John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.14.06
Fool's Hollow, Quebec


A Red Meat Day At The Cow Palace

DERBY CENTER, VT | If you're a Vegan, read no further.

This here piece is about red meat and whiskey followed by pie and ice cream.

Last Sunday (06.11.06), another rainy day in Paradise on the US-Canadian Border, the Silver Fox and I took my brother and his wife (hereinafter referred to as the Nouveau Floridians) out for lunch down in the States.

First, we worked up an appetite with a tour of the new Granite Museum and Exhibit Centre in downtown Stanstead, Quebec. The Noveaus were impressed.

Then, after presenting our passports to the agent of the Homeland Securitaté at the Derby Line entry port, we moseyed on down Route 5 some four miles to The Cow Palace, at the junction of Routes 5 and 105 East.

There is an elk ranch behind the restaurant. They received but a brief, but friendly, glance because of the rain. We walked under the welcoming arch of elk antlers - very horny, very pointy, very impressive to non-Peta diners - and were seated by our lovely waitress Heidi at a table with a rear-window view (more on this in a bit).

The décor is wood highlighted by mounted elk, deer, and moose heads with racks, stuffed turkeys and partridges. It was okay by me but some Friends of the Frontier Animal Society or Greyhound Rescue might be put off their feed.

For 'befores' I ordered a Jameson's Irish whiskey. It came in a substantial glass, about three fingers deep in amber whiskey. I entered Heidi's name on my prayer list.

The others had coffee but sampled my Irish.

Right to the point: I ordered a pound of steak, done medium rare, and it was the best steak I have had in a long time. Garlic mashed, and very fine, too. A trip to the salad bar, which was modest but fresh, crisp, and delicious.

Dessert was a large slice of warmed pecan pie, baked on the premises, and generously topped with a rich vanilla ice cream.

My fellow eaters had skewered sirloin tips with frites or baked potatoes. Custard pie. Everything called excellent.

The coffee, served in large mugs, was strong and good and outdistances the pale slop served in most local restaurants here on the border.

About that rear-window view: We could see part of the large herd of elk and many substantial antlers. When one stood up in the rain, it would shake itself vigorously and, for a moment, be fully encased in a fine mist of spray. Interesting to watch.

Here's the negative part: Between the rear dining room window and the elk pasture is a large, ugly dumpster. On Sunday, it was guarded by a pile of discarded cardboard boxes.

Ah, Heidi, I pissed and moaned, couldn't Management put up a lattice work fence to hide that stuff? Such good food, such a bummer of a view.

One final carp: The ladies said the Women's Rest Room was neat and clean. I checked out the Men's Rest Room but it was said to be Out Of Order, so I cannot report on the interior conditions.

Summary: We ate good, were treated well, and will return. But not with my animal-loving grandchildren or my vegan cousin from London.