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Bus Route #6 – Quinpool

27 Jun

Or: The Route of Bests

So far we’ve covered four routes, the #15, the #60, the #21 and the #80 that will take you in four completely different directions in HRM.  So, for our fifth #LocalTravelHRM post on @hfxtransit bus routes, we decided to cover one of the urban core routes, the #6.

For us, this route isn’t so much the best route, as it’s the route of many things that we consider to be the best.  From beer to diners to sushi to movies, this route has so much greatness packed into such a short distance that you’re almost better off walking to see everything.  However, if you ever want to come back to your favourites, the #6 will get you there.

We begin this route at the Ferry Terminal by Stayner’s Wharf.  If you’re coming from Dartmouth, you can check the ferry schedule here, and the schedule for the #6.  Cyclists, the distances indicated follow the route up Cogswell until it turns into Quinpool.  There are no bike lanes and a lot of traffic along this route, with a couple crazy intersections so be aware of drivers.

Propeller BreweryPropeller Brewery  (0.9km)

Get off either just before or after the Staples and head for the giant Propeller and the “Cold Beer” sign.  Propeller Beer (@propellerbeer) is the darling of North End craft beer lovers, and with good reason.  Their Pilsner is one of my favourite summer beers and their Bitter is good for all seasons.  If you like it hoppy, go for the IPA.  They do $9 refillable Growlers (just shy of a 6-pack!).

Centennial Swimming PoolCentennial Swimming Pool (0.9km)

My wife spent most of her adolescent life at Centennial Pool, first as a competitive synchornized swimmer, and later as a coach.  While she will tell you it isn’t the best pool in the city, it is her favourite.  Not only is it one of only two 50 meter pools in the city, it is the only 10 meter diving tower complex in Nova Scotia.  It is also home to some great groups: Halifax Aqua Nova Synchro, Cygnus Diving Club, The Halifax Trojans, and many more. The best part?  During recent renovations, Centennial decided to add solar panels to the roof to provide part of the building’s electrical needs.

The Halifax CommonsThe Halifax Common & The Pavilion  (1.5km)

In the middle of Halifax’s urban core is a big (mostly) green space called the Halifax Common (thanks to @christinacopp for the correction: singular, not plural, and for the link: Halifax Common).  Here’s the thing about having a space for the common use, you can’t please everyone all the time.  But in my opinion, HRM really isn’t doing too bad a job here (now that we’re done with the concerts).  Whether you’re coming here to play baseball, tennis or Ultimate, skating the skate park or skating the Oval, playing on the playground, lounging on the grass or chilling in the pool, there really is something here that could appeal to everyone.

Commons Skate Park

Halifax Commons Playground

Also in the middle of the Commons is the Pavilion (@halifaxpavilion), Halifax’s famed all-ages club that succeeded the legendary Café Olé.  If you’re a punk band in Halifax, this is where you prove yourself.

Video Difference  (2.0km)

Given how easy it is to stream movies online, there’s a reason why Video Difference (@videodifference) has survived.  Video Difference has an incredible selection of films.  In fact, they even have an incredible selection of selections of films.  The store is well marked throughout its three levels, documentary lovers will be in heaven.  Open 24 hours and they have drop-off locations throughout the city.

Freemans Little New YorkFreeman’s Little New York  (2.0km)

Freeman’s (@freemanspizza) tops several “Best ” lists.  It is the best place to do some people watching while being the best place for late night snacks on Quinpool while enjoying a sampler tray of the best selection of Propeller draft outside of Propeller Brewery itself.  They have gluten-free pizza options and are now doing all local weekly specials!

Freemans Halifax Local Menu

Sweet Hereafter Cheesecake

Sweet Hereafter Cheescakery  (2.1km)

This sweet addition to the Halifax dining scene offers over 60 kinds of cheesecake, including gluten free and dairy free selections.  You can opt for take-out, or relax in their lounge, which is decked out with pink high back velvet chairs, chandeliers, and a photo booth complete with long gloves and cat-eye glasses.  We went with Sweet Hereafter (@sweet_hereafter) for our wedding cake and people are still talking about it.

