Doc Malone’s is located at 118 Bradford St, Barrie, Ontario, on the corner of Bradford and Victoria. At around 11, while waiting for the northern lights to show up, I’d gotten hungry and we went for a drive to find a restaurant that was open this late at night. After not to long a drive, we ended up passing by this place which looked pretty banging from the outside; there were a lot of people there for a Tuesday night. Taking a quick check on Google Maps, the pub/bar was only 200m away from the waterfront, which was nice, but it doesn’t offer a view of the water from the patio. The menu was quite extensive for such a small place, and the list of draught beers was impressive.

The second season of Jersey Shore aired just a few days before our Barrie trip and when skimming the menu, one thing jumped out immediately. Deep fried pickles. If you follow the show, that should mean something. Needless to say, we ordered it just to try it.

The pickles had been cut into wedges and then deep fried, and came with a side of soft dill-infused cream cheese. Now, I don’t like eating a lot of pickles in one sitting, but I managed to get through three wedges. The crusty exterior was both crunchy and flavourful, but the highlight of this was, hands down, the dipping sauce. So, so delicious.

For my main course, I ordered the French Beef Dip on garlic bread, I think it was called, with a side of Caesar salad. The salad was surprisingly delicious. Fresh, cold (but not too cold), and crisp. There were plenty of croutons and the salad wasn’t drenched in dressing. When it came time to try the sandwich, I was excited, as everything leading up to it had been wonderful. However, when I took that first bite, I was sorely disappointed to say the least. The bread had no flavour nor texture, no crust nor substance. The thinly sliced beef was dry and tough and tasted faintly of cardboard. The dipping sauce they provided for the sandwich was merely the leftover juice from cooking the beef, I presume. They could have easily salvaged the sandwich by thickening up the sauce with some cornstarch and flavouring it with a little grated peppercorn, something!

I made the best of the situation, however, being very hungry, but spreading the above-mentioned dill cream cheese on the sandwich and it helped it go down a bit better. The creaminess of the sauce made the entire thing less dry and added a great flavour that complimented the beef’s sordid flavour offerings. It also helped to have a pint of Stella on hand to smooth things over.

Aside from the sandwich, the other foods had gone above and beyond my expectations of the little pub. Their decor was charming; the condiments kept in vintage beer bottle carrying things and a jukebox hidden in the back. It had a nice atmosphere, but our waitress seemed a bit angry with the world, borderline rude and uncaring. However, we just assumed she was having a bad day, but the service was pretty good. She kept an eye on our table and came back often to check if everything was to our standards, which was nice.

Being that we just stumbled upon the place accidentally, I didn’t get to read up on some online reviews, because if I had, I would’ve ordered burgers and wings, which are supposedly the best in town. I doubt I’ll ever go back up here, in Barrie, but if I do, that’s what I would order.