Throughout the trip out East, Travelling Companion has been ordering Seafood Chowder. Every time she gets it I’ve asked her to talk to me about it and see what makes for a good seafood chowder and what makes for, well, a not so great seafood chowder.
What we’ve noticed so far is that the PEI based chowders are “thicker” soups – kind of like you’d see with a creme of mushroom or a creme of broccoli. In Nova Scotia the seafood chowders have a more “watery” consistency. So they’re more like vegetable soups with chunks of seafood.
I’m going to write down places we’ve bought seafood chowder and ask her for some quotes about each. (As I don’t like seafood I’ll just gather the information) This is 12 days into our trip, so TC’s memory is going back a bit:
1. Gahan House, Charlottetown PEI: Everyone remembers their first chowder. TC: “Ummm, I remember thinking it had the most herbs in it. Did it have bacon in it? Only one of them had bacon and that was the Grubstake.”
2. Water Prince Corner Shop, Charlottetown PEI: “It was too thick – like it had been cooking too long. it actually didn’t have that much flavour. It tasted like you would expect a mass produced variety to be like – if you opened a can. I didn’t like that one.”
3. Sandbox Grill, Cavendish PEI: “Umm – I only had a cup. I think it was quite thick. I wasn’t too crazy about it.”
4. A small East Indian restaurant/cafe in Antigonish, NS: She really liked this one. I thought because it was “watery” that it wouldn’t be as good. But TC said she really really liked it. TC: “That one was really good. It was watery and hot — and it had noticable chunks of celery and carrots and big bits of potato. Really good flavour.”
5. Grubstake Restaurant, Louisbourg NS: “Grubstake was awesome because it had bacon in it, and it was watery. It had a good homemade taste. It had nice big hunks of fish. Noticiable hunks of fish. Like salmon, and haddock. The only thing i didn’t like was they used baby shrimp – and I prefer giant shrimp. I remember it being super good.”
6. Economy Shoe Shop, Halifax NS: “Did I have chowder there? I don’t think I had chowder.” Sorry. I got it wrong.
7. Dockside Pub I forget the name of in Halifax NS: “Heart and Thistle? [COLLINS SPELLS IT WRONG – corrected by TC] H-A-R-T. It was watery broth – it tasted very fresh. It was nice because they put two mussels in the shell in it. It was only in a cup.”
8. Sou’Wester, Peggy’s Cove: “The only one I noticed that had lobster in it. It was also kind of watery – It had paprika sprinkled across the top that made it kind of nice.”
9. Lakeside Grill in Halifax NS: Okay she didn’t order the seafood chowder here. She had a turkey soup. Perhaps she’s had enough of seafood chowder. However, tonight she ordered a seafood pasta that she loved.
Okay i’ve asked her to rank them in top 3 – in the order from her most enjoyable:
1. “Probably that Antigonish place.”
3. Gahan house.
“Maybe the Peggy’s Cove was better than the Gahan house. So, maybe Peggy’s Cove would be higher. That was their specialty and it was good.”
3. Sou’Wester (Peggy’s Cove).
So there you have it.
We continue on to Moncton tomorrow, so if there’s a good seafood chowder up there, we can add it to the long list of chowders that she has enjoyed along our trip thus far.