Sweet Hereafter interior

Bramoso Pizza Halifax

Bramoso Gourmet Pizza  (2.2km)

This family owned restaurant makes some of the healthiest, freshest slices in the city.  In addition to offering gluten and dairy free options, Bramoso (@bramosopizza) uses almost all local ingredients for their pizza.  They also have a wicked take-and-bake option.  While take and bake is always available, your best bet is to pick it up at the market on Saturdays ($15 for a large).  While you’re there, you can try their Saturday morning special – breakfast pizza made with veggies, bacon, and a free range egg.

The Trail Shop  (2.3km)

The Trail Shop (@trailshop) was another member of the Quinpool business community that played a big part in our wedding.  If you’re looking to do some camping, kayaking, hiking or slacklining, this is the place for you.  The staff are very knowledgeable and friendly and they have tons of information in the store for hiking and kayaking adventures throughout Nova Scotia.

Leicester’s Deli & Cheese Emporium (2.4km)

As much as Quinpool has to offer, it always felt like something was missing.  And then Leicester’s came along.  Every good neighbourhood needs a good deli and cheese emporium.  We’ll let our friend at ourhalifax.com tell you what’s good here.

The Oxford Theatre (2.6km)

2012 marks the 75th anniversary for this cinematic gem.  Transport yourself back to the 1960’s while taking in the newest independent flick.  In addition to offering some of the more unique screenings, The Oxford (@empiretheatres) also plays host to a number of midnight fundraiser showings, usually ones involving costumes.

Wasabi House & The Ikebana Shop (2.6km)

We’ve already covered the fact that Wasabi House (@wasabihouse) is our favourite sushi spot in Halifax.  You can see it here.  If you want some Japanese culture with your sushi, head down just a couple more doors to the Ikebana Shop (@theikebanashop).  Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement.  They are THE place to go for unique, beautiful vases.  You can learn to use these vases during one of their workshops, or, if you’d rather someone else do your floral arranging, they also offer arrangement services. They have an awesome gallery of past corporate arrangements that they have done.  Even if you aren’t into flowers, check out their shop for unique gifts and home goods.

King of Donairs (2.7km)

Argue if you want to, K.O.D. (@kingofdonair) on Quinpool has the best pizza deal in the city.  Note that I’m from New Glasgow and I don’t hold Halifax pizza to the same standard as Pictou County Pizza.  Where else can you get a large pizza with three toppings for $9?  Two things to know, this deal is for pick-up only, and is best if you get pepperoni, bacon and sausage.

The Ardmore Tearoom (2.8km)

The Ardmore (@ArdmoreTeaRoom) is something of an institution among greasy spoons in Halifax.  Rarely will you not find a line of hungover (or not yet hungover) university students leading to a packed house on a weekend morning here.  There’s good reason for that.  Though many say the breakfast aren’t what they used to be (are they ever?), their home fries are still pretty awesome (it’s the seasoning).

While I was doing this route, I got caught in a torrential downpour and sought refuge in the Ardmore.  I couldn’t resist warming up with a hot turkey sandwich ($8.49).  It was well worth it; a huge plate of turkey, bread, gravy, veggies, fries and cole slaw.  However, if you can hold out, you’re only a few stops from what we consider to be the best diner in the city.

Planet Organic & Taishan Asian Grocery (2.8km)

Quinpool is the kind of walkable, livable neighbourhood we love, one where you can find anything.  In case you doubt this, you should pop into Planet Organic and the Taishan Asian Grocery.  It doesn’t matter how obscure or exotic your culinary, domestic or personal hygiene needs are, you’ll be well looked after here.

Planet Organic (@planetorganic) has everything to satisfy your natural, organic, gluten-free or vegan needs.  They also have a wide range of vitamins, supplements and natural hygiene and beauty products.

The Taishan Asian Grocery is legit.  No prices on anything, I can’t read any of the labels and I don’t even know what most of these things are.  I don’t even know if this is the right website for it (based on the phone number I’m thinking it could be).  Simply buying something here is an adventure, let alone cooking it.  The dumplings are top notch.

Horseshoe Park (3.8km)

Ordinarily, Horseshoe Park at the bottom of Quinpool is a great place to lie out, reading a book or basking in the sun.  Not on the day I was out though.  It’s a small, well-kept park along the Northwest Arm with a great view of the passing sailboats.  Since I couldn’t really suntan, I contented myself with some duck-watching.

