Monday, 8 October 2012

Review: Half Moon Drive In (Lockport, MB)

I was in Winnipeg a few weeks ago for yet another job interview (for a position I didn't end up getting), while in Winnipeg I usually stay with family in Birds Hill Park, a 20 minute drive east of Winnipeg.

Close by Birds Hill Park is the town of Lockport, which is famous in Manitoba for having the St Andrews Lock & Dam. Also, Lockport is known for having a wide variety of diners, burger stands and fast food joints for such a small community, though much of it has to do with its proximity to Winnipeg.

One popular restaurant is Half Moon Drive In, a 60s themed diner that serves burger, fries, hot dogs and ice cream. I first heard of Half Moon Diner back in 2009, it was the very first non-chain restaurant in Manitoba that I heard used curds for their poutine rather than shredded cheese - as shredded cheese was (still is) the norm for Manitoban eateries. It took me until September to finally give Half Moon a visit.

I made the 15 minute or so drive from Bird's Hill Park to Half Moon, I wasn't particularly hungry but I needed to finally try their poutine already. I ordered a hamburger and poutine. After a 10-15 minute wait, I took the poutine and burger with me back to Bird's Hill Park.... the drive felt 3x longer than usual.

The decor at Half Moon was a nice 60s themed diner, yet looked like it was renovated within the past few years, a nice clean look compared to some other 60s themed diners in this neck of the woods.
The aroma of a freshly grilled burger and the yumminess of the potato/gravy/curd mixture was a bit overwhelming to my gut on the 15 minute drive, I just wanted to eat it then and there. As you know, it's best to eat your poutine ASAP, so a 15 minute drive wears down a poutine a bit by melting the cheese and softening the fries, but hey.. it was still going to be good!

I started off by eating the burger, which had a powerful flame broiled aroma, and boy.. it was tasty!

My gut kept telling me "hurry up and eat that damned poutine already!" Holy eff.. the poutine must have weighed at least two pounds in its styrofoam container. It was enough poutine for 2.5 people, and I wasn't even that hungry.. but I never waste poutine, even if it's a bad one.

The mountain of poutine had fresh home cut fries, a thick dark brown beefy gravy and a nice helping of squeaky white curds (I'm assuming they're Bothwell Curds).

For the $5.50 or so that the poutine cost, it was a lot of poutine for your buck, which is always a good thing. The fries were a bit soft and mushy though instead of crispy, though that could be my fault by leaving it in its styrofoam container for 15 minutes before eating it. The gravy, incredibly thick, dark brown and a bit beefy was your average poutine gravy, similar to fast food-style gravies such as Burger King's and A&Ws gravy - a bit of a soupy taste to it, but unlike the fast food poutines, the thick gravy held everything together instead of acting like a watery soup. The curds.. by the time I opened the container, it was a thick gooey curdy mess. Most people who prefer shredded cheese in their poutine over curds generally prefer it because of the gooey texture the cheese gives off.. well no shredded cheese "poutine" can match this, the curds had the nice squeak that a fresh curd should have, plus a great amount of stringiness that could stretch miles without snapping!

As I was eating the poutine, I quickly found that I could not possibly eat the entire poutine, but.. hey.. I did it! It was sure more poutine than I am accustomed to eating, especially with trying to "diet".

Overall, it was money and a drive well spent! Affordable, friendly staff, great atmosphere, and not to forget a delicious poutine - I was impressed by Half Moon and I'm looking forward to another poutine food baby next time I'm in that neck of the woods.