Super long eastern Canada wrap up
It'll equal about 3 days worth of posts on this board. Had a fun time in NB, NS and PEI even if I didn't plan so well and based things more around the cities rather than the beautiful countryside. Thankfully the food got better as the trip went on cuz it didn't start great (I seem a little harsh but no big deal First stop on the way to Moncton from Bar Harbor was in St. George which was much tinier than I'd imagined. We ate at the bar of Paul's Wharf where probably not so many people eat, ha ha. Super lackadaisical waitress said people like the fish n chips there so we split a small which was quite large, about $8. It had a different breading and the fish didn't taste all that fresh but it could have been worse. There's a glowing rec. Got into Moncton and didn't really have time to eat cuz we were meeting friends at the wonderful Laudromat where we had a good time. And if you're a beer drinker, you'll be in heaven there. One person said we had to try these cheese curd things and that held us over for the nite until we got to the big Market on Sat. morning. That place is a zoo and needs to be set up better with more space, more seating, etc. I got a not so great crepe and an excellent fish cake. A. got a kebab which was fine.
We then went to Magnetic Hill which wasn't too exciting (and that tidal bore…it sure escaped us as we stood out there for 45 min), played some mini golf then stopped at this big bar Blondie's who advertised themselves as having the best chicken wings in town. Ha ha, another place that probably no one eats at since their "kitchen" is another lackadaisical waitress portioning frozen wings and putting them in a deep fryer in the bar area then topping with your sauce of choice. No menu, just her telling you the 5 choices. We were starving and again, it could have been worse but best wings in town??? That nite we started at the bar of City Grill which was very quiet for 8:00 or so on a Sat. and split a quite decent lobster roll and fries for around $15. But my "martini" came with ice cubes. I didn't say anything, figured it was a City Grill thing but then we stopped by the Old Triangle where my dessert "martini" was chock full of ice cubes. Is this a Moncton thing? The bartender was super nice but we thought that was weird. Got a plate of mussels there but they weren't as good as we get in Boston which are much plumper than anything we experienced on our trip (well with our steamers in ME).
We drove straight to PEI and got lunch in Summerside after a quick stop at Bakin Donuts where I saw the homemade donut sign and thought 'woo hoo'. Not so much. At Sharky's by the water we ordered what they referred to as "bar clams" cuz we'd never seen that and those were kind of weird, kind of like having a lot of big necks of the clams. Waitress was really nice, cole slaw and fries were good, about $16 I think. Then things picked up somewhat when we ate at the bar of Lot 30 in Charlottetown. The menu posted outside wasn't the same as inside which was a tad disappointing, and our waiter misunderstood one scallop dish we ordered and gave us the app instead of the entrée, but I think that actually worked out in our favor. Interesting cheesy sauce with them, a good sausage and pecorino dish and a nice salad, some good wines and beer. Fun people sitting next to us who were taking their annual 2 month trip to Canada. Then we went to Hunter's Ale House for Sun. nite music trivia and A. couldn't resist trying the fried pepperoni we'd seen on lots of menus. It was a LOT of food and not bad, fried to make it crispy rather than with batter. I was needing something sweet and their sticky toffee cake was excellent. Blake the bartender was super nice (and would have known how to make a proper martini had I been drinking) and the name of our team (The Wes Welkers) made some other displaced Patriots fan happy. Alas, we went from 2nd to 4th in the last round.
Mon. was a drive around the island, I couldn't believe how tiny Georgetown was and here I thought it was the next metropolis the way it's written on the map. So we continued the scenic drive Fisherman's Wharf in No. Rustico for a lobster dinner (rather than the other side w/ the regular restaurant). $32 gets you a 1lb lobster and that giant salad bar. It was very quiet at 2PM, it was good having a salad bar since we'd not been eating many veggies. Mussels were okay, lobster was fine, desserts not so great although the strawberry shortcake you had to order from the waitress rather than the buffet area wasn't bad. We took the brewer tour at Gahan House, the smallest brewery I've ever seen, you're just in the basement of the restaurant. We went back later for some good scallops wrapped in bacon with a friendly (maybe overly so) bartender and fun people at the bar. A. liked their stout a lot. We also ate at the bar of the Pilot House where I had a proper martini and we split a decent flatbread w/ mozzarella and tomatoes and a Caesar.