The Armview  (4.4km)

Finally, you’ve reached our favourite diner and the closest thing we have to a neighbourhood local.  It’s really not fit how much time we spend at the Armview (@armview), but who can blame us?  They have the best smoked meat & rye sandwich east of Montreal and their breakfast burritos with guacamole are amazing.  You can enjoy the casual lounge atmosphere inside (Sunday nights are open mic) or enjoy the view of the Northwest Arm from their patio.

It’s really pretty overwhelming how many great places are packed into such a short distance.  It’s easy to understand why we think Quinpool is one of the best streets in the city.  We barely scratched the surface, especially when it comes to places to eat.  If you feel like we’re missing something that must be included, let us know!

@DrewMooreNS

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Bus Route #80 – Sackville

20 Jun

Welcome to the fourth installment of day trips and vacation spots in HRM accessible by bus (and bike!). Today we’ll take you on the #80, or what could be easily called ‘The Seafood Route”. The 80 starts at the Scotia Square terminal and takes you past some awesome spots in the downtown core, but for the purpose of this post we’re going to start the trip at the Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive. There are many excellent routes for downtown adventures (try the #1 for downtown and the #42 for Robie Street), and the #80’s best bits are further along.

Note for cyclists:  Cycling distances begin at the Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive.  Take care merging onto the Bedford Highway as there are many lanes and traffic tends to be heavy here.  Also, from Hatchery Park to Fultz House, follow the walking route rather than going on Hwy 101 (it’s prohibited for cyclists).  The #80 does not have a bike rack so if you’re cycling out, you’ll be cycling back.

Jim’s Family Seafood Restaurant  (2.9km)
There is a LOT of great food on the #80 route, starting with Jim’s. It offers home style cooking (if your hometown was made up of a group of fishermen, Greek, and Italian residents) for a good price and an even better view. They have awesome deals on seafood, with most entrees ringing in between $10 and $15. The patio overlooking the Bedford Basin isn’t open yet, but we’ve been assured that it won’t be much longer.  If you like fried fish, get the seafood platter.

Tomaso’s Pizza (2.9km)
Also in this area is Tomaso’s Pizza (@tomasospizza). Opened in 1969, Tomosa’s claims to be the oldest pizzaria in Halifax. The owner is originally from Italy, and while we didn’t have the chance to stop in for a slice, the pizza looks pretty good. We were especially interested in the Pesto Sopresa and the Spinaci and Galo Arrostito.

Nature’s Cove General Store (3.9km)
When I first discovered that I couldn’t eat wheat, I had a really hard time finding some decent bread. That is, until a kindly stranger heard my laments and suggested Nature’s Cove. Nature’s Cove is an awesome little shop chock full of local, organic, natural and all around good for you products. Over the weekend, we also learned that they are currently installing the means to offer fresh-scooped ice cream, and some cooking gear to be able to make more in-house creations.

Prince’s Lodge (The Rotunda) (5.7km)
I was really looking forward to covering this route specifically for the Rotunda. For years, I have driven by this funny little round building and wondered what on earth it could be. Thanks to @1_car_guy, @anthonymartinNS and @Steamwrksdesign, our questions were finally answered.

As it turns out, this whole area once played host to Prince Edward and his French mistress Julie St. Laurent. What was once a huge estate fell into disrepair in the late 1800’s, and was broken up and sold into lots. The circular building that can be seen from the road (the Rotunda) is an old music room. If you go into the park you will also see the ‘Heart Shaped Lake’, which Edward built for his mistress.

It seems that Hemlock Ravine was a bit of a lovers playground for the pair.  What all of this taught me is that being a king’s mistress is the way to go.

Hemlock Ravine (5.9km)
@aldelory suggested we check this one out, and we’re glad we did. You could easily spend the whole day here. The park is huge with a network of well-groomed trails (@halifaxtrails).  This is a great spot for couples to go for a walk (or for kids to pretend they’re Robin Hood).  We’ve added a few pictures but you really have to see this one for yourself.


