Travel Photo Credit: Brian Lasenby

Will Travel for Food: Paisley, Ontario

You always remember your first Iced Eddie.

On our annual pilgrimage to Lake Huron—to the family cabin on my wife’s side—the last hour is usually pedal-to-the-metal as we pick up the scent of suntan oil on the breeze. But one year we decided to stop a half-hour out, in a flyspeck town called Paisley.

A sign for “Back Eddie’s” sucked us in. Cool name—suggesting a countercurrent to the mainstream. Cool building: a century-old mill at a fork in the Saugeen River, now a coffee and sandwich shop.

Lake Huron (Photo: Brian Lasenby.)

I was more thirsty than hungry, and more hot than cold.

“Do you do an iced coffee?” I asked.

The hippie-ish looking young woman behind the counter just smiled.

If the last iced coffee you had was one of those treacly Starbucks Frappuccino syrup slammers, nothing will prepare your taste buds for an Iced Eddie.

The difference is…everything—starting with an espresso-strength shot of the café’s own organic “four-nation” blend, made from ethically sourced beans freshly roasted on site in a small-batch Turkish roaster.

But the secret ingredient is Mapleton organic espresso ice cream. It comes from a dairy an hour down the road where—I am not making this up—the cows voluntarily walk over to the milking area whenever they’re good and ready.

The server emerged from the back and offered the Iced Eddie, sacramentally, across the counter. I guzzled it standing up. There was a small commission outside. I was blocking the door. I didn’t even notice. My eyes were closed.

“How was it?” she said.

All I could manage to say in reply was: “Another, please.”

People nurse their Iced Eddies on the back deck, watching canoeists en route from Walkerton to Southampton pull in to re-provision. (The owners kicked around the idea of installing a “canoe-thru” window, but decided it wasn’t workable.) But we don’t do that any more. The service at Back Eddie’s can be slow—I imagine the cook’s mind is half on the sandwich he’s making and half on the bands that are coming for Friday night’s blues jam. So we always take our Iced Eddies to go.

Now if only we can figure out a way to get them back to Vancouver without them melting.

✈️ North Vancouver to Paisley, Ontario

Distance: 3,193 km
Travel Time: 6 hrs, 49 mins (4:22 flight, 2:27 drive)


Check back for more from our Will Travel for Food feature to discover the lengths our food-obsessed writers will go for one perfect bite. 

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