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You Gotta Eat Here, but you might as well also bowl here.

That’s one of our crew’s working philosophies as we travel this amazing country in search of great food. We bowl in every single city with an alley. It’s become an obsession of mine — though that certainly hasn’t led to an improvement in my scores. I even bought bowling shoes to help out my game (confession: they haven’t). We usually play five-pin — but on the East Coast they have candlepin bowling, which is mix of five-pin and 10-pin and way harder.

YGEH! goes out of its way to visit locations that are outside of major cities; we won’t shy away from places that are difficult to get to. We love a good road trip! This is a show about Canada and Canadian restaurants and there are tons of eateries outside of urban centres that are well worth the journey.
Everyone has their travel traditions — that favourite restaurant where they just gotta eat on the way home from the cottage or visiting their grandmother, or to stop the kids from asking, “are we there yet?” Yes kids, we’re there!
Tundra-Inn-Restaurant

The You Gotta Eat Here! episode featuring the Tundra Inn premieres tonight at 9:30ET/6:30PT.

This coming season, in Churchill, MB, we visit the Tundra Inn and Pub, where they specialize in Northern comfort food like elk pie. It’s the farthest distance we’ve travelled for the show; it took us two days to get there, but it was totally worth it.
Now, we couldn’t drive to Churchill — there aren’t any roads. You can only get there by train or plane. So you can imagine how pleased everyone on the plane was to hear my very special version of “I’ll Be There for You.” We were there in the summer, beluga whale season, which is followed by polar bear season — so if we had stuck around, maybe we would have gone from ordering off a menu to being on the menu. Seriously, they’ll eat you.
Elk-Meatloaf

Get the recipe here for the elk meatloaf from the Tundra Inn & Pub in Churchill, MB!

In Kimberley, B.C., you’ll see us visit the The Peddle and Tap. Kimberly is an Alpine mountain town in the Kootenays. It takes forever to get to because the roads wind all the way around the mountains. The restaurant is bicycle-themed and I got to ride a really old school tricycle. Also, I’m not very good at riding old school tricycles. I am good at eating pasta and these guys make Meat and Spaghetti Balls. That’s right. They make balls out of the pasta, toss them with cheese and then deep fry them. Delicious!

Hey John, has anything weird happened to you on the road? Funny you should ask, Reader. Why yes it has.

We almost hit a moose during Season 1 in Cape Breton, NB. We had been told by the locals to be wary of moose in the area. And we were like, pffft, okay… We were on the highway going back from the restaurant to hotel, and we were coming around this bend, and we saw a set of lights coming towards us. We quickly made the realization that the car ahead had actually just stopped. For a moose. When we did the same, the moose came up to the passenger’s side and tried to jump the roadway railing. It screwed up and jumped on our car a little bit and then found its path. Everyone basically peed their pants. But I got the last laugh the next season when I ate a Pulled Moose Sandwich at Chafe’s Landing in Petty Harbour, Nfld. Point: Catucci.

Cod-Cakes

Get the recipe for Codfish Cakes from Chafe’s Landing here

When you’re on the East Coast and you get to these small fishing villages like Lunenburg, NS, it looks like a postcard. And if you haven’t seen Tofino, you’re basically going to pee your pants it’s so pretty. There’s just nothing else in Canada that looks like it. It’s perfect!
Magnolias-Grill

Working up an appetite outside of Magnolia’s Grill in beautiful Lunenburg, NS! Get the delicious lobster linguini recipe from Magnolia’s Grill here. (Yum!)

Many Canadians don’t really get to see much of the country, but it truly has been one of the perks of this gig — despite the long hours away from home. As a comedian, I’d visited major cities like Vancouver — but never had the chance to drive around and tour the countryside. This country is gorgeous, and it’s so vast that you kind of forget how many different looks it has!
Old-Crow-Cafe

We’ve learned that no distance is too far for a great meal. Take The Old Crow Café in Gabriola Island, B.C., where we visited in Season 3. Getting there was a full-day trek from Vancouver. We took the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, then drove up to Courtenay, and finally took another ferry over to Gabriola. But it was all worth it for a taste of Chef Darrin Boyko’s Halibut Togarashi Tacos.

Is your mouth watering yet? How far would you go for great food? In this country, you’ll never run out options as long as you stay clear of moose!

Be sure to catch up on episodes of You Gotta Eat Here! 

This is an abridged version of a blog post that originally appeared in The Huffington Post Canada. To read John Catucci’s full post go here.

 

Related:
Watch YGEH! visit Chafe’s Landing restaurant in St. John’s, NL.
Watch YGEH! visit the Magnolia’s Grill in Lunenburg, NS.
Watch YGEH! visit the Wildside Grill in Tofino, BC.