Sometimes trying a restaurant without any preconceived notions as to what to expect can be extremely rewarding. I’ve always enjoyed the adventure of skimming a menu that hangs outside a restaurant, stepping in and trying a dish or two. In most cases I’m pleasantly surprised.
Most of the pubs that I have dined in the past five years have had good food on their menus – there were only a few minor exceptions, which I won’t name at this time. This past weekend we satisfied our hunger at the Coach and Lantern Pub in Ancaster, Ontario.
With an entrance-way in a small courtyard (that probably offers a pleasant patio in the summertime), and nestled in the basement of the building, the Coach and Lantern is cozy, homey and has a true pub feel. A “tin” ceiling, wood beams, gleaming wood bar stuffed with a multitude of different bottles, and comfy, slightly scuffed up tables and chairs make you feel completely at home.
The staff is very friendly and attentive – something that some wait staff in the “better” restaurants in downtown Toronto could brush up on. There’s no hovering over the pub guests, just a nice smile and quick service.
The menu is standard with a few minor twists. Chef Ramsay’s Crab Cakes stand out in the appetizers, as do the Deep Fried Dill Cucumbers. I’ll have to try these next time I roll into town.
The sandwiches and entrees are pretty standard fare – we opted for the Classic Coach Burger, which is easy to compare against other burgers we have tried in the past. We were pleasantly surprised by how it was presented and the freshness of the ingredients.
I had my burger with cheese, and sweet potato fries as the side (with spicy aioli sauce for dipping). Nothing fancy, but what stood out was the juicy burger patty, the crisp bun and most importantly the fresh lettuce. There’s nothing worse than seeing a wilted lettuce with brown spots along the edges. It shows that the chef doesn’t care for presentation or the quality of the ingredients.
Best of all, the food was delicious and tasted like REAL food.
The prices are decent – two burgers, and two pints cost approximately $40 plus tip. The location is easy to find and parking is plentiful along the street. As we were leaving the pub, a band was setting up in the corner – however, we can’t provide you with a review of the quality of music played as we missed it.
I would recommend the Coach and Lantern pub in Ancaster to anybody who is visiting the area. I’ll definitely be going back!
Coach and Lantern Pub
384 Wilson St E
Ancaster, Ontario L9G 2C2