Friday, 27 February 2009


Where: McKelvie's, 1680 Lower Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
When: Friday, February 27, 2009.
What: Tall Ships Fish 'n Chips, $13.95+tax.

Myself and a couple of friends wanted to try out some new fish and chips one Friday night. The first place we chose was too packed to move, so we went across the street to McKelvie's, a seafood restaurant in downtown Halifax. The restaurant opened in 1980, but was originally the home of the Halifax Fire Department. Their focus is on fresh Atlantic seafood, but the menu also includes pasta, meat and chicken dishes.

We arrived during the prime Friday after work time, and were seated right away. The restaurant was not packed like the pub across the street, which we didn't mind at all. Our server was very friendly, explained the daily specials, and started us off with drinks. We also received a basket of fresh raisin bread and nice, creamy butter. That was unexpected and a nice change from what you get at most restaurants.

Garrison Tall Ships

Raisin Bread
Raisin bread with butter

I was the only one at our table to order the fish and chips. The four, not three, pieces of fish arrived with fresh cut fries, homemade coleslaw on a bed of lettuce, a slice of lemon, fresh tartar sauce, and ketchup.

Fish & Chips at McKelvie's
Tall Ships Fish n' Chips.

I liked the light batter on the fish, and also enjoyed having four small pieces instead of three as described in the menu. Sometimes when you only get one or two large pieces, the fish gets a little overcooked. I did like the fish, nice fresh flavour and the batter was not doughy. The fries were hand cut, but not very plentiful, nor were they shoestring as the menu said. For the price I would normally expect more fries. The tartar sauce could have used more dill, and the coleslaw was almost tasteless, but I did like the presentation of the dish.

Dessert Coffee
I decided to have a coffee for dessert. One of my favourite treats after a nice meal.

Overall I think this was a great experience. McKelvie's is a nice, family style restaurant, but with a local feel. A lot quieter than a crowded pub for sure, with fast and friendly service. It may be a little pricey as your favourite seafood restaurant, but a nice place to take out-of-towners you might want to impress! I did find the decor a little odd. Lots of brightly painted wooden decorations with a Canadian or ocean theme, with classy and comfortable table settings.

I give McKelvie's 4 little fishies out of 5.

Extra Notes:
Pay by cash, debit, or credit.
Gift certificates available.
Wheelchair accessible.
Wifi zone.
Open seven days a week.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Deluxe Fish and Chips

Where: Deluxe Fish & Chips, 964 Prospect Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
When: Friday, December 26th, 2008.
What: Two piece fish & Chips.

I spent the holidays with my family in New Brunswick, as I do every year. On Boxing Day I drove into town to visit my sister and her two boys. I was starving and proposed we go out to eat and I really wanted fish and chips.

Unlike in other places, Boxing Day in New Brunswick is actually a holiday. Very little is open, not even most fast food restaurants. Knowing this, we did check out William's at the exhibition grounds, but of course it was closed.

So, we did the unthinkable; we drove uptown to Deluxe Fish and Chips. It was open, when pretty much everything else on Prospect Street was closed. There seemed to be only two staff working that day, so service was quite slow.

Once we got our food we went back to my sister's place to eat supper and watch a movie.


I really was not impressed with the food at all. I will say that this was the worst fish and chips I've ever had. I'm not surprised really since I remember them being terrible as a child also. The fish was overcooked, mushy, and totally flavourless. I might as well have been eating glue. The fries just look like discards, short, little stubby things. I like real fries, long ones, fresh ones! These were rubbery, tasteless things.

Honestly I'm surprised why this place still exists. Their food has never been good in my opinion, but maybe they have some nice things on their menu. Maybe people just don't know any better. I really don't know. I guess I just had to eat their once again to remind myself that decent fish and chips does exist out there.

I give Deluxe Fish & Chips 1 litle fishy out of five.

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill

Where: Jack Astors Bar & Grill, 184 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax.
When: Tuesday, September 9, 2008.
What: Two piece fish and chips, $12.77 + tax.

I normally would not go to a place like Jack Astor's for fish and chips, but my friend invited me out to a movie one Tuesday night, and I needed to eat supper (we saw the Dark Knight on Imax).

I actually enjoy Jack Astor's, for the food anyway. It's not bad for a big box restaurant. Plus the staff is usually friendly, and you get to draw on the table.

What's not to like?

I apologize for the cellphone picture, but it wasn't a planned visit and so I didn't have my camera with me. You get an idea of the portion size anyway. The fries were ok, a bit too salty. I found pieces of fish small and overcooked. The batter was doughy and they fish lacking in flavour.

I wouldn't get the fish and chips there again, though I do like some other items on the menu.

I give Jack Astor's 2 little fishies out of 5.

Maxwell's Plum

Where: The Maxwell's Plum, 1600 Grafton Street, Halifax.
When: Saturday, August 16th, 2008.
What: Two piece fish & chips, $12.95 + tax.

My friend Jill was in town for a visit and we went looking for a place to have lunch one rainy Saturday afternoon. We settled on Maxwell's Plum to try their fish and chips.

I ordered their plum ale to drink while waiting for our food to arrive. It was very tasty, nice and light.

I liked the presentation of the fish and chips. Two large pieces on a basket of fries. There was no homemade tartar sauce, unfortunately.

Maxwell's Plum

I didn't really like the fries. I thougth they were a bit soft and not hot enough. The fish was ok too. A little bit doughy. I would probably go again, just to give them another chance.

I give Maxwell's Plum 3 little fishies out of 5.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Mug & Anchor Pub

Where: Mug & Anchor Pub, 643 Main St., Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.
When: Saturday, July 19th, 2008.
What: Two piece fish & chips.

On a Saturday road trip to the south shore of Nova Scotia, my friend Remi and I stopped at The Mug & Anchor Pub in Mahone Bay for some lunch.

We sat on the balcony during an overcast but very hot day, with a great view of the bay and the famous three churches.

Our service was prompt and friendly. We had pints of Clancy's while we waited for our fish and chips.

There weren't a lot of fries but they made up by giving huge portions of fish. I found they were nicely battered, not too much and it was well cooked not doughy. It was a bit pricey though, but maybe that is to be expected in a small town at the height of tourist season.

Mug & Anchor Pub

I give Mug & Anchor Pub 3 little fishies out of five.

Long time no post

Hello faithful readers. I haven't posted in a while and I do apologize for that. I have a few reviews from this summer that I'm about to post. Hopefully I will post more regularly this year, though I haven't had any fish and chips yet in 2009. I decided to give up meat again, just for a while, to that leaves fish out. However I have said I will only allow myself to eat fish and chips once and a while, and no other types of meat, fish, or animal flesh.

Thanks for reading!