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Sanford's On Deck · Aug 16, 07:40 AM

Huh… well…
I guess the first thing is to make sure you go to the bathroom before you get to Sanford’s On Deck for dinner. The bathroom not only lacks the necessary urinal cakes, but has separate hot/cold taps in the sink -so you either burn our hands or freeze them. I recently refinished my bathroom and a pedestal sinks with a single hot/cold water tap is quite inexpensive.
Take a look at this one at Home Depot for only $34.00.

I spent quite a bit more on m sink, but if someone had to replace a bathroom sink with something from at least the latter part of the 20th century, then IT SHOULD NOT BE THAT HARD TO DO!

The lack of soap added to the rustic experience of washing your hands in the restroom and the ‘Eau de Toilette’ fragrance permeated a good 6 feet from the bathroom door.

So. That being said I will get straight to the review. Trying not to be biased on my previous visits, I took this experience at face value for what it was: the only convenient place open on a Sunday afternoon (which I will get back to later in this post).

Sanford’s On Deck has been a popular place and long time watering hole for students of every flavour, tree planters, road crews, forest firefighters, hard working men and women and then some. It provides pool tables, foosball, darts, a jukebox with a wide variety of tunes (rock to jazz to country to ska to etc.- something for everyone) and is home to many a pool and dart tournament.

They also provide, free of charge, pleasantly salted popcorn to wash down the draft.

On a Friday night it is a great place to swill back a few drinks with some good friends. And for that, it is deserving of a good many stars for it’s ambiance, service and steady flow of attractive young university students and hardened working class civilians, all out for a stiff drink, hard conversation and a good time.

But this was Sunday afternoon and we were here to eat.

I had the pizza.
Pizza pizza pizza. can’t go wrong with pizza.
They do carry the usual pub fare, but the all dressed pizza is affordable ($7.95) and was garnished with fresh chunks, and I mean CHUNKS of real mushrooms, bacon, green peppers, etc, etc..

The crust was thin and the size of the pizza was something that I could eat pretty well in one sitting, maybe taking a piece or two home for the late night munchies. But I could easily eat it all in one beer’s time.

All seemed good – seemed good. If I was drunk, or getting drunk and had a pretty girl on my arm, I would not have paid much attention to the long brown hair in the melted cheese. Had there been more cheese, I would have probably eaten the hair that hung from the large chunk of mushroom and green pepper.

But I was not drunk. And I did notice the hair in my pizza. But heck, I have eaten worse. at least I thought I did until I noticed the hair still had the follicle attached to it.

But let’s not get stuck on the hair.

The crust was thin and dry, and I assume that the oven was too hot, drying the crust before the cheese and toppings could brown.

I assumed at this point that the other regular pub fare on the menu – fish’n’chips, wings, yadda yadda – would be about the same quality but a bit more greasy.

So to sum up the entire experience of dining at Sanford’s On Deck is to take a piss before you go, get drunk before you order your meal and all will be fine until you wake up the next day and find a half eaten hair in your cold pizza.

However, the venture was not a waste. We did not intend to go the Sanford’s On Deck when we set out this fine Sunday afternoon.

Our original destination was a newish place on Cumberland Ave. near Hodder Ave. called Chachi’s Drive In. But as we soon found out (which we should have known already) that Thunder Bay Fast Food rolls up the sidewalks Saturday, leaving everything closed except dark lonely pubs and Moose Halls and Lodges (oh my!).

As we drove around downtown Port Arthur looking for those hidden gems we did spot a few places that we will review soon including a Mexican/Canadian diner (closed on Sunday), a Jamaican/Canadian diner (closed on Sunday) and a place called Ruby Moon (open on Sunday) which looks pretty classy and will try to make it into our fine dining category.

So for all you tourists coming in to Thunder Bay to grab something to eat, remember that many of Thunder Bay’s “Hidden Gems” are closed on Sunday. The ones that are open usually have a bar or are very franchised and almost always employs a ‘regular’ named Moe to sit at the bar and boast his views on the waterfront development.

In the end, it is great to see more ethnic restaurants in Thunder Bay, but sad to learn that eating at Sanford’s On Deck requires a substantial amount of alcohol to numb the mind and kill any bacteria that may be lingering on the hair in your food.

And remember, when eating at Sanford’s – There is a little bit of Sanford in every bite!

Google Map Sanford’s On Deck

On a last note, for those wanting to take home a few beers after hours, just go to the outdoor patio for ‘a smoke’ and hop the fence (with beers in hand) nearest Cumberland St. Or pass them to your partner in crime waiting on the other side.

But beware! There are cameras looking over the smoker’s patio, so Sanford may post your photo and ban you next time. Sanford is a good and honest law abiding man and a stickler for rules. All due respect is, and should always be given to him.

But you did not hear ‘the great beer heist’ from me. I would never ever ever do such a thing. ;-P Nor do I assume any liability for spilled beer or names/photos on the “DO NOT SERVE” list.

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Visitor Reviews, Comment, & Responses from Owners.

  1. Dude, wish I’d read your warning before I ate here the other night. We had the pizza and some mozza sticks and even after a pitcher of cheap draft I could still taste the gross in my mouth.

    On the bright side though, it is a fun hang out spot with lots of pool tables and our waitress was a smokin’ hot babe.
    rjmax    Jan 31, 09:58 PM    #
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Update: Hutch's Variety Part 2 - JFC: Some of The Best Food in Thunder Bay Chachi's Drive In