Gravenhurst was about forty minutes away in the municipality of Muskoka. The trip was tedious, if anything, as landmarks of interest were scarce along the curves of Hwy 11. A curated playlist of upbeat tunes aided in relieving tension. I was nowhere thrilled to be potentially engaging in another meal at Dock of the Bay and thus was promised alternatives when we neared the port.
The skies were dreary, unlike our last visit. This didn't stop half of our party from parading the port with noise pollution, however. Rather, a lengthy period of snapping touristy photos ensued before we could gather the entirety of the group for lunch.
We weren't exactly given an option for our table - the half apron-clad waitress/hostess had adopted a "take it or leave it" attitude, gesturing to the only arrangement she was willing to offer our party given the current volume of traffic. Though I understand that some tables cannot be merged to accommodate larger groups due to lack of space and fire hazards, it would have been customary to provide guests with the alternative of waiting for a better view.
Food quality varied across the dishes. The Mushroom Soup was watery yet somehow chunky; boldly flavoured, it was not for the faint of heart for mushroom detest-ers (such as orangecane). A side of shredded mozzarella served to contribute depth in a straightforward manner.
The Chicken Salad Sandwiches were possibly the highlight of the entire dish - or should I say dishes. A mixture of chicken, mayonnaise, and celery was compressed within a multigrain loaf, then sliced at nonuniform diagonals for maximum inequality. One-dollar bacon strips were toasted to the point where brittleness prevailed, and one could savour nothing of its chewy, crisp personality. It was undeniably sustenance in its most basic form.
The worst of all was the teaspoon of strawberry jam. Shiny, synthetic, and sugary, I was appalled at the three-component manifestation.
Conclusively speaking, The Blue Willow is an establishment that is absolutely average in all aspects. Besides the somewhat distant view of the port and accessible entrance/bathroom, it quickly earned itself a spot on the Never To Return list.