Barrie Uncovered

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EAT YOUR WAY RIGHT ACROSS THE COUNTRY!

ARE YOU A “FOODIE”?

From one coast to another there are a lot of “foodies” in Canada.  We have such cultural ethnicity.  The other thing that we have is an extremely diverse landscape with each Province and Territory offering up their own uniqueness.  On top of that we have our local areas which have many different menus to tantalize us even further.

Starting on the East Coast we can try everything from a Jigg’s Dinner, Lobster Rolls to Screech Rum.  As we head into Quebec we all seem pretty familiar with Poutine, maple syrup and tortierre.

It’s in Ontario where things become a little different.  Here we are certainly known for our outstanding wineries and craft breweries, but our favorite foods are as diverse as the population!  We have our seasonal treats like corn on the cob or garden fresh toasted tomato sandwiches, however as food goes – I think our diversity shines in our “street eats”.

If you were to Google the favorite food in Toronto you’d likely find it’s a veal sandwich, Ottawa – Beaver Tails, Barrie – Skewers, a Korean BBQ restaurant and so on. (https://skewersks.com) We have different flavors on every corner it seems.

As we head into Manitoba it becomes very particular again.  There you’d find mouth-watering pickerel most often pan-fried with a bit of butter.  Saskatoon actually got its name from the all-important Saskatoon berry either made into a pie or jam.  Alberta is beef, beef, and more beef, with Vancouver being salmon and of course Nanaimo bars.  In Nunavut we find the somewhat strange Muktuk (fried whale) or, surprisingly…Shwarma!  Finally, in the Northwest Territories, we are told Arctic Char and game meats such as caribou and muscox are the favorites.

Travelling through Canada is divine for “foodies”.  We have so many very unique tastes to savor.  Again though, I have to say how nice it is to be in Central Ontario – Barrie to be exact.  I love our diverse menu offerings.  There are so many exciting flavors!  One of the “favs” for sure is the Korean Street Food found at Skewers, just up from Downtown at 9 Clapperton Street.  Don’t take my word for it though – go ahead – try it for yourself!

SKEWERS

EVEN THROUGH THE CONSTRUCTION!

OMG! Freshly grilled! And that sauce…Mmmm! Where did you get that? It looks and smells delicious! Good Heavens….here I am on Clapperton Street following take out in someone’s hands down the sidewalk!! Finally, almost running I called out, “From Where?”
At last, he turned and called out, “Skewers at # 9!”

I know where I’m going – right now! It was a bleak day just after the noon hour and my tummy was really rumbling. Those same delicious and tantalizing smells enveloped me as I finally reached # 9 on Clapperton Street in Barrie. I had managed to make it through all the construction and it was now time to satisfy my hunger urge.

FOUND IT! SKEWERS AT #9 CLAPPERTON

In I go. Oh, nice! Clean and bright! I was so hungry now, ready to check out the menu and happy there was an eating area, as I was famished. Such a cool place – and then I met Luke.

Luke seemed to recognize that I hadn’t been in before and was hungry. Offering me some dumplings as I checked out the menu, I was as surprised as I was pleased. The dumplings were wonderful and the menu easy. 

I decided I’d ask the story behind the menu choices. You see I felt lucky as the restaurant wasn’t overcrowded and Luke seemed to have a few moments to chat.

What I couldn’t understand was why there wasn’t a line right out the door and down the street, COVID or not!
After discussing the choices, the decision was made – A Bulgogi Beef sandwich with a salad. Luke insisted that I try it just how it comes, no additions – just to enjoy the full experience.

DARE TO DREAM

Everything was being prepared right in front of me, so I asked Luke just what his story was.  

So two guys, Luke and Miles (his Korean business partner) had spent years designing restaurant equipment and just wanted something more.  Enter Korean street food!  A fresh concept for the City of Barrie.  Simple and Oh so Yummy!  However, the timing just couldn’t have been worse!  Such an incredible start…the lunch and dinner crowds were happy and the after bar crowd loved the fresh easy street food!  Then everyone was struck by the Pandemic – no more open to the public – just delivery or curbside, no after bar crowd at all!  Everything shut down.

HELP US - HELP OUR DOWNTOWN

On top of that disaster, the much-needed construction downtown topped it all! Could or should the construction have been delayed, allowing business owners to regain some of their footing? It’s a hard call. The construction is necessary and did employ some people, but simply couldn’t have come at a worse time. As Pandemic protocols lightened, the downtown core remains a ghost town. These guys had put their life savings into a dream. Can they hold out? NOT WITHOUT OUR HELP!! We all need to recognize the business owners in our Downtown, like Skewers. The dreams and ambitions of these two men must not be lost. Their tantalizing simple Korean street food needs to be kept. Everyone, we must support the diversity of cuisine in Barrie. I know…I tasted it…and I’ll be back!! My Beef Bulgogi sandwich was fantastic.

Make it happen “Barrie-ites”! Make Skewers a destination!

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