Executive Chef Bob Bickmore has been dishing up delicious food at his fine dining restaurant, Catch 22 – Fresh Market Grill, for more than 17 years. The restaurant, located in what I call “old Wasaga” down on Mosley Street, was an absolute must hit up, not just for the summer visitors, but also the locals, including the catchment of Georgian Bay, who live in the area all year around.
Hitting up Catch 22 was just what you did when you wanted an exceptional dining experience in Wasaga Beach. As the years passed, Chef Bickmore’s son Zack cut his culinary teeth by joining forces with his father, to add another layer and another set of flavours to the local Georgian Bay dining scene.
Fast forward to spring of 2021. Initially when Coronavirus reared its ugly head, many businesses, in particular those in the food industry, pivoted, focusing on take out only and, when allowed, some seated dining of one kind or another. It didn’t take Bob and Zack long to recognize that wasn’t a business model that was going to work for Catch 22.
The decision was made to flip the business on its proverbial ear and become a food shop destination. The reimagined Catch 22 is where you still find great food, great take-away and some really interesting food staples that no one else in town is offering.
I have to say that I was genuinely surprised when I walked into the shop. From the condiments for your cheese board to the freshly sliced deli, Catch 22 presents something for everybody. The Grab n’ Go cooler salads are laden with fresh ingredients, well put together, and all coming with house-made salad dressing. Being made in their own kitchen is a source of pride for the Chefs.
The Catch 22 brand is the star of the shop, as it should be. They offer up their own branded products including different aiolis, dipping sauces, frozen entrees, soups, sauces, and other bits and bobs of deliciousness.
There are sweets for the sweet and, to my delight, I discovered that Catch 22 is offering a “Bottle Shop”. The wines of the day (there were four to chose from) were on display at the main counter. You can grab dinner and drinks, all in one stop. Convenient while supporting a local independent business!
The cheese case is impressive. From local Ontario cheeses, like Gunn’s Hill Five Brothers to rich, decadent French classics such as the buttery triple crème Bourgogne to some jacked up Italian Truffle cheese, there are plenty of options. Bob and Zack, also offer up a custom charcuterie board service. Bring your board in and the boys will create food magic for you!
Therein lays, what I believe defines the success for the Bickmores. In spite of COVID’s ability to sour up so many parts of our economy, Bob and Zack recognized that superb customer service would remain paramount to staying a safe and viable business. Quality food, excellent service and listening to what their customers wanted would get them through any business pivot they had to make. I honestly believe it’s their commitment to such personal service that keeps their customers coming back. Bob mentioned, that with 48-hour notice, they pretty much can make a customer whatever they’d like. He beamed while talking about a giant Paella that went out the door the day before. Special request he said. “You make Paella?” I asked. “Of course!” he laughed! “We’re Chefs, that’s what we do. We make what our customers want to eat.” Duly noted.
My takeaway from Catch 22 (you didn’t think I was leaving empty handed did you?) was a bunch of prepped food from the deli case. Later I munched out on chicken breaded in coconut, Arancini balls and Crab (no Krab in these babies) Cakes. All got a big thumbs up
But my fave grab that day was the roast beef Sammie. I’m a beef chuffing chick and l like a good roast beef sammich with the best of them. It was when Zack told me they roast the beef themselves I was all in and it did not disappoint. Thick with beef, caramelized onions, aged Cheddar and a slather of their house Aioli and it’s straight up joy on a panini bun.
Catch 22 offers of some pretty decent looking Grab n’ Go sammies, which are just perfect if you are heading to the beach or the boat or just sitting by the dock of the bay. Just sayin’
Catch 22, 962 Mosley Street, Wasaga Beach
(705) 422-2281 – Closed Mondays – Check Hours