Back in Halifax; more eating and drinking

I’m not going to list out all my Halifax eating adventures like I did before. Because it’s insanely cold and I’m a sissy, I’m not doing as much roaming and grazing this trip. During the week I’m mostly just going to Paper Chase and Wooden Monkey because they’re close to my home base, and reliably awesome. But weekends allow for wandering farther afield.

Here are some highlights:

1. Mojito (aka Cotton Candy Martini) at CUT Steakhouse. The liquid was poured over this giant glob of cotton candy, for a sweet, kind of nondescript concoction, but the concept was fun.

Cotton Candy Martini

2. Dinner at Jane’s on the Common, featuring local ingredients. Jane’s is closing at the end of the year *sob* but Jane will continue operating from a kiosk on Gottingen, next door to her daughter’s new restaurant. Go while you can! I had a lovely veggie curry (with Brussels sprouts) plus Digby scallops and Mr. HP enjoyed mussels from PEI with local Sweet William’s sausage.



3. Burritos in Canada cannot possibly be great. Average, sure–it’s hard to screw up a burrito–but nothing to get excited about. Right? Wrong. Craving burritos despite the distance from Mexico, we tried Burrito Jax and were very pleased. With available ingredients like sweet potatoes and cranberry salsa, they’re not your standard burritos. I got a burrito bowl, with all the fixins over lettuce, and almost felt healthy. Almost.

Burrito Jax

4. A hint about The Fireside restaurant. We went to the bar there for a pre-dinner drink because we wanted to sit by a fireplace and forget about the freezing weather. The bar has a silly little electric fireplace, and we laughed, and had our drink by the “fireside” and got up to leave, and that’s when we saw the REAL (gas) fireplace in the room behind the bar. So, go there, have a fancy drink, and sit by the actual fireplace in the back room.

Yes, it’s cold outside, but there’s eating and drinking to be done. Put on a hat and scarf and explore your town!

Brussels sprouts love (?!)

brussels sprouts


Quote of the Day

Are Brussels sprouts different here? — Mr. HP


I was eating amazing mixed veggie dish #2 in Halifax. First amazing dish was veggie curry at the Monkey. Second amazing dish was veggie curry at Jane’s on the Common. Both dishes included Brussels sprouts, which Mr. HP and I usually avoid; however, these sprouts were amazing–possibly the best part of each dish. I raved at the Halifax Brussels sprouts phenomenon while eating the sprouts at Jane’s, and Mr. HP begrudgingly had a taste, which prompted the Quote of the Day.


  1. If you live in Halifax, eat your Brussels sprouts!
  2. If you, like me, think you’re not a Brussels sprouts person, give them another shot! Try roasting them for a simple, tasty intro to the world of enjoying this strange little cabbage.

Week 3 in Halifax

Day 8, Tuesday

Dreary morning at Paper Chase working, staring out the window, working, and anticipating a lunch meeting at Wooden Monkey. In case you forgot, it is “…where the menu is based on organic, macrobiotic, and locally grown fresh ingredients,” and it’s delicious. Just around the corner from the Monkey is a new patisserie, Le French Fix. The buttery aroma that hits you when you walk in is overpowering, and coerced us to order a [tiny] pastry we weren’t planning on. Le French Fix Patisserie

Delicious. Not really a sit-down-and-hang-out kinda place, though.

Day 9, Wednesday, Halloween

Branching out! Tried Second Cup on Spring Garden for morning coffee. I’d been admiring its window seats as people-watching perches, and the coffee and internet were perfectly adequate. My view (yes, that’s a Starbucks in the background):

Second Cup Coffee

I was nervous after reading a review about the questionable bathroom odors, but fortunately did not have the same experience as that poor soul. It poured all morning with no signs of stopping, so I postponed plans for a food adventure, and instead got a salad and some groceries from Pete’s and trekked home in the rain.

Rainy Halifax

I had two Halloween goals: 1) go out after dinner and do some people-watching; and 2) drink a Propeller Pumpkin Ale. Pumpkin beers are hit or miss for me, and more often miss than hit, but tis the season–and the Propeller brewery is just down the street in Halifax. It took 3 stops to find the elusive ale, and was it worth the anticipation and happy-discovery dance? ……….eh. Didn’t really dig it. It tasted like a hoppy-ish ale with some pumpkin pie spice mixed in. No real pumpkin flavor, just the spices to represent the pumpkin.