Fisherman’s Market (5.8km)
From this point on, you really start to hit the seafood portion of this adventure. Fisherman’s Market (@fishermanshfx) is a great stop if you plan to bring some lobster home for dinner. When we were there, they also had some samples of their spicy smoked salmon. ☺

Clearwater (7km)
Down the road from the Fisherman’s Market is another fish market at Clearwater (@clearwatersea). As soon as you enter you are stopped short by their starfish display of live lobster. The proximity of the two markets makes it easy to compare options and prices so we suggest visiting both. One thing that we liked about Clearwater is that they have stocked the store with tons of seafood trimmings (butter, cornbread, spices, cream) making it a one-stop-shop for a lobster dinner.

Harvest Wines & Spirits (7km)
Another very nice feature about Clearwater is that it has a wine and spirits boutique for a next door neighbour. Harvest Wines & Spirits  (@harvestwines) has an impressive collection of Nova Scotian wines. We especially liked all of the artful displays of Benjamin Bridge.

They have a cozy room for hosting wine-tasting events, complete with dishware for food pairings. For bigger events, you can rent the whole store and have two bars going at once. This would make a very unique event space.

Battered Fish (7km)
Across the street from the Fisherman’s Market is a pop-up Battered Fish (@tbf09). We have had battered fish from the Waterfront and Scotia Square locations a few times now, and are big fans. The portions are big and well priced and the fries are a perfect mix between McDonalds and Homecut style fries. In addition to some great food options, they have an impressive array of vinegar options.

Esquire Restaurant (7km)
Since we are well versed in Battered Fish cuisine, we opted for a quick bite to eat at the Esquire Restaurant (@esquirebedford). This place is an old standard in HRM. It is everything you could want in a diner (except for local beers, which is unfortunate).

We tried the lobster chowder upon the recommendation of the two Coast ‘Best Of’ Chowder signs in the doorway (2008 and 2009). While it’s been a few years since they’ve made the best of list, we can see why the chowder has caused some commotion in the past. It is thick, creamy and loaded with lobster.

DeWolf Park (9.1km)
If you’ve ever been to Bedford Days, you’re familiar with DeWolf Park. The Bedford Basin park is named after Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, arguably Canada’s greatest naval officer. The park features a fair-sized green area, children’s playground, a boardwalk and signs that share historical facts that date back almost as far as the known beginning of the planet. One thing to take note of at DeWolf was the view of the infilling currently taking place in the Bedford Basin. The project is dumping pyritic slate into this unique ecosystem and has been making some pretty alarming changes. To read more about it check out here. You can also follow the citizens’ group on twitter @savebedfordreef

Thai Ivory Cuisine (8.9km)
Just past the street down to DeWolf Park is what may be the best Thai restaurant in HRM, Thai Ivory Cuisine. We have gone out of our way (i.e. to Bedford) to get their red and green curries. The best time to go is over the lunch hour to take advantage of their awesome lunch deals. Well worth the trip here.

Scott Manor House (10.8km)

I never thought that I was all that into old buildings, but Scott Manor House may have changed my sentiment. Built in 1767, it is the only full two and a half storey, gambrel-roofed colonial structure in Nova Scotia, and possibly in Canada. It also has two original mortarless, loose field stone chimney bases. This attraction is free to visit, but only open in July and August (we lucked into a visit during a special event). There is a tea room on-site that offers tea and assorted sweets between 2 pm and 4 pm.

Fish Hatchery Park (10.7km)
Just around the corner from Scott Manor is Fish Hatchery Park. As the name suggests, it was once the site of a large fish hatchery. Considering it’s right next to the main route, it’s a very peaceful little area that would be a great place for a picnic or to read a book. There is a 2 km walking route from here to Fultz House in Sackville. If you are not looking to shop in downtown Bedford, we suggest stopping at Manor House, heading to Fish Hatchery Park, and then taking a hike to Fultz house before bussing home.

Downtown Bedford (11.7km)
If you continue along on the bus, you will come to Downtown Bedford. This little shopping area has a lot to offer.  Most people are familiar with the original Pete’s location (Drew’s parents used to make pilgrimages all the way from New Glasgow to get hard to find British favourites) and the original Chicken Burger. You will also find the Sunnyside Restaurant (a great, deluxe greasy spoon) the Riverside Pub (a popular watering hole), the Freak Lunchbox candy shop and Uncommon Kids.

