Have you ever experienced a Maple Syrup coma? Well, I have – most recently at White Meadows Farms – and how sweet it is! In my years of driving up Effingham road would you believe I’ve never stopped until now? I know I say this somewhat often but – shame on me!
Nestled beside Short Hills Provincial Park, White Meadows Farm boasts a Pancake House, The Maple Sweet Shop, a Sugar Shack, an outdoor skating rink and a Sugar Bush Adventure. When the pancake house opened for the season in early January I knew that it was time to get my tush over there. And so, one morning before traveling the Niagara Region with my Niagara Icewine Festival Discovery Pass, a girlfriend and I headed over for breakfast.
Anticipation hurried my steps from the car through the cold winter air into the warm pancake house – called The Maple Lodge. Right away the smell of pancakes, coffee and maple syrup filled my nose and made my mouth water as I breathed it into my lungs.
As you walk towards the source of those sweet smells, the hallway opens up in to an impressive barn with wooden beam rafters and walls covered with floor to ceiling windows. The space was bright and had a nice view into the snow-covered country-side.
Breakfast is cafeteria style; each person grabs a bright orange cafeteria tray and makes their way down the line. But this isn’t any regular line – flanked in wood and complimented by the smiles of the wonderful staff this breakfast bar is stock full of country charm. First you order hot drinks – maple coffee or maple tea are available (among other choices) and are both quite nice. Although I am an avid tea drinker, I actually preferred the coffee. To treat myself I also indulged in some chocolate milk and their delicious maple butter (which has fudge-like characteristics).
The first time I visited I ordered The Pioneer – an impressive plate with a pancake, sausage, eggs and hash-browns. Thank goodness there is a pitcher (yes, a pitcher) of pure maple syrup on all tables because those small little maple syrup packages that you typically get at other restaurants just would not do in this case. And, I was eager to try their maple mustard – it was great on the sausages.
The second time I visited I brought Dave, my husband, along. Although their eggs and sausages and hash-browns are very good, this time I was more concerned with the pancakes. And so, I ordered the Niagara Gold – peaches, whipped cream and brown sugar atop two fluffy pancakes. Once I got some maple syrup on top it was fantastic! And, I ordered a side of the maple baked beans – also divine. Hubby ordered the Pioneer with an extra pancake of the day which was blueberry this time around. Within a mere 10-15 minutes our plates were clean … and on came our maple comas – heavenly things they are!
We sat and chatted over our maple coffees, smiles galore and enjoyed the winter sunshine as families came in with skates over their shoulders after having fun on the rink outside. When we had recuperated enough to walk, we headed over to The Maple Sweet Shop.
The maple goodies you will find in the shop number more than you can imagine. Maple sauces, granola, kettle corn, ice cream, candies, hand cream, syrup (of course), maple cheddar, chocolate and toffee (just to name a few). I could barely keep my shopping basket from spilling over. Hubby especially enjoyed the fresh-baked maple tarts and my favourite are the Maple Syrup Butter Crunch bars.
Best of all, I picked up my Sugar Bush tickets for the Adventure that starts at the Farm the weekend of February 9th. I am looking forward to bringing my in-laws and nieces when they come to visit. Naturally we will be indulging in breakfast before our Sugar Bush Adventure – I guess I will just have to enjoy it with another maple syrup coma. How sweet it is!