and decorations or trick candles capable of doctoring the age on one's drivers licence.
Cravings Coffee Market ecstatically brews 100 per cent premium Columbian and fair-trade coffee alongside a menu of espresso, tea, and light fare in a relaxing café setting. Breakfasters start the day with a coffee ($1.50+; $0.25 extra for fair trade) and a yogurt parfait ($3.25), or a toasted breakfast bagel enfolding a trio of fried egg, tomato, and choice of meat ($3.25). Caffeine adherents with time to spare opt for an espresso creation, such as a caffe latte ($3.10+) or mocha ($3.50+) to sip leisurely while contemplating the weather-controlling device they just engineered.
Situated within Quaker Barrel Unique Antique & General Store, The Mad Hatter's Tea Room is a memorable Talbot Trail destination for flights of fine loose-leaf teas. The tea room's bright red door opens to a carefree, homestyle atmosphere with furnishings and decorative flourishes that evoke the beloved children's tale Alice in Wonderland. A whimsical menu of light fare and myriad loose-leaf specialty teas are complemented by frequent appearances from the fully costumed Mad Hatter himself, who emerges to reclaim his Mad Hatter's table or gossip about who wears a toupee with guests on Alice's couch. A selection of for-sale Alice in Wonderland–themed collectibles includes decorative china plates and framed prints, with the fanciful, all-things-Alice mood spilling out onto the Queen of Hearts outdoor seating area complete with a grassy, wood-fenced garden.
The Windjammer Inn indulges stomachs and eyes alike, dishing up local, organic cuisine in a restored home built in 1854. The restaurant's menu selections are based on picks from both the local farmers’ network and the inn's on-site garden, a more reliably delicious method of dining than bobbing-for-entrees or magick. Weekend brunches awaken appetites by offering up treats such as german apple pancakes with chantilly cream and local maple syrup ($10.50) or a basket of freshly baked scones with homemade preserves ($6.25). Lunchtime highlights include crêpes normandy, in which buckwheat crêpes swaddle chicken, bacon, and shitake mushrooms ($13), and the penetrable fortifications of golden puff pastry surrounding the fisherman's pie ($14). Take dinner to a new level of ripe refinement with palate-preppers such as bison tenderloin carpaccio ($14), or engage in tongue warfare with entrees such as the chevre- and spinach-stuffed chicken breast in a roasted-red-pepper sauce ($24).