On our second day in Halifax we decided to take it easy on the Waterfront Boardwalk. Being an important touristic attraction, it's the perfect place to open up a restaurant or a shack and ensure you will always have customers. Well at least during the Summer time. Since people just walk around, they will eventually stumble upon your eatery.
Obviously, just like any touristic part of any city, just because a restaurant is located there and seems to be doing great business doesn't mean it's good. Since I didn't want us to fall into the tourists' trap, I did some research online before heading out just to know which places on the Boardwalk are worth trying and which ones are to be avoided based on the quality of food and service or how bad it could hurt our wallets.
Right in the historic properties we stumbled upon Cows, a Prince Edward Island based ice cream parlors chain. More than just an ice cream bar, it's also a store that sells t-shirts and lots of fun stuffs featuring cows. Yes, there are cows all over the place. More cows than you'd find in Switzerland.
We got in out of curiosity. The ice cream flavours all looked delicious, including classics such as cookie dough, chocolate, and strawberry, as well as funky ones like bubble gum or birthday cake. Some recipes sounded just as amazing with funny names Cowsrispy crunch and Wowie Cowie. They had my favorite flavour, pecan nut maple, but I decided to go for the PEI apple crisp.
The single scoop (a generous scoop by the way) on a waffle cone is about five bucks with the taxes and it's totally worth it. Though it tasted a bit like diabetes, it really felt like someone had taken an actual apple crisp pie and mixed it with vanilla ice cream.
So rich and delicious, I can understand the popularity of the place and the notoriety of the chain. Too bad we don't have one in Montreal! So if you have the chance to stumble upon a Cows somewhere in Canada, stop by, even if you're lactose intolerant. It will be worth the pain.
Located in the more crowded spot of the Boardwalk is Dave's Lobster, which I had read online had good stuff. After all we came to Halifax to relax and have lobster, and we were starting to be hungry so we gave it a try.
The selection isn't big because their specialty is lobster roll. On the menu is the Local, the Some Fancy, the Lobster Taco, and the Featured Lobster Roll. The Featured that day was a half half of the Local and the Some Fancy.
All meals come with a dill pickle (a big one by the way) and a small bag of Covered Bridge Potato Chips. Phil decided to go for the Some Fancy.
The Some Fancy is simply lobster warmed in butter, served on a grilled roll, and topped with chives. Simple, delicious. We're both not fans of lobster overly done with tons of dressing.
For my part I decided to try the Lobster Taco.
Basically lobster tossed in some mayo, lime, cilantro, and a bit of chili pepper, served on top of a simple coleslaw and in a soft tortilla shell than topped with fresh cilantro. Once again it was very simple but good as it was, though I would have liked a little bit less coleslaw. I had a bit of trouble eating my taco and even dropped two pieces of lobster (did I cry? I tried not to).
The portions we had were quite generous. Perhaps it wasn't one whole lobster each (or maybe it was but it wasn't a big lobster) but it was at least a whole claw and the whole tail in one serving. You can tell they put care into what they do because we had to actually wait for our food. The lobster mixes are made to order and they make sure the presentation is pleasing to the eyes (it doesn't look like it was just dumped onto the roll or the tortilla). I have to admit the bill was a little bit high : it came to about 18$ each with the taxes. Still affordable considering the size of the portions and the location. Oh and the potato chips? Great choice. From the pickle, to the lobster roll, to the chips, everything was of good quality.
And so that's it for what the food we had on the Boardwalk. Restaurants and shacks are all over the place so whatever you like you'll find it and won't starve. However look out for the quality and the bill : some of those places are not that worth it from reviews online. Still, if you happen to take a stroll on the Waterfront, pay a visit to Cows and Dave's Lobster. You won't regret it.