local menu at canyon creek

Last week, Allan and I went out for dinner for his birthday, and he picked Canyon Creek as his restaurant of choice.

We discovered this local chain last year when craving steak, but not wanting to drop a ton of money on a high-end steakhouse. The food is good - not amazingly great, but quite good - and the atmosphere is subdued. We've tried Outback a few times before we found this place, but your red-meat craving has to be pretty strong to counteract the cloying, theme-park atmosphere. Canyon Creek is going for classy, as opposed to hilarious.

Good food, good service, a traditional steakhouse menu with some other more modern touches, and very affordable for this kind of food - definitely a nice treat for us while we're on a tight budget. And this time, something extra: a local menu.

Canyon Creek is featuring an Ontario-grown-and-produced fall menu, highlighted separately from the standard menu, and emphasized by the server. You can see a pdf of the menu here. Local products include mushrooms, potatoes, cranberries, a variety of autumn vegetables, chicken, beef, fish, and of course, Ontario wine.

I was so pleased to see this in a chain restaurant! It really shows how local eating has pierced the public consciousness, and this can go a long way to further that. I don't know if they also have a local, seasonal menu in the spring or summer, since in the warmer months, we're grilling our Ontario-raised beef on our patio.

Canyon Creek definitely fills a niche in the mid-price chain-restaurant market. While we were there, there were four or five tables full of an after-work, men-only crowd, with their ties loosened and their Blackberries on the table, several female-friend pairs, and a few tables of families with well-behaved children. It's not loud or bright or kitschy, the food is good, and it's a very good value. I recommend it for GTA omnivores.

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