Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Moveable Feast

Last weekend I was on vacation; this week, I am not.  :-(  However, while the timing was right, I took advantage and loved every minute of it. After a long Friday of trotting around in dt Hali, we decided that the time was right for oyster Happy Hour. The Five Fishermen Grill hosts a HH everyday from 4:30 - 6:30 featuring a variety of delicious oysters and generously-priced drinks.  We settled in at a table on the patio and waited for our meal: an order of grilled fish tacos, a dozen oysters with all the accouterments and two oyster shooters.

The shooters arrived first.  A mini-Cesar in a glass, they were (a touch too) spicy for me and left me reaching for the bread basket - a delicious selection from Julien's Bakery.  The oyster inside though, was delicious and went down just as easily as those in their shells.  While I enjoyed my bubbly and Stutz Hard Cider, my friend chose a draft beer, remarking on how good the HH prices were.

The tacos were lovely.  The rustic tortilla was house-made and made me realize how fabricated store-bought corn tortillas really taste.  The fish was flaky, lightly grilled and served with guacamole and a tangy salsa.  When our oysters arrived we were delighted at the selection of big 'uns and little guys.  I was more partial to the smaller Malpeques, so my friend and I swapped plates.  On the side, 5Fish serves a mix of wasabi mayo, horseradish sauce and a mignonette-type sauce plus the cutest mini bottles of Tabasco you've ever seen!
With a taste for sea-salty goodness, I was on a role with seafood.  I wanted mussels for dinner, so we packed up and headed further dt to Brussels Restaurant and Brasserie on Grafton St.  I ordered a pot of the Provencal, tossed in a mix of tomato, garlic and basil ($8.95),  while my friend ordered the Brussels burger; a AAA burger with aioli, smoked Gouda and caramelized onions ($10.95).  Since he ordered a side garden with his burger, s I clearly had to get an order of fries and mayo ($3.95) to go along with the meal.  

My dish was pretty good; the mussels were a nice size and the tomato sauce was just thick enough to actually stick to the little suckers.  The fries were awesome with a good mix of big, tender fries and the little crispy bits that I've come to love.  My friend's burger good too; juicy and flavourfu, and with tasty toppings.  
Mussels, fries and beer are one of my all-time favorite meals, so you can imagine how I felt when Brussels opened a few years ago.  You can also imagine how I felt when I couldn't eat at least seven mussels because they were damaged or hadn't opened. I've been noticing a trend on that front in Halifax restos lately; I often have to chuck 7-10 mussels out of a 1-pound order.  If chefs/cooks, etc.  would simply throw in an extra 3-4, it might cost them a bit more, yes, but they would have a satisfied opposed to one that's pissed off about throwing half her meal in the trash...


Anonymous said...

There really isn't ANY excuse for serving unopened mussels.None. And the damaged ones should never have been thrown in the pot to start with.

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