Fultz House (13.6km)
Fultz House is a small seasonal museum that pays tribute to more than 200 years of Sackville history. The museum wasn’t yet open on this trip (Open July-August), but we took the opportunity to wander the immaculately kept grounds. We had a great time exploring the property, which is filled with old-fashioned gardening tools, an original cooperage and a working replica of A.J. Smeltzer’s Lower Sackville blacksmith shop.

Even though this was our longest post to date, there are tons of cool things we have left out. If you take a #80 day trip, we’d love to hear what you liked the most.

Note: If you’ve been dreaming of an outdoor wedding, a few of these spots (Hemlock Ravine, DeWolf, and Fish Hatchery) can be booked with a Facilities Rental Contract through the city.

Be sure to check out our other #LocalTravelHRM posts on the #15 Purcell’s Cove, the #60 Eastern Passage and the #21 Lakeside!

@GillianWesleyNS & @DrewMooreNS

The Local Wedding NS

12 Jun

Anyone who has been following our adventures for the past year and a half might know that we are not one local traveler but a couple of local travelers. *  In fact, we are a couple and we recently got married.  Although our wedding isn’t necessarily something random readers would travel to, it was still most definitely an adventure and we were pretty keen to stick with a local theme.  Plus, since it led to some really fantastic local travel adventures for our honeymoon in the Annapolis Valley, we felt like sharing the day here.

Long before the day itself (it was a lengthy engagement), we booked our ceremony and reception at the Atlantica Hotel (@atlanticahfx) at the corner of Quinpool and Robie in Halifax.  Some of you might know it as the old Holiday Inn.  The hotel has been completely overhauled, with beautiful suites, two spacious event spaces (we flip-flopped over which to use for our wedding) and one of the best pool areas among Halifax hotels.

We took to Twitter to find local registries.  @IlovelocalHFX, and many others, promptly recommended Cucina Moderna (@cucinamoderna) on Dresdon Row.  We spent a fun afternoon browsing through their chic kitchenware, and later added a second registry at The Trail Shop (@TrailShop) on Quinpool Road.  We had a blast at the Trail Shop, anticipating all of the camping we want to do this year.

For the rehearsal party and all of the other festivities during the weekend, we stocked up on growlers of Garrison (@GarrisonBrewing) and Propeller (@PropellerBeer), as well as some bottles of Benjamin Bridge (@Benjamin_Bridge) Nova 7.  Being of Scottish descent, my mother brought a bottle of Glen Breton (@GlenBreton) for me and my groomsmen.

The rehearsal party was catered by @Scanway, and Gillian’s second hand Vera Wang dress for the evening (and for all events leading up to the wedding) was from local high end consignment shop Crimson and Clover (@crimson_clover).

Our Saturday morning ritual is to take the bus down to the Seaport Market (@HfxSeaportMrkt) to do our grocery shopping for the week and chat with the vendors and other regulars.  Gillian was a little busy getting her hair done, so I went with some of my groomsmen and my uncle for breakfast.  I went with the chicken curry Cornish pasty (delicious).  The others were afraid this might be too heavy for a wedding day so they got breakfast wraps from Wrap So D.

We washed these down with some Trinity Gold Lemonade, courtesy of our friend, Josh (@joshnordin) and then popped over to Garrison.  Trinity Gold also provided their tasty lemonade for our pre-reception cocktail.  You can now find their lemonade at Saege Bistro (@SaegeBistro).

While we were otherwise occupied, Gillian and the bridesmaids spent the morning getting pretty, with help from fantastic local makeup artist Kristen Scott (@Krisco_).  For jewels, the girls all donned sea urchin necklaces by local company RunFree RunWild, who adapted one of her popular items to custom fit the dress.

