At the time this was written, the Kooky Canuck was known as Big Foot Lodge.
97 South Second Street
It’s been awhile since Andria took her (at the time, only) monkey to Big Foot Lodge; I actually had a reader chastise her for her mean-spirited review; and my mom has done nothing but extol the virtues of this place for months, so Warren and I decided to take Satchel (6) and Jiro (4) last week between their dentist appointments and the Redbird’s game. (Eating S’Mores seemed like an excellent way to celebrate their cavity-free-ness.)
First, I have to say that it was a lovely evening and we all enjoyed being able to walk everywhere we needed to go. The funniest part of our walk was when Satchel pointed to a tree stump along the mall and asked, “Did the Zoo do that?” I explained that the Zoo hadn't set their sites on downtown's landscaping...yet.
We arrived at Big Foot Lodge a little before six on a Tuesday night and found it pretty much packed with families. As we were being seated, Jiro said, “It’s @#$%& in here.”
“It’s what?” I asked.
“@#$%&,” he repeated.
“LOUD?” I said.
“CROWDED,” he repeated again.
“Yes, it is crowded,” I agreed. “And loud!”
The waitress gave the kids menus to color while Warren and I tried to figure out what to order for dinner. (The kids would have been happy to go right to the S’Mores portion of the meal.) Looking around I was amazed by how many people were eating the 4lb. Sasquatch burger. Not by themselves, of course. I saw several families of four split one as well as a table of three college looking dudes. At $21.99 I guess it actually made more sense to split one giant burger rather than order three or four $6.49 1/2lb. burgers.
Our waters quickly arrived, the kids’ in Styrofoam cups, and we placed our orders. Warren decided on the Deep Fried Cornish Hen ($9.99) which had come highly recommended by my mom. I decided to order the monkeys the Fish-n-Chips platter ($10.49) to split since Andria forewarned me that the $5.99 kids’ meals were a rip. I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted and made a last minute decision to get the Buffalo Chicken sandwich with strawberry jalapeno sauce. For some reason if Buffalo chicken is on a menu, I must order it. Besides, I just couldn't bring myself to order a Blackened Meatball Caesar--the other dish my mom raved about.
While we were ordering, Jiro decided to liven up everyone’s water with a packet of Sweet-n-Low. Mmmmm… (Luckily, I had several (refillable) bottles of water in my bag for the baseball game, so I was able to save Satchel from having a breakdown halfway through the meal when he didn’t think the sugar water was all that yummy anymore.) Meanwhile, Warren was flipping through a magazine he picked up by the door. I gave him a look and he said defensively, “What? It’s too loud in here for us to try and talk.”
Done coloring, both monkeys decided to crawl around the table.
“There’s gum under the table!” Satchel reported, clearly amazed. (He hadn't figured out yet that chewed gum could be placed somewhere other than in his mother's hand.)
A man not too far away from us decided to take the Sasquatch Burger Challenge, so we had something to focus on and talk about despite the high noise level in the restaurant.
“There’s no way he’s going to be able to eat that,” I said looking at the very antsy toddler in the seat next to the challenger.
“Only four people have done it, and one was a professional eater,” Warren added.
“How much money does he win?” Satchel asked.
“None,” I said. “He just gets to eat the burger for free.”
“He doesn’t win anything?” Satchel disappointedly said.
“Nope,” I said. “And he probably will have a really bad stomach ache when he’s done.”
“I don’t understand why he would eat it if he doesn’t get any money,” Satchel said.
“Well he would get his picture on the wall,” Warren noted.
That seemed to satisfy him, so I continued with my questions. “Do you have to eat the fries too?” I asked.
“It says you have to eat all the ‘fixins’,” Warren said looking at the menu.
“Even that whole pickle?” I marveled.
Our waitress came over with our food just then and confirmed that the challenger must in fact eat the pickle, but not the fries.
All of our meals were huge, albeit tiny compared to the Sasquatch plate. I split up the fish-n-chips, fries, and broccoli & cheese (the vegetable of the day) between the monkeys and they immediately started eating.
“This chicken tastes weird,” Satchel said.
“Probably because it is fish,” I said.
“I like it,” Jiro reported.
“Probably because it is beer-battered,” I said to Warren with a grin.
Warren was quite happy with his Cornish hen and sweet potato fries. Satchel was also very interested in the hen, so Warren gave him a nice chunk to eat, much to his delight.
My Buffalo chicken sandwich was…okay. Nothing special. The strawberry jalapeno sauce was a little overpowering. I wished that I’d ordered it on the side.
Jiro ate nearly everything on his plate, which was quite a feat, and Satchel lamented the fact that he didn’t get enough broccoli.
I was impressed.
Warren gave the monkeys his wishbone to break. Jiro got the wish side and I asked him, “What do you want to wish for?”
“That I could go to Enrique’s house forever,” he said.
“Forever?” I clarified.
“Yes, forever,” he said.
Since "forever" is a hard concept for a four-year-old to grasp, I decided to skip the part where I explained that he might want to wish for something less permanent.
The waitress came for our empty plates and I instructed her to bring on the S’Mores.
We made S’Mores at a bonfire on the beach just the week before so the monkeys were very excited about getting to make them again. The waitress brought over our safe flame, two Hershey bars, four doublewide graham crackers, and eight giant marshmallows. Fire at the table? The monkeys couldn’t believe their luck! Immediately, they began trying to burn the restaurant down.
Thankfully, their efforts were (largely) unsuccessful.
Warren deemed the S’Mores the perfect dessert and said they were even better than the ones we made at the beach, which were admittedly encrusted in sand.
As we waited for the check and made various bathroom runs, I had Warren identify all of the animal heads on the wall. I was surprised to discover that I could not identify a moose on my own. Or an antelope. Or wildebeest. Or a reindeer for that matter.
“Man, aren’t you glad we didn’t end up buying that nine foot giraffe head?” Warren said.
"Um, YES!" I said, but I was happy to see that we probably could have donated it to the restaurant in exchange for a lifetime of free Sasquatch burgers.
In all fairness to Andria's original review, I think it took folks around here awhile to catch on to the kid-friendliness of this place, and in turn, it took awhile for the staff to get used to dealing with loud families 24/7. And clearly she was responsible for the removal of the lobster tank because it definitely isn't there anymore!