Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Hot Hamburger, Haddock and Scallops

September 16, 2009

Comeau's Seafood Restaurant signI was born in August and my mother opened a restaurant the next May. It had a great location, right on Highway #1 between Saint John (the biggest city in New Brunswick) and Calais, Maine (the 5th busiest border crossing between the US and Canada). She ran the restaurant for 29 years until she was 69 when she retired. The restaurant lay dormant for a few years until Dave Comeau convinced my mother that she should sell it to him. She did and Dave built the Comeau’s Seafood Restaurant into a thriving business specializing in fresh cooked seafood and home-made desserts. Rachael, Dave’s wife, does the baking and oversees the kitchen ensuring that each dish is of the highest quality. Dave and Rachael have changed the restaurant a great deal since I was a kid but the flavor of the food still reminds me of my Mom’s cooking.

Hot Hamburger sandwich at Comeau's Seafood Restaurant in Pennfield, NB CanadaDonna and I went to the restaurant at lunch today for the Hot Hamburger that Donna was craving. For some reason, we have never been able to get a Hot Hamburger in the US since we moved down there. The dish is pretty simple, a large Hamburger Patty is placed on a slice of Plain White Bread, covered with Brown Gravy and then another slice of bread and more gravy.  Donna’s dish came with Mashed Potatoes, Diced Carrots and Coleslaw. Somehow the combination of gravy, hamburger and white bread are different than a burger and it always brings me back to my Mom’s cooking. The home-made gravy has obviously been simmering for hours if not days as it was brown and rich and just full of flavor. The sweet carrots and creamy mashed potatoes were nice contrast in texture and savory flavors of the meat and gravy. We still wonder why Diners across the US have not picked up this simple dish but if you are Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick area make sure you try the Hot Hamburger.

Haddock & Scallop Combo at Comeau's Seafood Restaurant in Pennfield, NB, CanadaI went for the Scallops and Haddock Platter as I knew the seafood would be fresh and it was Friday. The dish did not disappoint. With lightly battered fish and scallops, a generous portion of Fries and a side order of Coleslaw it was delicious and more than I could eat in one sitting.  The light batter on the fish easily broke away to reveal flakes of Tender Fish that were sweet.  A few drops of the tart lemon juice set up a great ying-yang of flavors. Same held true for the scallops but the flakes were replaced with a dense scallop meat that divided easily with the fork. The fries come breaded at Comeau’s so they were different than the other fries I have been eating this week and that was a welcome changed. Perfectly Cooked, as was the fish, the fries were crisp but maintaining a potato taste inside. The home-made Coleslaw was extra tangy today with crispy cabbage and a few carrot pieces mixed into what is becoming my favourite salad. It was a great dish and proved again that Comeau’s Seafood is some of the best around. Check it out if you are driving through my old homeland.

Read other reviews about Comeau’s Seafood Restaurant here, here and here.

Comeau’s Seafood Restaurant – Highway 1, Pennfield Ridge, NB – 506-755-3011

Swiss Chalet – A Canadian Tradition

September 15, 2009

When we moved to Ontario in the early 1990’s (boy does that sound a long time ago when I write it), we always went to Swiss Chalet at Christmas time and when my Mom visited us.  Swiss Chalet is a chain of rotisserie chicken restaurants that started in Canada in the 1950’s. They always had great chicken, crispy skin on the outside and moist sweet meat on the inside, great sides and great desserts.  Toblerone BarAt Christmas time, Swiss Chalet always offered a special chicken meal that featured the Swiss Toblerone chocolate bar as the dessert.  That combo is famous across Canada and when I updated my status to saying I was eating at Swiss Chalet, the first comment I got was about the Holiday Tradition. The boys (and my Mom) liked the Toblerone bars, the Swiss Chalet BBQ Ribs and the Treasure Chest they could get a toy from at the end of the meal so going there was a family affair to remember.

As Donna and I were driving through Saint John, New Brunswick, a wave of nostalgia (and perhaps hunger) hit us and we knew where we would eat that night. Unlike a lot of things these days it was how were remembered it so I thought I would share with you our flashback meal.

