Emma’s Back Porch, Burlington, Ontario

Early January in Burlington is cold as balls. Cold…as…balls.

So taking a stroll downtown on a Saturday night in January quickly goes from sounding like a good idea to feeling like you’re close to an icy death. That chill coming off Lake Ontario ain’t no joke.

As pretty as Spencer Smith park looks with all the Christmas decorations still in place, we needed to get indoors – stat.

Emma’s Back Porch was recommended by a friend, so we popped in for dinner…and were soon very glad that we did.

This place looks like it would be a great pub to hang out and watch the game, situated as it is right on the lake. It has plenty of room to stand, a load of TV screens, and tons of tables. Most importantly, it feels like a proper pub – free of gimmicks and that soulless ‘chain bar’ vibe.

But we weren’t there for booze or televised sports on this occasion, just for some grub. Friendly staff showed us to a table away from the noise of the main bar, and we immediately discussed how we definitely have to come back to Emma’s for drinks as soon as we can find a babysitter to set us free.

I needed no arm twisting to order a pound of breaded Buffalo wings with blue cheese dip. It is, undoubtedly, the food of the gods. And the description of the breading as “a light dusting” only put a cherry on top of an already sealed deal.

Mrs Gangsta went for the fish tacos, and she was most definitely impressed by her meal. My wings were very good, with my only slight complaint being that the blue cheese dip was a little sweeter than I’d have liked.

Baby Gangsta was far too interested in sweet-talking the staff to take more than a nibble of his pizza from the kiddies menu, but that was more to do with bad timing on our part than the food itself.

With a superbly stocked bar, great views, a lively but welcoming atmosphere, and lovely staff, we will certainly return to Emma’s Back Porch. It goes right to the top end of our list of favourite places to eat in Burlington.

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