Propeller Pumpkin Ale

Day 10, Thursday

What did you do this morning before breakfast? Oh, yeah, well I just went surfing. No big deal. !!! Before coming here, I would not have guessed Halifax had a surf culture, but then I saw the surf shops, and heard tales of year-round surfing made possible by thick neoprene. This morning I had the opportunity to check out the blue crush at the point break at Cow Bay, a popular spot a short drive from Halifax. It was a great time, and thanks to the hooded wetsuit, gloves, and boots, I wasn’t cold at all.

Coffee time at Just Us! on Spring Garden. Much cooler setting than Barrington, in a historic house with lots of small tables scattered around. I had another Bliss Ball for a snack. This one was more honey-y than the last, less bitter. Yum.

Just Us Coffee Spring Garden

Fancy dinner at Chives! So, so good, but kinda heavy food, and lots of it = we were hurting after. Starting with those amazing biscuits, we ate our way through all sorts of local, seasonal vegetables, meat, and seafood. My top two favorite bites were actually 1) sauteed local greens, and 2) a local pickled yellow beet. Chives has won many awards for its creative, responsible cuisine, and glowing reviews are all over the internets.

Day 11, Friday

Heading home to Charlottesville! Can’t wait to get home.

A Few Thoughts on and Pictures of Halifax Architecture

A note about these seemingly off-topic posts: While this blog is dedicated to helping to educate consumers about meat and animal products, and making people more aware of the treatment of the livestock and poultry whose meat, eggs, and dairy they consume, a natural extension of that mission is to promote eating local produce and other foods, and support restaurants that source ingredients from local farmers. Continuing in the sustainable lifestyle vein, we also encourage shopping locally for any goods, not just food, and being an engaged citizen in the community. These travel posts, while not directly related to livestock welfare, are relevant to the theme of participating in and supporting one’s local community. And putting them together spurs us to get out and explore new places!

My first impression of Halifax was that it was not the quaint seaside town I expected. There are many buildings that lack charm or personality–I was told by a friend that there is no city architectural review board, and that developers are allowed to raze historic buildings willy-nilly and replace them with whatever design they want, without regard to aesthetics. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s believable enough.

The more I walk around town, however, the more I am starting to spot really interesting architecture hiding in plain sight. Now that I know it’s lurking everywhere, I notice the cool stuff more and the drab stuff less. Here’s a little photo tour of some buildings that grabbed my attention. [Note: I know nothing about architecture or art. This is purely my uneducated, personal opinion about what I like.]

Week 2 Part II in Halifax. Road trip!

Day 4, Friday

Random musings while walking to my trusty internet connection at Paper Chase for morning meetings:

I’ll spare you yet another picture of my view from my desk at PC, where I had multiple Skype meetings with nary an internet hiccup. Lunch: Friday is the International Market at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. Legit cool thing, or marketing ploy aimed at the cruise ship crowd? I’m on the case. And… it didn’t really seem any different from the last time I was there, which was not a Friday, except busier, due to the two cruise ships docked outside. Except for the enormous pumpkin, which will be carved [alas, I misread… just on display through] Sunday as part of the Pumpkin Crazy Pumpkin Festival. Pumpkin Crazy Pumpkin Festival

The sign says, “Please refrain from climbing the pumpkin.” Ha! Also amusing: tourists photographing the Samuel Cunard statue in front of the cruise ship. Samuel Cunard

It was incredibly gorgeous outside, so I strolled down the waterfront people watching and targeting Pete’s ToGoGo for a salad and maybe some soup. [I really wanted to stop at a waterfront cafe and have a glass of wine on the patio.] Halifax waterfront

Note to future self: Pete’s ToGoGo is open until 4, but at 3 they break down their salad and soup stations. My sunshine-slowed stroll made me too late for a salad. Plan C: the Nomad Gourmet truck parks on Argyle at lunch… but he was gone. [I really wanted to stop at an Argyle restaurant and have a glass of beer on the patio.] Plan D: leftovers at home. Woe is me. So how did I alleviate my sorrows? Oh yes: Steve-O-Reno's Eight Balls