Harvest Special at Swiss ChaletDonna went for the Harvest Special and I went for the Chicken and Rib Combo.  The Harvest Special included a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup, a ¼ Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potato, Roll and Chalet Sauce with Pumpkin pie as dessert.  The soup was very good and gone before I could take photos. (Must be good eh?). The ¼ Roasted Chicken was all white meat and cooked to perfection – crispy skin on the outside, moist sweet meat on the inside.  The Mashed Potatoes were well cooked and creamy as required by the blogger’s wife.  The highlight to the meal or at least my son, Ryan thinks, is the Chalet Sauce. This dipping sauce is lighter than gravy but more flavorful and even a bit tangy. Dipping chunks of the Chicken into it, heck even chunks of the roll, causes one to wonder how they get the strong chicken flavor in there at the same time making it tangy. It’s a wonderful addition to the meal and would be sadly missed if not concluded. The Harvest Special did come with pie that we had packed for the trip home but it disappeared during the night with no reports on the taste. LOL

Rib & Chicken Combo at Swiss ChaletMy Chicken and Rib Combo came with the same ¼ Roasted Chicken Donna had but my dish came with ½ Rack of Roasted Ribs and a generous order of Fries.  The Ribs were delicious and fall of the rib tender. I usually like my ribs to stay on the bone but these are the exception.  The pork meat was moist and tender covered with a sweet tangy sauce whose recipe the Swiss Chalet people covet (but will sell you jars of it if you want LOL). The sauce doesn’t provide much heat in terms of spice but it matches so very well with the sweetness of the port that I bet hardcore BBQ fans in Kansas City and Memphis would enjoy.  I love the ribs at Swiss Chalet and hope you try them.

It was a fun meal for Donna and I remembering the Christmas outings to  Swiss Chalet and being comforted that the food was as good as we remembered it.

Read other reviews about Swiss Chalet here, here and here.

Swiss Chalet – 86 Consumers Drive, Saint John, NB E2J 4Z3           (506) 657-947

Lobster Roll – Part 3 – Watch out Bill Curtis.

September 13, 2009

I found the third entrant in our Lobster Roll Challenge while searching for the Internet.   My home in Canada doesn’t have Internet access since we only use the home for a few weeks each year and rely on my older kid’s access or public Internet access.  St. Andrews used to have an Internet Café but that went out of business when most of the bars in the area started to offer free WiFi service along with Moosehead and Molson’s. But it was early when I arrived in St. Andrews and the bars hadn’t opened yet (Nobody Panic – I have a back-up plan – LOL).  As I sat watching the local Famers’ Market take place I fired up the computer to be ready when the bar I had targeted did open. The Find LAN button picked up 6 bars in walking distance that offered WiFi including the Kennedy Inn across the street from where I was sitting. Since the Inn was Inn it was open.  The Inn became my Internet home for the next 2 hours and the next entrant into the Lobster Roll Challenge.

Lobster Roll at the Kennedy Inn - St. Andrews NB CanadaThe Kennedy Inn’s version of the Lobster Roll is served with Fries and Coleslaw. The Lobster Roll itself is served in a New England Hot Dog Bun jammed with Lobster Salad.  The meat again is a combination of generous chunks of Tail and Claw Meat, Mayo and Celery. This version was significantly moister than the 2nd entrant and a little moister than the 1st entrant.  The meat mixture was also colder than the first two.  The early morning time and the meat temperature suggested to me that the mixture was made the night before and stored in the refrigerator.  It was still very tasty but I think if the temp had warmed up it was increased the flavor. The Golden Fries was crispy and well done but 10 more seconds of cooking would have put them over the top into the overcooked category.  The Coleslaw was crunchy, tangy and an expected side to the roll. Net-Net a good competitor and worthy of a sample if you get to St. Andrews.

The Kennedy Inn – 218 Water Street, St Andrews, NB E5B 1B4                 (506) 529-8844

Lobster Roll – Part 2 – No Bull

September 12, 2009

Our second contender in the Lobster Roll contest comes from The Gables in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The Gables has a great outdoor patio right on St. Andrews Bay where you can eat in the sunlight and watch the tides flow in and out. I knew The Gables as the Black Bull when I was growing up and hanging around St. Andrews. They acknowledge their heritage a little bit by keeping the Bull Burger on the menu and it weren’t for the Lobster Roll challenge, that’s what I would have eaten. But back to the Lobster Roll.

Lobster Roll at The Gables in St. Andrews, NB CanadaThe Gables’ version of this classic seafood sandwich came with a few fries, a portion of coleslaw and a slice of lemon. The generous portion of lobster meat came in a Toasted New England Hot Dog Bun. The lobster was a combination of bite-sized chunks of body and claw meat. The meat was lightly tossed with some Celery, Parsley and a little Mayo. The mixture was seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with Paprika. I found the amount of mayo was very light compared to other Lobster Rolls I had tried before. I tried a few drops of Lemon Juice and that made the Roll a lot more interesting with the contrast of sweet lobster meat and tang from the lemon. The meat was moist enough to prevent the sandwich from being dry but a little bit more mayo would have help. It was a good sandwich in a great location.

Read other reviews about The Gables here, here and here.

