Canada, North America, The Maritime Provinces

Restaurant Round-Up: East Coast Edition

October 11, 2013

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

Pumphouse Brewery

5 Orange Lane Moncton, NB E1C4L6

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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.

Pita bread with hummus dip

Pita bread with hummus dip

3 piece fish and chips

3 piece fish and chips

Jean’s Restaurant

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.

Seafood chowder.

Seafood 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.

Atlantic Crab Wrap - skip it!

Atlantic Crab Wrap – skip it!

Prince Edward Island 

Fisherman’s Wharf

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.

Deep fried scallops with potato croquettes.

Deep fried scallops with potato croquettes.

Cape Breton Island/Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia 

Farmer’s Daughter

Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia
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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.

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Coastal Waters Restaurant

36404 Cabot Trail, Ingonish, NS B0C1K0

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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.

Fish Cakes and Baked Beans, with apple sauce on the side

Fish Cakes and Baked Beans, with apple sauce on the side

 High Wheeler Cafe

470 Chebucto St.  Victoria, NS B0E1B0

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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.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia 

The Chickenburger 

1531 Bedford Hwy  Bedford, NS B4A1E5

chickenburger_exterior

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.

Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill

5075 George St Halifax, NS B3J3R6

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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!

The shrimp tacos...

The shrimp tacos…

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.

Fundy Feast Two - all of this for $19.99

Fundy Feast Two – all of this for $19.99

Saint John, New Brunswick

Billy’s Restaurant

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.

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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!

3 Comments

  • Reply Aswin January 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Hey we should do trip together.. I’d love to go with someone who does his/her research extensively so that I don’t have to :p

    • Reply Pauline January 15, 2014 at 12:32 am

      That’s what I’ve been saying… GAH!

  • Reply New York City Eats | Tales of a Pilgrim March 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    […] I have a conflicting view on whether or not to research restaurants when I go on trips. Sometimes I do, other times I don’t. My last jaunt to the Big Apple falls under one of those times where I […]

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