We took the ferry to Nova Scotia and drove straight to Halifax, left the car off at the Westin and walked up to Tony's on Robie St. It was a longish walk and A. was getting cranky but we'd heard that was one of the places to get donair which I guess Halifax is famous for. This sure doesn't hold a candle to the ones I've had in Berlin but it hit the spot, $5 for a small and $7 for a med. I think. After some more walking we hit the oyster happy hour at Five Fishermen on Argyle St. where A. had a few rounds of the different styles with a beer while I had a token oyster and a nice vodka/tea cocktail. I noticed the huge wine list and how they're all kept at the proper temp for red and white. For nite activities, we went back to crazy Argyl St. to the Bitter End and had an okay champagne cocktail and draft then ate at the Diamond/Economy Shoe Bar. Kind of a zoo in all three rooms and not the best ever service from the bartender but okay. Split a spinach salad which was huge and tasty if slightly overdressed plus a steak & cheese with roasted potatoes that was pretty good, about $10 each.
Next day we took the bus to Fisherman's Cove and wandered around, picked up a crab salad on wheat bread sandwich at the fish store for a good price but not so exciting. I'd heard about the French toast at Emma's and it lived up to the hype. A. said he usually is disappointed in French toast but wants to go back just for that. Fishcakes weren't as good as the Moncton market's. Came back and record shopped then A. got a happy hour beer at Maxwelll Plum's, tons of choices. That nite was my "travel agent" dinner and I was undecided between Fid, Fiasco, Gio and added Bish to my list, where we ended up. First we started with a drink at the bar of Press Gang which just looked cool, loved the old building and our bartender Brian knew how to make a martini (a girly cucumber one but done well and no ice). Then down to Bish which overall was excellent. Nice modern room overlooking the water but pretty quiet at 9PM on a Wed. The service was a tad slow considering how uncrowded it was but he was a nice guy. Started with one oyster Rockefeller each ($3) which was good but luke warm. We then split a pasta app w/ prosciutto & mushrooms which was absolutely wonderful. I got the awesome duck served with a duck confit shepherd's pie and carrots. A. had the steak w/ parmesan fries and a stuffed vidalia onion and some broccoli. I was really too full for dessert but they had so many tempting things, I got the caramel pot de crème, with mini sticky toffee cakes. The place is pricy with entrees about $26-38 but it was a very nice meal.
The last day we went our separate ways around town and A. tried the King of Donair downtown and said it was dry and bad. Had a happy hour Pumphouse beer at Brussels Restaurant then that nite went back to Press Gang for the bar menu deal. Excellent scallop dish and a haddock crusted with crab. Not a full portion but considering it was $20 each with a glass of wine or martini (A. had a Manhattan that nite, I had chardonnay) and the normal price for the entrees was about $30-38, a great deal. We then visited Mosaic on Argyle St. cuz Brian said Cooper who worked there was the best bartender in town and we had a great time. It was still early for Mosaic which isn't as much of a food place as a club (I think), so we could yap with him about the Halifax scene as he made my wonderful pear/ginger martini, with some cilantro which sounds weird but it was perfect. Another Manhattan for A., this one a little more traditional than Brian's (the 2nd best bartender in Halifax). We got two apps of good giant shrimp with a semi spicy sauce and a few lamb skewers which were a bit chewy. Cooper ended up being our entertainment for that last nite in Halifax, just wasn't in the mood to hit another place even tho the nite was pretty young still.
And we had a long drive to St. Andrews (by the Sea), where I wish we'd spent a little extra time. Lunch on the way was at Ossies on Rt. 1 where we had a very good clam plate w/ onion rings and cole slaw. A. also had a peanut butter ice cream cone. Cool old place with lots of picnic benches to eat on. Checked into our great hotel, the Fairmont Algonquin, and walked around the pretty town of St. Andrews. Got an afternoon beer at the deck of the Harbor Front on Water St., an old school restaurant. Then after relaxing for a while, we went to the bar of the Algonquin where nice Steve was working and able to make a good drink. A couple dining rooms there but we didn't eat any food. We ended up at Gables Inn, which I'd seen good reviews of even tho the bar workers didn't think we should go there. We had a pretty good bowl of chowder and fine lobster roll w/ fries. Ended the nite playing pool at the Red Herring and hearing a bad cover band.
Okay, I’m finally done. Thanks for the help on my itinerary question.
The Five Fishermen
1740 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS B3J 2B6, CA
The Press Gang
5218 Prince Street, Halifax, NS B3J 3X4, CA