As I have mentioned here, I’m not much of a foodie traveler. Just give me something to eat when I’m hungry and I’m a happy camper. My tongue is not discerning enough to separate spices or to analyze flavors, so in most cases, food are acceptable to me as long as they agree with my taste buds.
That said, I have recently started the habit of researching restaurants/places-to-eat before I go. Why? it’s so that I have an idea of where to go and how much I will be spending per meal. The conundrum is always there. Leave things to chance and you are bound to stumble upon happy accidents; over-plan and you are bound to find everything as expected and, to be blunt, boring. However, I have found that, most of the time, when it comes to eating in a big city, relying on serendipity alone often leaves me with an overprice food bill and an unsatisfactory meal. It doesn’t help that my group of friends (myself, included) are the worst decision makers in the world. It takes us FOREVER to decide what to eat, let alone decide where to go! Our discussions would often lead to shoulder shrugs, a unanimous “I dunno”, and a meal either at the closest familiar fast-food chain (Shame on me, I know!) or restaurants with sub-par food.
That, my friends, is why I research restaurants before I go.
I’m not saying I obsessively plan every meal of the day, but it’s nice to have several options to consider when needed. It’s also a great way to know how much money will be spent on each meal, something that is necessary as I don’t grow money in my backyard.
So, without further ado, I present to you Restaurant Round-Up: East Coast Edition. It’s pretty much a list of where and what we ate throughout our trip. The total for most meals is between $15-$20, quite on the pricey range, but we found that to be the norm there.
Moncton, New Brunswick
5 Orange Lane Moncton, NB E1C4L6
Vanessa and I shared the toasted pita bread with hummus dip and the 3-piece fish and chips – they were delicious! I didn’t get to try any of their home brew because I was going to be driving for the rest of the day, not to mention I have a VERY low alcohol tolerance. No joke, I get tipsy after drinking half a glass of beer.
1999 Mountain Road, Moncton, NB E1G1B1
In my little schpeel above, I forgot to mention the most proven method to find a good restaurant when you travel: ask a local’s recommendation! As usual, it was late in the evening when we checked into our hotel. So, with our stomachs growling, we asked the receptionist where we should go for dinner and, without a hint of hesitation, he recommended Jean’s Restaurant, just down the road from the hotel. My goodness! Their clam-chowder was to die for; it was so delicious that we went back here for lunch before heading to the airport on our very last day. In my attempt to try something new, I ordered the seafood chowder instead. Bad decision – it was good, but not as delicious as the creamy clam chowder.
High Tide Cafe
Inside the Hopewell Rocks National Park, Hopewell Cape, NB E4H4Z5
We came back hungry from braving the cold winds and walking the ocean floors, so we decided to have lunch at the National Parks before continuing our drive. Plus, the cafeteria was thriving and busy, so we figured that must be a good sign. I had the Atlantic Crab Wrap, which was disappointing at best. The wrap was cold, fries were under-cooked, and the whole thing seems to be put together without a care in the world. It tasted bland and definitely wasn’t worth the $13 I spent on it. My friends were happy with their meals, though, so I think it was just a bad call on my end.
Prince Edward Island
7230 Rustico Road, North Rustico, PE C0A1X0
We were going to go to Island Favourites for PEI’s BEST lobster rolls, but, just my luck, it was closed. So, we went to the next thing on the list: the Fisherman’s Wharf. Three words: deep fried scallops – need I say more? Yes, it was DELICIOUS.
Cape Breton Island/Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia
I don’t have the exact address of this establishment and googling it also yield no result, so all I can tell you is that it’s on the way to the Cabot Trail. Keep an eye out for it on your left-hand side on 105. The Farmer’s Daughter is a mix of farmer’s market, a small restaurant, a bakery that sells gluten-free breads, and a gift shop, making it a very fun stop to make.
I had scallops and fries – can’t you tell I LOVE scallops? It was good, not as good as the one I had at Fisherman’s Wharf though.
36404 Cabot Trail, Ingonish, NS B0C1K0
We were nearing the end of our drive on the Cabot Trail and we passed by this restaurant. It was busy when we entered, but we were seated right away (thank God – I was starving!). However, our food didn’t come until close to 1 hour after we ordered. I had the Fish cakes and homemade baked beans. The fish cakes were delicious, but I’m not a big fan of baked beans, so they were left untouched. Their Ringer Burger was featured on the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here, something I found out after I had placed my order. Ah well.
High Wheeler Cafe
470 Chebucto St. Victoria, NS B0E1B0
We stopped by this little cafe after Mass on a rainy Sunday morning. Behold the power of a delicious breakfast: the scone, chocolate milk, and coffee were enough to turn that dreary morning to a beautiful one.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
1531 Bedford Hwy Bedford, NS B4A1E5
I had high hopes for this highly-acclaimed local institution. People raved about it on Yelp and Trip Advisor, but what I had was pretty disappointing. I ordered the original chicken burger and sweet potato fries with curry mayo. While the sweet potato fries were so yummy, the burger, which consisted of steamed white meat put in a bun with mayo, was bland and tasteless. I didn’t take any picture of it because I was starving and polished everything off as soon as the order was ready.
5075 George St Halifax, NS B3J3R6
Amazing shrimp tacos with salsa that included pieces of pineapple in it – oh my goodness! Cheers all around! The portion seems very small, but I was surprisingly very full at the end of the meal. Thanks, Claire, for bringing me to this place!
Catch of the Bay Fish & Chips Boat
Masstown Market, 10622 Nova Scotia 2 Trunk, Debert, NS B0M1G0
Trust me and just go here when you can, you’ll thank me later. We had Fundy Feast Two, which included 1 piece fish (Haddock/Cod), crab cakes, chips, lobster potato salad, tartar sauce, mayo and lemon for $19.99. It was truly a feast as it was more than enough for the four of us.
Saint John, New Brunswick
49-51 Charlotte Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L2H8
We arrived here on a rainy and cold Monday night, just in time to make it before its kitchen close down for the night. The gracious host told us that unless we make our order within the next 15 minutes, they would not be able to serve us. Thus ensued the quickest decision making process in my life. The chilly weather was the perfect condition to have a bowl of steaming-hot liquid goodness (read: soup), so I ordered the Creamy Crab Bisque. It came as promised – creamy and rich with crab pieces. The portion was rather small, but I munched on snacks and bananas as my “desserts” afterwards, so I was satisfied enough.
There you go – a list of all the places we ate at throughout our trip. I didn’t include most of our breakfast because they were included with our hotels and well, there is really nothing special about that. I also didn’t include the endless amount of Tim Hortons Coffee we consumed throughout our trip. It was difficult to find Starbucks or Second Cup on this trip, but no matter, I love me a cup of Timmies!