The Gables Restaurant– 143 Water, St. Andrews, NB E0G 2X0 506-529-3440

Lobster Rolls – Part 1

September 6, 2009

Wooden Fisherman at Fisherman's Cover Cafe on Deer Island, CanadaWe made it to Canada for the Labour Day Weekend and to be with our daughter for her operation. While the debate for health-care choices goes on in the USA we are going to see the Canadian system upfront after the weekend.  I am sure it will work out but it gives me a great reason to visit Wendy, Steven and my Mom before returning to the USA.  While we are here, we have to eat so I intend to share some of our Canuck food adventures.

A few months back, I created a Sandwich Survey to find out what the readers felt was the best sandwich. I tried to include every kind of sandwich I knew which was an impossible task given there are so many to chose from. My Google and Facebook friend Mary Ann took me to task for not including a Lobster Roll in the choices. So here I am in the land of the Largest Lobster Pound in the World so I am going to try the Lobster Rolls at a few local establishments and report back here on the blog.

Lobster Roll at Fisherman's Cove CafeMy first Lobster Roll, Donna can’t do seafood or it will be ugly for everyone, to report on was at Fisherman’s Cover Cafe in Lord’s Cover, Deer Island. It was served on a simple toasted bun with Jumbo Chunks of lobster meat coated in Mayo and mixed with fresh Celery. Topped with some Red Paprika it was a simple but delicious and a classic summertime sandwich. I have had Lobster Rolls over the years but I was impressed with density of lobster meat, both from the body and claws, that made up the majority of the sandwich. The sweetness of the lobster and crunch of the celery and bun gave the sandwich nice contrasts in textures. It was a great Lobster Roll so let’s grade this first one as an “8” and measure the next few rolls against that score. In case in comes down to cost, and I hope it doesn’t this one was $12.95 CDN or about $10 USD.

Let the games begin.

Fisherman’s Cove Cafe, Lord’s Cove, Deer Island, Canada –                                    506-747-2089

Happy Canada Day

July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day Everyone!

We have been in the US since 2001 and have celebrated eight Canada Days down here. Over the years we have celebrated by having BBQ’s, Poker Tournaments, Dinners out and Friend in but this year is going to be quiet.  I have a big presentation tomorrow so we are keeping it quiet.  We will make it up on the Weekend but for now I am going to write about the foods we miss back in Canada and try to have each time we go back.

Donna and I compared list and had a few common items.  Hot Hamburger Sandwiches, Donairs, Poutine, Chow-chow, Dulse, Crispers and Caramilk chocolate bars .  My Canadian friends will know what these are but for my American friends, I’ll provide some details on what the items are.  A Hot Hamburger Sandwich is a lot like a hot roast beef sandwich except a large hamburger patty replaces the roast beef. Beef gravy goes on the patty, bread covers the patty and more gravy on the bread. Fries or mashed potatoes and vegetables comes with it.  Sounds simple but we haven’t seen on down here yet. A Donair is a spiced meat in a pita wrap sandwich with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and sweet donair sauce.  It’s a lot like a gyro but the garlic sauce is sweet rather than savory. I have posted about these in my post on Middle Eastern sandwichesPoutine is basically french fries, grated cheese and gravy. Again simple but haven’t seen it in the US. If you go to Quebec that have restaurants that serve 20 different combo of poutine including putting foie gras on it.  We do make our own for Ryan and Robbie from time to time but not as good as a serving at 2:00 in the morning on say St. Catherine Street in Montreal. Chow-chow in Canada is simply pickled green tomatoes and yellow onions.  US recipes have all kinds of other vegetables added but even though recipes show up on several recipe sites but no Chow-chow is seen on the stores shelves near us. Dulse is dried seaweed that has a strong salty taste with a crunchy texture at first that ends up being chewy. You get a big bag and eat it like potato chips – salty and crunchy.  The best dulse comes from Dark Harbour in Grand Manan. Crispers are a Nabisco salty snack that are part chip – part cracker. Robbie loves these and we bring back bags of different flavours, Salt & Vinegar, BBQ, Ranch and Regular. Caramilk Bars are chocolate bar made by Cadbury that has pockets of caramel inside a wrapping of chocolate. Donna craved these when she was pregnant with Robbie so much we had a constant supply in the frig for the entire pregnancy.

We miss these foods but vacation time is coming soon so we re-stock.  If you are reading this in Canada, send us a care package if you can.  LOL  Happy Canada Day!

Update – Ryan added some restaurants we miss back in Canada. Swiss Chalet – Rotisseary Chicken, Tim Horton’s – Coffee & Donuts, Deluxe French Fries – Fish & Chips, Osaka Japanese Grill – Beef Teriyaki, Vitos – Pizza and QB’s-Best Wings in the world.