As fabulous as last time I indulged. Dinner: Tried Brooklyn Warehouse, which won Best Restaurant in the Coast Best Of Halifax awards. Their motto: Eat Local. Shop Local. Visit a Farm. My kind of place! Brooklyn Warehouse

Loved the dark, chill ambiance (they also won Best Atmosphere), and all in my party agreed that the food was delicious, if a bit heavy. We were stuffed when we left, but not too full to stop for a drink on the way home at Jane’s on the Common. Sadly [sarcasm], Jane’s only lets you drink if you’re eating too, so we got desserts, which were fabulous (as were the fancy cocktails). So sad they’re closing at the end of the year.

Day 5, Saturday

All participants of last night’s dinner outing had baaad stomach problems overnight and into the next day. The only thing we all ate in common was the tuna tartare dish at Brooklyn Warehouse. We called to let them know there might be something wrong with the dish, and to see if anyone else had reported similar problems (the person who answered thought not), but, oddly, the manager did not deem our problems worthy of a return phone call. Harrumph. Unthwarted, we bundled our sour stomachs into our trusty weekend rental car and hit the road for Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site about an hour and a half from Halifax, as the crow flies. We took the less-direct Lighthouse Route along the coast, stopping a few times. Peggy’s Cove: Peggy's Cove

Chester Basin, where we had lunch at Seaside Shanty, enjoying local seafood, local Propeller sodas (good for stomach ailments, no?), and a bay view: Seaside Shanty

Mahone Bay, with the fantastic Jo-Ann’s Deli and Market with coffee and amazing cookies, which we partook of; and a deli, prepared foods case, and packaged local food products. Here we began the weekend’s cookie theme, and here is where the winning cookie was consumed: oatmeal coconut. Mahone Bay

And finally, Lunenburg. The weather was ideal and we spent hours wandering the quaint little fishing town and drinking and eating. Recommended Lunenburg establishments: Mariner King Inn, Laughing Whale Coffee–words of wisdom from their site:

Food that is produced locally, or at least processed locally (e.g., coffee) is fresher, arrives with a much lower carbon footprint (due to less fuel burned in transportation) and keeps more money in the local economy. Our current centralized industrial food system is organized to make cheap food and maximize corporate profits – often with little regard for the social, environmental and health consequences for workers, consumers, livestock or the land itself.

…the Knot Pub, and Fleur de Sel, a top-notch, award winning restaurant that focuses on local ingredients and seafood.

Day 6, Sunday

Most of the restaurants and shops we visited were wrapping up for the season, so we were lucky to get to the coast when we did. Reluctant to end our vacation, upon return to Halifax, we got coffee and cookies from Julien’s Patisserie in the Hydrostone Market, which was participating in City Harvest by giving discounts on mochas for checking in on social media sites. After enjoying our treats on a bench in the sunshine, we stopped into Lady Luck Boutique where  Mr. HP bought me two awesome, unique, locally-made necklaces for my birthday!

Hydrostone Market

Continuing on our let’s-not-end-vacation kick: a beer at the Henry House, a visit to the Seaport Farmer’s Market to see the Jack-o-lanterns (but we were a half hour early and nothing was lit up yet for the pumpkin walk), and dinner from Fid’s back-door takeout–part of City Harvest.

Fid Resto Back-Door Takeout

Great weekend of eating and shopping local!

Week 2 Part A in Halifax. (Spoiler: more eating)

Day 1, Tuesday

Worked for several hours from my office-away-from-the-office, Paper Chase. Can you tell I kind of like that place? My view:

I worked and stared out the window and drank coffee and worked and got lunch: a curry veggie burger with a side of bean salad. It’s a nice combo–the beans are zesty and bright, and the burger is hearty with a subtle curry flavor–but huge and I’m stuffed. Best part: it came on a heart-shaped bun.

