The Food That I Come Home To

Posted by on October 14, 2015

Those that have met me likely don’t think “I bet that tall skinny photographer fella loves eating.”  Oh but I do.  I’ve been fortunate in that my camera has sent me on some great adventures across North America and all of these trips have involved food; from road side stands, fast food chains** at rest stops, Texas BBQ, ocean side fish shacks and everything in between.

But my absolute favourite two meals aren’t from Nashville, Boston, Chicago or Malibu.  They’re from my hometown of Peterborough, Ontario.

Minutes outside of Peterborough in the village of Keene sits Muddys Pit BBQ.

Muddy's Pit BBQ Pig statue sign

With hardwood fed smokers cooking meat “low and slow” and a BBQ shack adorned with highway signs, antlers, merchandise and bottles of hot sauce; Muddy’s serves up the best BBQ I’ve ever had.

collage of signs at Muddy's Pit BBQ

My favourite is the Carnivore Sampler, which is served by the pound on a sheet of butcher paper and includes mouth watering brisket, sausage, pulled pork and ribs and sets you back only $12 and is enough to share (But you won’t want to).  Add some cold tea, lemonade or one of the great beers from local craft breweries like Smithworks Brewing Company to wash it down and a pickle or salad to compliment the meat and you’re set. (my favourite is the coleslaw)   And if you still have room (you likely won’t) try their pie or cookies.

carnivore sampler from Muddy's Pit BBQ

The Carnivore Sampler

Be sure to check their Facebook page for their hours (They’re open until December 27th this year).   They offer take out and catering and have a big TV if you want to watch the game while you eat.   Bring some quarters for the vintage pinball machine and look for the summer concert schedule which showcases some great local bands.

You’ll find Muddy’s on County Road 2 just west of the 4 way stop in Keene.

I’m showing my age here but I’m proud to have eaten at both of the Hot Belly Mama’s locations.   Their original Water Street location & their current and best known location at 378 George Street North.

Hot Belly Mama's sign outdoor

Like Muddy’s, Hot Belly Mama’s is also amazingly decorated with an colourful assortment of New Orleans signage, instruments and figures that reflects their wide ranging menu offering authentic Cajun cuisine.

Hot Belly Mama's signage

I’ve likely tried everything on the menu but I’ll tell you my 100% must have, last meal on earth.

To start:

1 cold bottle of Sol

If you’d prefer something local, then their best selling Red Fife Wheat Ale, brewed next door at the Olde Stone Brewery is a must.


A bowl of the best soup in the world – Hot Belly’s Corn soup.  This is a meal in itself but so very good.  (Take note of the chilli pepper icons on the menu which warns if something is spicy.   Also take note…if you don’t like spicy food we can’t be friends).

close up of corn soup at Hot Belly Mama's

Corn Soup

*You’ll need another beer right about now.


Blackened catfish.  A full fillet of mouth watering spicy catfish served with two of the following: Sweet potato frites, jambalaya, baked beans, house salad or Cajun potatoes   I’ve never had better sweet potato frites than the ones Hot Belly’s serve.

This world of deliciousness will set you back only $21 plus the drinks.   Again, save room for some of their desserts or head next door to Nata’s Cafe for a pastry.  If I know a band is coming to town I send them to Hot Belly Mama’s & I suggest you go too.  The best cajun food outside of New Orleans.

close up of sweet potato frites and blackened catfish from Hot Belly Mama's

Blackened Catfish and Sweet Potato Frites