The flowers for the bouquets were all selected from a list of Avon Valley‘s ‘Local’ cuts and artfully arranged by Sandra of ‘I Do’ flowers.  The remaining flowers were almost entirely living plants, with all flower design done by Gillian’s Dad, Jay Wesley (@jaywesley4).   Jay has spent years working with the Public Gardens and totally transformed the space.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have so many talented friends.  We knew right away that people would remember our wedding for the music.  Luke Watters (@LukeLWatters) is something of a prodigy and wowed our friends and family with the processionals during the ceremony, featuring a sing-along cover of Justin Rutledge’s Don’t be So Mean Jellybean (Rutledge was the first concert we saw together at the In the Dead of Winter Festival in 2009).  Gillian’s sister, Brittany (@BrittanyWesley) is a very talented vocalist.  She treated us to her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in lieu of grace.  ECMA winner Steven Bowers (@Steven_Bowers) honoured us by performing his 50th wedding anniversary song, It Breaks You So, for our first dance.  It was hard to find a dry eye in the place after that one.  Steve and Luke backed each other for some of their originals and then we let them off the hook to party as Zulca Moon took over.  We discovered these guys at the Seaport Market and fell in love with their infectious grooves.  Seriously, crowds of grinning people form instantly when these guys play at the market and they were in top form for our wedding.  People have been and will be talking about the music for a long time!

Instead of clinking glasses during the dinner to get us to kiss, we asked our guests to make donations to Clean Nova Scotia (@CleanNS).  Also in lieu of favours, we will be making a further donation to Clean NS, specifically to their Adopt a Watershed program.  We live in an area where the Williams Lake watershed is in jeopardy so this program is close to our hearts.

Due to a wheat allergy, we had to avoid regular cake.  Luckily, this meant we could indulge in a variety of cheesecakes from Sweet Hereafter (@Sweet_Hereafter).  Also thanks to @HalifaxSalseros for teaching us to salsa so we could properly groove to Zulca Moon.

Clearly we are pretty big on documenting everything, and we couldn’t have asked for anyone better to document the day in photos than Tanya Shields (@TanyaShields).  She, Jimmy and Ebony did an incredible job of capturing all of the important moments and the vibe of our wedding, right down to the shot of us together with a Metro Transit bus passing behind us.  You can check out her online gallery of the day here.

We’d like to thank @BishopsLanding and @Ristoranteamano for letting us do our shoot in the same neighbourhood where we first lived and where I proposed to Gillian on the waterfront.  Also a big “thank you” to @BishopsCellar for lending us the champagne glasses.

If you’re interested in checking out the play by play of the day, look up #DnGWedFest2012 on Twitter.  Thanks to all of our friends for live-tweeting!

I know we’ve said it already, but one more HUGE thanks to Tanya Shields. She not only did a fantastic job on the day, when we told her about this blog post she went to work picking out some perfect shots to go with this article.  All photos in this post are her lovely images.

*We are always looking for guest bloggers to help us cover our fantastic region.  If you’re interested, please email localtravelerns@gmail.com or send us a message on twitter, @gillianwesleyns or @drewmoorens.

Open City – Day 2 Wrap Up

13 May

Woke up pretty early this morning to get another jump-start on Open City. Headed straight to the waterfront to find out about Murphy’s half price whale watching tour. We were pretty conflicted after finding out that the only tour today was at 1:30 pm, the same time as the Christina Martin show. We were especially conflicted because at half the price, it was a mere $18 for each of us to spend 2.5 hours out on the water on a beautiful summer day.

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Open City – Top 5 Picks

12 May

@IlovelocalHFX launched the first ‘Open City’ event this weekend. Today and tomorrow, local retailers across the city have been invited to give discounts and deals on their products to local shoppers. The full list of discounts and retailers can be found on the I Love Local Halifax webpage, and is pretty extensive.

We woke up at 6:30 am to get a head start on the action. After reviewing the list, and a bit of early morning browsing, these are our top 5 picks to hit up during the first Open City weekend.

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The Bicycle Thief

19 Jul

Since hearing about the theft of a bicycle from Halifax’s latest high-end restaurant, The Bicycle Thief, we have had our hearts, and stomachs, set on trying the fare (proving that publicity stunts and/or tongue-in-cheek larceny are good for something).  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones, since the waiting list to get into the new Bishop’s Landing restaurant rivals only the line-ups at the passport office.