I picked up a flyer at Paper Chase for a local festival called City Harvest, happening this weekend. I love local festivals and this one sounds incredible, but we’re getting out of town this weekend to see some of the surrounding countryside. I’m still benefiting from the festival though: I’ve noted a few of the participating restaurants for future checking-out (examples: here and here).

Dinner at my favorite. Can you guess?

Rice bowl, add scallops, at the funky Monkey. So good.

Day 2, Wednesday

Branched out and tried a new coffeeshop for my morning meetings.

Just Us! Coffeehouse won Silver in the Best Coffee (Regular) category [and Bronze in Best Coffee (Espresso-Based), but I’m a regular coffee kinda gal] in The Coast’s Best Of Halifax awards. Just Us! specializes in fair-trade coffee, tea, sugar, and chocolate, and they sell local prepared foods alongside their cafe sandwiches and pastries. In the pastry case were a few Bliss Balls (similar in concept to my dear Eight Balls, but with different ingredients) that I suspect I will go back and try later. It’s a very popular (read: loud) place, and I prefer Paper Chase for these reasons:

  1. It’s quieter
  2. Wifi is stronger (my Skype connection at Just Us! was lousy so I had to leave)
  3. Menu is bigger
  4. View is better

Just Us! would be great for a workday coffee catchup with a friend, if you work in a downtown office; it just wasn’t ideal for my Skype meetings. Good to try new places though.

Lunch: salad from Pete’s, since I had to go grocery shopping anyway. And I love a big salad. Checked out the chicken selection, and was disappointed to see that Pete’s only carries chicken that is only labelled as grain-fed, which I assume means it is not pastured, free-range, cage-free, etc, as those descriptors would also be on the label. Dear Pete, please stock free range chicken. At least the non-happy chicken meat is local.

Day 3, Thursday

Started the day with a nice long run along the harbour and through Point Pleasant Park and was treated to a lovely sunrise over the water, and stunning fall foliage in the park–the one time I don’t have a camera with me. When looking for a link to the waterfront boardwalk for the previous sentence, I came upon a site listing trails in the Halifax area, and decided to check out the Halifax Urban Greenway on my way to coffee. Walked through Dalhousie University on the way. The central buildings are very pretty.

The Greenway wasn’t that interesting, just a paved multi-use trail along a road (I was hoping for water views), but it’s part of a worthy initiative–to connect urban trails and create a network for commuting and recreation.

Halifax Urban Greenway

I had a pleasant stroll through a quiet, leafy neighborhood in an area of town I hadn’t previously visited. For coffee-and-meetings time, I chose The Wired Monk, because it won Best Wifi Spot in The Coast‘s Best of Halifax awards, and I needed good wifi after yesterday at Just Us!. I settled down with a coffee in a comfy chair and proceeded to fight with the internet for a half hour before giving up and leaving. Maybe the wifi was having a rough day, but I fail to see how they won Best Wifi Spot. My connection kept dropping, and when I was connected, it was too weak to allow me to log onto the VPN at my office back home. Very frustrating. At least it’s in a neat house, on a block of neat houses:

Wired Monk Halifax

Afternoon snack: remember the Bliss Balls at Just Us!? Well I got one, and took it down to the harbour for some sunshine.

Bliss Ball from Just Us! Coffee

Bliss Balls are locally made from oats, tahini, honey, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. While the size of the Bliss Ball was more manageable than the Eight Ball‘s, I have to give the flavor prize to Steve-O-Reno’s. The Bliss Ball was tasty, but with a slightly bitter aftertaste; I’m sure it’s less calorie-dense, though, being oat-based rather than dried fruit-based.

Evening snack: Stepping out of Tom’s Little Havana after an after-dinner drink or two, I noticed that Sweet Jane’s was still open, and the alcohol and my sweet tooth ganged up on me. The store is packed with fun gifts and all sorts of candy. I chose a locally-made salted almond caramel:

Lucy Lu's Caramel

Lucy Lu Sea Salt Caramels are also sold at the Seaport Farmer’s Market. It was everything I look for in a salted caramel; my only complaint is that the wax paper wrapper was stuck to the caramel, and eventually I had to give up trying to peel it off and just eat it off. The sacrifices I make for dessert.

