Saturday, 8 September 2007

Top End Restaurant and Tavern - Neustadt

Neustadt Ontario. I had never heard of it either. Why might it be famous? Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was born there. Located North of the 401, East of London, West of Woodstock, this time little community was founded by German immigrants who tried to recreate a European village in Canada.

Mr Pankratz and myself went specifically to a shop that was at one time an old mill. In the basement of the mill was tunnels. When we enquired about the purpose of the tunnel, the proprietress said it was from smuggling alcohol from the next door brewery during prohibition, and that tunnels connected to all the local hotels. We headed over to the brewery, which we thought doubled as a restaurant, but found out from the sign on the front door: "we are not a restaurant or a pub. We only sell alcohol". They told us about 3 restaurants to try out in Neustadt: one was just a greasy spoon, another Noah's, was a pricey upscale affair. The third, was a local tavern that served wings and had a garlic bread to die for.

In this small village, we actually got lost trying to find the Top End. An old house converted into a tavern, the Top End refers to its location in Neustadt, not to its high class profile. The furniture is early 90's, the decor is a hanging motorcycle, and a stage that doubles for live bands or karaoke. It's not pretty, but you can bet this place is jumping on a Friday or Saturday night.

Of course, we weren't there for music or atmosphere - we were just hungry, and I was looking forward to some wings.


STYLE: dusted then deep fried
SAUCES: mild/medium/hot/insane/honey garlic & plum/
Caribbean jerk/sweet & sour
SIZE: 1.5/2
HEAT: 6/10
PRICE: Eat in: $0.65 per wing Take out: $0.70
SIDES: 0/7 none
WING NIGHT: Wednesday & Thursday all day - $0.60 per wing
OTHER/SPECIAL: wing bowl, patio
TOTAL: 21.5/35

I was pleasantly surprised by these wings. They were saucy, crispy and tasty. The size were big, close to jumbo. Everyone felt like a meal in its own. There was a nice dusting which gave a nice crunch to every bite.

The sauce was also nice. The hot had a nice nip to it, and the flavour was not simple butter and Frank's. I want to say it had a tomato hint, but it wasn't tomato. I have a hard time differentiating flavours and ingredients. All I know was that it had a nice, thick texture to it. And it was good. On the side I tried their inferno, and our good friend 3rd Degree made another appearance.

We also took the advice of the woman at Neustadt Brewery about the garlic bread, getting it fully loaded with cheese and bacon. It was good, but I'm pretty sure the bread had been frozen and the bacon was just bacon bits, but it was tasty.

Mr Pankratz went with the Club sandwich, and it sure looked good. They used chopped roasted chicken instead of shaved loaf, and real meaty strips of bacon. A good choice to go with for sure.

FINAL SCORE: Outside was a patio with picnic tables, but the inside was much more comfortable with its air conditioning. The wings came with a wing bowl, but our drinks were pretty watered down with ice. Service was friendly, and most importantly, the food was good. While the pricing was odd, and wing night isn't huge savings, these big wings are pretty good. Its doubtful you'll ever be 'in the area' but head north of Stratford for these tasty wings. Click HERE to see some crazy finds antiquing. 21.5/35

The Top End Restaurant & Tavern
738 Queen St
Neustadt, On


Anonymous said...

There is an awesome new cafe in Neustadt, they have coffee, cookies, smoothies and soup toooo die for. It is a neat little coffee and used book store check it out located on Mill Street right by Granny's. You will love the coffee and food.

Lord of the Wings said...

Anon - Thanks for the tip. I haven't been back to Neustadt since (far out of my way now) but if I do, might just check them out. What is their name?

Thanks for checking out the blog!

Alex said...

Let me guess, you didn't try the beer. They have awesome local brew that they sell on tap at the tavern. I am a big fan. It is definitely a cool sleepy town.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Alex - I didn't (I don't really drink) but glad to hear they serve local and its good. Thanks for stopping in!

Tyrone said...

Wanna know something neat? My parents and I used to own it before it turned into "The Top End Restaurant" and was known as "The Green Tree Restaurant & Bar". That was back in 1994. I grew up living there, upstairs, on weekends when not in school. I live far from Neustadt now, but brings back memories. Thanks for the blog!

Lord of the Wings said...

@Tyrone - Thanks for the history and for stopping by the blog!

Anonymous said...

And before that it was the Locust Tavern, so named for the big locust tree by the patio. It's much nicer now. And new owners again, the bike is gone and the decor is muted somewhat. Still great food and beer.