Last week we finally made use of a WagJag coupon that was soon to expire, and went to The Electric City Gardens for lunch. This was our second visit there and I was still struck by the uniqueness. The first impression is not really a good one. It is located in an old home on Queen Street in downtown Peterborough.The outside looks inviting, but the entrance hall is cluttered with personal belongings, presumably belonging to the owner/chef who lives on the second floor. However, there is comfort in the original wooden stair case and trims. The first room to the left is fairly large and contains a long dining table and chairs at the front end by the windows; the back end leads into the kitchen, and the cooking supplies and recipes seem to have overflowed from there out onto the only other table, the cupboards and the floor.
Straight ahead another doorway and a step down takes you into what would have been originally the sun porch, I’d think. Stepping into it is like stepping into a cafe somewhere in France. The walls are painted pink; the many purple-framed windows are draped with gathered pieces of brightly coloured voile, in reds, blues, greens. The inside wall is uncovered red brick and adorned with brilliantly coloured abstracts. Through the open window a few wooden tables with metal chairs enameled in green, red and blue, can be seen on the garden patio.
Inside, tables with distressed wooden tops and metal bases form a line in groups of one, or two along the windows. Heavy wood and leather chairs sit on the outsides of the tables; a long fuscia velvet-covered bench serves as seating along the window side.
There are no paper menus to peruse, for the menu changes daily. The waitress brings out a small chalk board on which there is written the soup of the day, two or three choices of entrees and desert. This day classical music was emanating from the stereo, perhaps a little too loudly.
We opted to try the Borscht, followed by the grilled ground lamb patty and salad. One cook and one waitress means a leisurely lunch, leaving plenty of time for conversation and soaking up the atmosphere. A plate of fresh bread slices and butter helped to keep hunger in check while we waited.
The Borscht was served piping hot in mugs and was delicious. The lamb patty was very thick and braised in a mint sauce — very tasty, but it could have been cooked a little more in the middle, the disadvantage of thick burgers. A large salad of baby mixed greens, cucumber chunks, sweet red pepper strips and fresh tomato halves with a vinaigrette dressing completed the meal and left us too full to try the desert.
All in all it was a good dining experience and one that I would recommend if you’re looking for something different. It even came with a bonus incentive to return; along with the bill was a two-for-one coupon for Sunday brunch.