I am rambling more than I expected, so I’m splitting this week into two posts. More to come!

(Mostly Eating) Adventures in Halifax: Week 1

(Why do I eat so much when I visit Halifax?)

Day 1

Lunch at Bubba Ray’s because a football game required us to be at a sports bar. It was a fantastic sports bar as far as watching a game goes, but my nachos were subpar.

Dinner at Fid (motto: Local By Nature). Had the Farmers Market Inspiration again, in all its giant bento box glory. Took another crappy phone picture of it.

Fid Resto

Now that I compare pictures, I see that the dish is very similar to what I got last time, but that’s ok because it was delicious. This time I managed to stop eating and take home leftovers instead of hurting myself.

Day 2

Lunch at organic, locally-focused The Wooden Monkey. Had the rice bowl, add scallops. It was incredible. Spouse declared it the best restaurant in Halifax (he got the roast chicken and pesto sandwich, sub apple salad).

Dinner at home: grilled Nova Scotia salmon and veggies from Pete’s Frootique, which specializes in local produce. Pete’s is sort of like the Halifax Whole Foods, but it’s a small independent chain. The Halifax store has a gluten-free cafe and made-to-order breakfast wraps and salads.

Day 3

Ran through Point Pleasant Park to burn some of these restaurant calories. On the way I passed the Inglis Street Urban Garden at Inglis Street Elementary School. Lucky kids!

Inglis Street Urban Garden

 Day 4

Coffee at Steve-O-Reno’s. It was chilly and sprinkly so I did not lounge on the porch.


I had been told this was the best coffee in town, and I can report that it is pretty darn tasty–and very popular with the on-the-way-to-work crowd. They carry gluten-free goodies; I plan to return for an Eight Ball (nuts, fruit, coconut ground up and formed into a large ball).

Lunch from Pete’s ToGoGo (yes, that Pete): West African Peanut Soup and a custom salad. With a little adventure thrown in, trying to find it from Hollis St.

Pete's ToGoGo

The soup is much like my dearly beloved Spicy Senagalese Peanut Tofu from Rev Soup (sans tofu) and hit the spot on a dreary day. The salad packs a lot of ingredients into a small box. This would totally be my lunch spot if I worked downtown.

Day 5

Coffee at my office-away-from-the-office, Paper Chase. Great place to work and caffeinate and stare out the window.

Since it was a pretty day, for lunch I ferried over to Dartmouth for some highly-recommended fish and chips at Evan’s.

Fish and chips at Evan's

It was tasty, but I’m not used to that much fried all at once. One’s plate of food is not supposed to be a single color. Enjoyed the ferry ride and its views:

Halifax from the ferry

Because I was on a nutritional roll, when I got back to Halifax I wanted dessert. I stopped at World Tea House and got an oatcake (more brown food) but my favorite goody in the case was a shortbread cookie with an icing WTH, which filled me with glee until I realized it was the initials of the cafe’s name.

Dinner: back to the Monkey. I got the veggie stirfry, add scallops, which was tasty but not as good as that rice bowl. Oh that rice bowl. I tried a Nova Scotian hard cider, Stutz, and was pleasantly surprised. So I had a second bottle.

Stutz Cider

Day 6

I went back to Steve-O-Reno’s for that Eight Ball I spied on Day 4. It was amazing. Dates, almonds, cranberries, flax seeds. Cashews too, I think? And it was huge.

Steve-O-Reno's Eight Ball

The Eight Ball was my fuel for a long walk to the Hydrostone neighborhood, via The Grainery Food Co-op, which I had read about while researching Halifax CSAs and other local food resources. It was smaller than I expected (I was picturing something more like the fabulous Crozet Natural Foods Co-op, which, oddly, has no online presence. It’s not gone, is it? I haven’t been to downtown Crozet in several years), but did have some local grains and dried fruits, and a bulletin board full of local food info.

Walked down the cute strip of shops at Hydrostone Market,

Hydrostone Market

resisted the pastries at the patisserie, visited some of the neighborhood’s interesting little boulevards and hiked back home.

