In 45 minutes, finish a 2-pound Nova Scotia beef burger and 1 pound of potato skins smothered in cheese and bacon. Those are the conditions of the Man vs. Food challenge at Curly Portable's, which awards its small club of victors with a T-shirt and eternal glory.
The Man vs. Food feast is Curly Portable's biggest by far, though the rest of the pub's menu likewise caters to heartier appetites. Haddock arrives atop baked potato; mushrooms fried in garlic butter cover housemade 8-ounce burgers; and beef, turkey, and veggies all simmer in the Lumberjack Pie's meat sauce. Meals unfold amid lumberjack-themed decor and numerous framed historical pictures. On Friday and Saturday, dinners segue into evenings of live entertainment with acts such as DJs and bands.
Since the 1960s, Porters Lake Pub & Grill has been serving up staggering portions of merriment in the form of live music, Halloween costume contests, and arm-wrestling tournaments. Today, the pub unfurls a lengthy menu that teems with seafood dishes, juicy burgers, and a surf 'n' turf entree that facilitates a garlic-sauce-infused rendezvous between a 6-ounce new york steak and sautéed black tiger shrimp. Some nights, the pub hosts live music, and on weekends, it cooks up brunch until 2 p.m.—late enough to recharge after morning tasks such as raking the leaves, but early enough to spend a productive afternoon decorating the neighbour’s yard with your leaves.
Chef Hans at The Vines Pasta Grill pushes the boundaries of traditional Italian cuisine by incorporating regional influences from the American Southwest. He adheres to some Old World traditions, though, such as baking bread fresh every day, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and coating thin-crust pizzas with house-made sauce and a paint roller. The menu gets inventive when outlining pasta dishes, such as linguine with a spicy Thai sauce and fettuccine with blackened chicken, corn, and a twist of lime. The chefs also demonstrate their mastery of saccharine confections by baking gluten-free chocolate cake and weaving fresh napkins out of cotton candy. Guests settle in for luxurious brunches each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or test their luck with one of the restaurant's many social media contests through its Twitter and Facebook pages.
Staying true to its name, the restaurant features leafy vines along its dining room's walls and pillars. In addition to adding splashes of green to the rustic wood tones, the tendrils help to replenish the room's oxygen supply between waves of the dinner rush.