The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Oct. 22, 2014
Dominion House Tavern parks a food truck inside the kitchen for new menu
The Dominion House Tavern is changing their kitchen with a menu designed by food truck chef Billy Deslippe
While the City of Windsor and neighbourhood business improvement associations are falling behind the food truck trend, The Dominion House is parking a food truck right in the middle of their kitchen.
Looking to seriously up the food game in Sandwich Towne, Chris Mickle and Kristen Neil, owners of the Dominion House, have partnered with Billie Deslippe of The Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering and Food Truck to create a new menu for the 136-year-old Sandwich Towne institution.
“We have been thrilled and impressed by his work ethic and his food for the past two years working with him at various events and festivals,” said Mickle. “We wanted to do something new and exciting in the west end for our restaurant.”
“There’s going to be a lot of new additions, and the stuff that’s currently there I’m going to give a retweak,” explained Deslippe. “I came in to help them to increase food sales and get their kitchen to a place where they’re serving awesome food people need to eat.”
“I think putting my name on it to, I have to make sure that it’s going to be really good food because I’ve built my reputation on awesome food and I need to continue that standard wherever I put my name,” said Deslippe.
Mickle calls the menu a “game changer for food in the west end” due to the food truck inspiration, but also the fact all ingredients will be both fresh and local.
“We know that you’ll taste it in the food. If you don’t give back to your own community, why would your community support you? People expect more from the Dominion House, so we’re going to give it to them,” said Mickle about working with local food vendors.
“It’s a very heavy prep menu where everything is made in house, every single sauce we have is homemade,” he said, adding that while traditional pub fare will still be offered, management recognized a need to listen to what customer demands.
The Dominion House will feature two menus per year starting Nov. 1. New menu items include jalapeno cheddar and ale soup, coconut shrimp tacos, Thai lettuce wraps, Westcoast double-smoked BLT, chicken and brie grilled cheese with wild blueberry mayo, homemade pad thai and slow braised pulled pork.
“We’ve seen the success of the food truck rally, Windsor’s Fork and Cork and saw which vendors were knocking it out of the park, and it was all fresh ingredients, food truck inspired food,” said Mickle, who also organizes the annual Fork and Cork food festival. “It’s popular right now and to be honest, it’s delicious, so we want to hop on that truck.”
“Sandwich Towne is changing. I think finally evolving… it’s becoming more of a destination spot and local businesses and restaurants are really stepping it up.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.