After calling mid-week to get a table for the weekend, they were able to squeeze us in on a Monday (literally, as the place was packed).  We were clever enough to order a bottle of Spy Valley as we debated over the extensive menu.  Our waiter, Mike, was very knowledgeable, strongly recommending the best arugula salad we’ve ever had, along with the mussels and short ribs.  The other members of our party rounded out our orders with shrimp-stuffed chicken, lobster and salmon.  We were all so pleased, that our curiosity over the dessert trumped our full bellies.  Our meal was book-ended with the best creme brulé we’ve ever had as the lights were dimmed in this very cozy waterfront establishment.

Top picks:  arugula salad, chicken stuffed with shrimp, creme brulé

Room for improvement:  short ribs (a little lacking in the flavour department but very tender);  needs more gluten-free options

Wine:  $8+ per glass, $40+ per bottle

Appetizers:  $10-$15

Mids:  $14-$20

Entrées:  $23-$29

McKelvies Restaurant

15 Jul

I worked in a hotel a few years back while still finishing up University. After a short time there, I noticed that every time an out-of-towner asked for a restaurant suggestion, they would get one of two answer: Five Fisherman or McKelvies.

I have never been to either, although the strong concensus amoung the rest of the staff led me to recommend the same. So, after years of blind recoommendation, I finally decided to try Mckelvies out for myself. I was not dissapointed.

McKelvies is located on 1680 Lower Water Street along the Halifax Waterfront. In addition to it’s prime location, the interior design is currently my favourite of any restaurant in the city. I was there with aquaintances so we ordered some calamari and spring rolls to start. While I couldn’t partake in either (Wheat allergy), the general conclusion around the table was that the spring rolls were some of the best they had tried, and the calamari was perfectly cooked.

Onto the main course.  Fortunately for me, McKelvies has a full Gluten free menu. I was torn between the seared scallops and the salmon. With a little help from the staff, the salmon won out. The sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetable side were perfect, the salmon just the slightest bit over cooked but still delishious. My lunch mates reported top marks for the Aqua Seafood Pasta and the Grilled Santa Fe Salmon Salad.

It was all so good in fact that we didn’t pass on dessert when asked, despite being comfortably full. My Creme Brule was my favourite part of an already excellent meal, although I was a bit sad that I couldn’t try the Ginger bread cake and Double Chocolate Bruno Cheesecake, ordered by my table.

The food was so good I’ve almost forgotten to mention the staff, who were lovely and just the right amount of attentive. All in all, Mckelvies was well worth the three year wait, although I hope it won’t be quite so long before I return.

We Reccommend: The Aqua Seafood Pasta (I am leaving this choice up to the less-limited members of my group)

Price:

Appetizers: $2.95 – $11.95 

Lunch: $8.95 – $24.95

Dinner: $17.95 and up

Desserts: $5.95 – $8.95

There is also a new happy hour between 4 pm and 6 pm daily with some great deals. I am hoping to go back (with my fellow traveler this time) and check it out soon.

Halifax Buskers

3 Jul

The summer is a great time to catch a ton of local talent along the waterfront for the cost of the spare change in your pocket. We spent much of Canada Day doing just that. If heading downtown isn’t your top priority this weekend, you can still check out some of the entertaining busking acts from the comfort of your deck.

We came across ‘FolkPhotographer on youtube…hope to see more videos like this throughout the summer. Here are some of our favourites:

June 28, 2011 – Halifax Waterfront

28 Jun

I love Halifax Summers! Some photos from a far too short lunch time walk on the waterfront….

Build your own Halifax

17 Jun
Option 1: Live/Shop/Play

Option 1: Live/Shop/Play

Last night, two plans for the Halifax waterfront were unveiled at the Museum of the Atlantic. The plans show two options for the area between the new NS power building and Bishops landing, an area WDCL is calling the “Cunard Lot”

WDCL is giving the public a chance to share their opinion on which option should occupy the space. Rather than waiting until the project is partially complete, they wanted to bring in public opinion while changes could still be made.

Option 2: Live/Shop/Work/Play

Option 2: Live/Shop/Work/Play

The two plans aim to combine Living, working, playing and shopping in Halifax. You can view the two options and give your feedback here: https://my-waterfront.ca/cunard/registration

 

 

 

What option do you like best? Would you like to see more developments like this in Halifax?