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Restaurants & Bars

Atlantic Canada

reviews from Cape Breton - long

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reviews from Cape Breton - long

wickalicious | Jul 14, 2005 10:26 AM

Our trip out east included a 2 day whirlwind tour of Cape Breton, and we had some great food around Cheticamp. We stayed at the Pilot Whale B&B in St. Joseph du Moine. The breakfasts were huge and delicious. Eggs, bacon, toast, coffee and juice, and three kinds of home made jam (blueberry, strawberry and rhubarb, of which the sweet-tart rhubarb was definitely the best). If you prefer French toast to eggs, they're happy to oblige - and are rewarded with incredibly cripy toast fried in the drippings from the bacon. So good!

We had dinner on our first night at the Acadien Restaurant. Both the S.O. and I had the fish chowder - potatoes and whitefish served in a clear fish broth, no milk or cream...but still surprisingly good. It needed some salt and pepper to wake it up some. A friend and I both had the meat pie (tasty, moist shredded beef and pork filling, nicely browned biscuit crust that was unfortunately a bit soggy), and my boyfriend had the slow cooked beef and potatoes (the acadian name of which escapes me right now). Nice, homey food. But the mind-blowing part of the meal was dessert. The butterscotch meringue pie nearly made me weep - it had an incredible, flaky, buttery crust, smooth rich pudding and perfectly light fluffy meringue on top. That alone was worth the trip!

The next afternoon, on the advice of the B&B proprietor, we went to the All Aboard Restaurant for the crab special. I've heard many folks on this board suggest that the Acadien Restarant is the only place worth eating in Cheticamp, but you really shouldn't miss this place when seafood is in season. Apparently, the owner is a crab fisherman. When we were there, the crab dinner was only $14 (apparently, a whole lobster with a side of crab was $18 - what a deal!). Without question, it was the best crab I've ever tasted - two large sets of legs with incredibly sweet meat and melted butter for dipping. It was sided with unusually good mashed potatoes (very smooth and buttery), coleslaw and green beans that were, amazingly, not boiled into oblivion. Apparently we came near the end of the season for 'offshore crab' - the 'inshore crab' season (i.e. softshell) starts on the 15th of July, so I'm sure there will be more deals to be had. Oh, and the chowder in this place wasn't half bad either - the scallops and shrimp were small and overcooked, but there was some kind of whitefish in the broth that was amazingly, falling apart tender and moist.

The other place to check out in Cheticamp is the Aucoin Bakery. Excellent fresh buns that sell out daily. We also had great flaky cheese croissants and tasty chocolate chip cookies (they tasted like those old 'Dad's' cookies in the yellow bag would have tasted if they were homemade).

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