Recent [Nova Scotia] trip with one stop in [Saint John,New Brunswick][Maritimes]

Just got back from a week in Nova Scotia - it was primarily an organized trip, much of which was catered by the college we were visiting, but we had several worthwhile dining experiences to add to the few data points here. We did not visit Halifax or Cape Breton island on this trip. Lots of fish (mostly chowder), haddock and scallops available on this trip. I had one serving of poutine and would avoid in NS unless you knw they are using cheese curds (as in quebec)

We were mostly based in Truro at the college there, but had a couple of meals out - fine fish and chips at Murphys, and quite a good breakfast (nothing special) at Fletchers. A group lunch at Southwest at Peggys Cove was quite acceptable, though my lobster roll was mushy.

Good meals were had at Paddy’s Brewpub/Rosies Restaurant in Wolfville, where there were other attractive possiblitities as well (a Korean, Danji and a Turkish place, Troy, I had a lovely plate of fishcakes, fried in butter, with eggs .

Later in the trip we visited the Port Pub in Port William for a prearranged sandwich meal, which showed a certain creativity on the part of the chef. Desserts were excellent, especially the apple crumble!
Our group moved on to the town of Annapolis Royale, where we dined at Restaurant Compose, which had a lovely site on the bay and excellent french/austrian influenced food. My local Digby scallops and their vegetable accompaniments (with several different purees) were very good, and my gratineed mushrooms and the desserts, austrian, shone. My BIL’s haddock with a shrimp skewer looked excellent too.

The latter two nights were spent on Brier Island, at the end of the Digby Peninsula, where the Brier Island Lodge where we were staying was pretty much the only game in town. Fortunately it is now run by a very nice couple and the wife is an excellent cook - her traditional dishes had some interesting unexpected touches and the desserts again were very good. We loved all of the nature trails, flowers and birds on this remote island and we were lucky to have the good meals to look forward to as well.
Deliciousl fish sandwich at Brier Island Lodge

Finally, I will mention the first meal in this trip, in St John, NB. Out of quite a number of dining options in this interesting town we chose St Johns Ale House in a waterfront warehouse building. The menu leads off with some very substantial appetizers obviously geared to an after work drinking and sharing crowd - we did enjoy our kettle chips loaded with cheese, sour cream scallions and other garnishes, and scallops (tho I do not get the combo of bacon with scallops) My main course (hardly needed after the apps) of lobster risotto was very good and had an ample amount of lobster.

Dessert of creme brulee did not have he crispy topping - I think they were suffering for lack of staff in the kitchen as well as on the floor (like many of the places we visited on this trip) Liked this place!

Had a lot of chowder througout this trip, we sampled it everywhere. I think the version I had at the Port Pub was the best, but it was pretty good wherever we went, with variations in the amount of cream, flour and seafood. Lots of potatoes wherever you go!!! Really enjoyed NS and hope to get back some day.


What did (/didn’t) the use in the poutine you had in NS?

instead of the squeaky fresh cheese curds, the place I had it in used shreds of a rather barnyardy tasting industrial cheese. I am not sure what type it was but it was unpleasant and didnt offer the texture contrast in the dish of the curds. I stayed away from the local Donairs also - more shredded cheese and also a sweet sauce (condensed milk based) was not promising to this doner-lover! But there was so much good food available that skipping fast food items like these was not a sacrifice.

I have since seen that there are places that do offer the poutine with curds, so no need to skip the dish just make sure its made “right” Note, in Quebec one sees poutine with many variations including tomato sauces, but its the basic potato-brown gravy-cheese curd type that calls me.

1 Like

So many variations of poutine out there. I’d say half the poutine in Canada, outside of Quebec, uses shredded cheese instead of curds. I haven’t had enough poutine in Quebec to know how often shredded is used.

In QC, poutine italien is made with bolognese sauce and typically shredded mozzarella, rather than curds.

One you get beyond the traditional beef gravy (often from a can or mix) and cheese curds type poutine, into upscale or innovative poutines, the curds are often not as essential to the dish as the inclusion of fries, some sort of gravy and some sort of cheese.

That said, I can understand being disappointed by shredded cheese when you wanted or expected curds!

It was not good cheese of any kind, they obviously didnt care about their poutine it was a minor menu option. It was not a french canadian run restaurant either, whether that matters I dont know.

1 Like

It wouldn’t matter if the restaurant was run by French Canadians or not. It’s a relatively new dish, and it doesn’t have any secret French Canadian know-how involved.

Poutine- Good or Bad- is common in all parts of Canada, regardless of whether the locals speak French or not.