Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tried an Essex County classic: Ducks on the Roof in Amherstburg

We spent more time than usual in the county lately. Last weekend we drove out to Amherstburg to check out Art By the River. Last Friday to start of the Labour Day weekend, we went out to Leamington and spent the day at the splash pad and Seacliff beach. On the way home we took highway 20 and went through Kingsville, Harrow and Amherstburg and tried to catch glimpses of the Tall Ships. Near the end of that trip home we passed by Ducks on the Roof. This is one of those places that's been there forever, a place my grand parents used to like to eat at. While passing my wife noted that she always wanted to try it. So we headed back out there last night.

Lots of wood, and ducks.
Ducks on the Roof was easy enough to find. It's on highway 20 about five minutes past Amherstburg. Which means it's about a 45 minute drive from most of Windsor. The place was very inviting with an unassuming outside and a very clean wood filled interior. Ducks on the Roof was, appropriately, filled with ducks. Brass ducks, wood ducks, decoys and more. Overall it had a very old school feel. Somewhat like a banquet hall. It brings back memories of the Legion and the Knights of Columbus while being more cosy and nicer than both.

French Onion soup and Walkerville Ale
The menu was a bit of a jumble. It looks like it started as one thing and then they decided to add an every night fish special. Then they decided to add a gluten free menu. Lastly they decided to offer a $20 Four Course meal option, which is also every night. It's kind of frankensteined. Their website shows this off well with different links to no less than 10 different menus. Having it all in a book in front of you it wasn't that bad though. It reminded me of The Lumberjack which I think suffers from the same problem of adding on to an originally large menu.

My wife went for the Every Night Fish Special which gives you a choice of 7 different seafood options for $15. She specifically chose the Coconut Crusted Tilapia. I went for the 4 Course Dinner Menu that included soup of the day, salad bar, choice of 1 of 7 entrees and desert. I'm a huge fan of schnitzel so went for the Breaded Pork Schnitzel in Mushroom Gravy.

Pork Schnitzel and Fettuccine Alfredo
The service was impeccable. I don't remember the last time we were treated quite this well. The waitress was very friendly and open and was very accommodating. For example the soup of the day was cream of mushroom. When she announced this I must have made a bad face as she immediately offered me some alternatives, from which I chose a small French Onion. The treatment was doubly impressive as we showed up very late. The restaurant closes at 9PM and we had reservations for 8PM. Even with the late hour they almost insisted I get coffee with my desert (A fantastic slice of Pumpkin Pie).

The food was great. It was exactly as advertised. Traditional casual food. It has that better than home cooked taste with no pretense. You won't find alioli, panko crusted or red pepper mayo here. You will find a perfectly cooked piece of meat in a traditional mushroom sauce. It's a style of food and cooking that I really enjoy.

Coconut Crusted Tilapia
Something about the place makes me want to bring the family here. I guess it's that KofC/Legion feel or something. This just seems like the perfect place to celebrate a birthday, or to have a family Christmas gathering. I would feel very comfortable at Ducks on the Roof sitting at a table of 16 and enjoying some great food.

Overall I was very impressed and didn't regret the drive out to the county at all. I'm very glad we tried the place out and I fully expect we will head back out there sometime. They have a very appealing sounding Sunday Brunch that I think would be well worth the trip. I also may just choose to host the next family get together there.


  1. I posted this to Facebook but I would also like the option to pin this terrific review. Please consider adding Pinterest. (my Pinterest audience is much bigger and more wide ranging, which would contribute to tourism.)

    1. Thank you for the comment. I personally just use the Pin IT button on my chrome toolbar, you can get it right on the pinterest site. It lets you pin anything from wnywhere on the web. That's actually the only way I know how to pin something. I'm guessing you have seen "Pin It" buttons on blogs before? I'm still pretty new to this and will have to look into that.