Dinner was at Jane’s on the Common. I did not take my usual crappy phone picture of my meal because I inhaled it and there was no time for pictures. I got a veggie rice bowl, add scallops, similar to my favorite Monkey meal, but this had a sweet green curry sauce. It was great. Jane’s ingredients come from local farms when possible, and the space is cozy and comfortable. Unfortunately, the restaurant is closing at the end of the year, so get there while you still can. I know I’ll be back.

Halifax local food resources

As a new part-time Haligonian (yes, Haligonian) I felt compelled to do some research on the urban farming scene in Halifax. From a previous visit I knew about the Seaport Farmers’ Market and was excited to read about a bounty of other in-town gardens and suburban markets, farm stands, and pick-your-own farms.

Urban farming is popular in Halifax and Dartmouth. The area is home to a few small, urban CSAs and a patchwork of backyard garden plots, and a population that increasingly wants to know where their food comes from, what’s in it, and its carbon footprint.

I was working on a list of CSAs that have dropoffs in Halifax when I came across this excellent directory, which is much more comprehensive than mine was going to be. So in the interest of not duplicating effort for a lesser result, I will not compile my own list here. Thanks, Marla!

Local food resources for Halifax, Nova Scotia

List of regional CSAs, specifying which deliver to Halifax

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, open Tuesday through Sunday, with Friday being International Day, yum

The Grainery Food Co-op on Agricola St in Halifax, open Tuesday and Wednesday 4:00 – 6:30 PM and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 1:30 – 7:00 PM

Halifax Garden Network, with an awesome map of urban garden plots. I can’t wait to have a little treasure hunt, wandering around town with that map trying to spot the gardens.

Regional pick-your-own farms. Of course, not being from the area, I don’t know if any of these are close to Halifax. But maybe you do.

Incidental interesting fact: Halifax soil is high in lead from people dumping coal ash into their yards back in the day.

Here’s to getting to know the local food scene in Halifax.

Halifax Food Tour

Haute Pasture had a fun trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia a few weeks ago, full of fantastic eating and drinking (and running). Here are the highlights:


Who knew Halifax was such a destination for delicious sustainable food? We had memorable meals at three restaurants that feature local, seasonal, responsible foods.

The Wooden Monkey

The Wooden Monkey

The Wooden Monkey is all about local, organic food. They strive to serve only the highest quality food, while supporting local farmers. How could we not eat here? For lunch, we shared the trio of dips, and I had a Sweet Apple Salad, both of which I can recommend.

Fid Resto

Fid Resto

Fid Resto sources sustainable ingredients from a long list of local farmers. I had the Farmer’s Market Inspiration, which changes from day to day based on what was available at the farmer’s market, and it was so good (and huge) I hurt myself eating the entire thing. It was my favorite entree of the trip.



Another lovely dinner at Chives featured seasonal, local ingredients. I had a farmer’s market salad, again based on what the chef picked up at the market that day, and a local lobster special. The crème brûlée at Chives edged out the Fid version, in our expert opinion.


Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

I had a lovely mango lassi at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. It was a sweaty day, and I was venturing far from the hotel and appreciated the refreshment. I enjoyed browsing the local produce and crafts at the market.

Paper Chase Cafe

I drank lots of coffee at Paper Chase, which served as my office for a couple days. It had a funky vibe, tasty vegetarian food, and excellent window-side tables for people-watching while working.

Being avid supporters of the local beer, wine, and cider (we need a cider trail) scene in Charlottesville, we looked forward to trying some locally brewed beverages, but apparently we are spoiled by our local offerings. The Nova Scotian beers and wines we tried were nothing special.


Point Pleasant Park

From anywhere downtown, run up the hill to the Citadel, turn left, and head down South Park Street to Point Pleasant Park. There’s a quiet, leafy loop through the park with sea views and lots of other runners. The run is fairly flat, other than the big hill up to the Citadel, with just one tough climb past halfway in the loop (going clockwise). Downtown, through the park, and back is roughly 5 miles.

Halifax is a cool town with strong popular support of local businesses. Responsible restaurants like The Wooden Monkey, Fid, and Chives extend that support to area farmers, as well, by serving local, sustainable, seasonal ingredients. I hope that trend continues and I see more restaurants following their lead on my next trip.