The Delta Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) in Fredericton has a fantastic location on the bank of the Saint John River. In addition to its first-class rooms and award-winning dining room, the hotel has an excellent outdoor swimming pool, bar and restaurant area. It is so pleasant to sit here in the gentle breezes beside the wide river with its lush green trees growing all along its banks. Very often you will see a fish-hunting Osprey slowly patrolling the waters for a meal of its own!
Favorite Dish: My wife and I recently had a late afternoon snack here to go with our cold glasses of beer and wine. I tried the Teriyaki Salmon Wings (US$5) - sweet soya and garlic marinated salmon strips with deep fried wontons and Chinese fried garlic while my wife tried their Bruschetta Bruno (US$6) served with fresh herbs, tomatoes and mozzarella. Both dishes were absolutely amazing, such interesting flavours!
Cora's provides a unique eating experience, possibly only comparable to the 'Squat & Gobble' in San Francisco! The way the breakfast meals are presented, and served with panache, makes this a fantastic way to start your day. The small chain of these restaurants originated in Quebec as Cora Mussely Tsouflidou, from a modest family in the remote Gaspe peninsula (north of New Brunswick), was left on her own when her husband deserted her and their three children. She fought back and developed her own fame, as set forth in the piece below from her website:
"After only a few months of operation, Cora transformed the little snack bar into a whole new breakfast concept in Quebec, which specialized in fruit, cheese, cereal, omelettes, pancakes, and French toast. Inspired by family traditions, customer requests and suggestions from her children, Cora created new breakfasts, which blended the best of traditional breakfasts with new health food trends. Over the years, Cora the kitchen magician improved upon her traditional breakfasts and conjured up more than 100 new ideas. These inventive new breakfasts were complemented by a colourful, child-like illustration on the walls of her Cote-Vertu snack bar. This playful imagery later became her signature logo in restaurants throughout her future chain."
Favorite Dish: We always start off with one of their 'smoothy' fruit cocktails served in a large glass. The combination varies, but ours had strawberry, pineapple, cranberry, mango and a few other fruits all blended together. It is a thick and cold mixture that can hold a straw upright and is served with a fresh slice of pineapple on the rim and a slice of cantelope on the plate. There are all sorts of main meal choices, from traditional bacon/eggs, omelettes, many fruit based dishes and so on. There is something wrong with you if you can't find something fastastic for breakfast here!!
In late summer, 2005 a genuine Pakistani restaurant opened it's doors in Fredericton!! Wow, I thought this will be a great chance for me to really sample some great curries. However, with me being tied up for a couple of months dealing with retirement, followed immediately by a sudden consulting offer, it took my wife and I some time before we finally made it through the doors of Chez Riz!
As it turns out, the owner and chef of this establishment, Rzwan-Ul-Haq has a very fine pedigree earned from running a namesake restaurant in Montreal for 15 years. The quality of his preparations was so good that, once sampled by Pierre Elliot Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Trudeau was thenceforth a lifelong customer! The completion of my first independent consulting contract was a good enough excuse for my wife and I to make ourselves a reservation for early on a quiet Wednesday night.
Favorite Dish: Mr. Riz is especially noted for his Tandoori Chicken so I had my mind fixed on that before I even went. As it turns out, the main menu consists of a buffet meal (US$16) which consists of the Tandoori Chicken with Fried Onions, Chicken Curry, Beef Curry, Nan Bread, Hot Peppers, Basmati Rice, a cooked vegetable mixture, homemade yogurt and a vast array of salad ingredients. Other than this, there are only a couple of Chef's Specials, one of which was a Mango Curry Chicken in a creamy sauce (US$12). These are the two dishes that my wife and I went for, accompanied by glasses of the house Australian wines (US$5/glass). I must say, it was a fantastic feast and I had to sample the Tandoori Chicken more than once - such an interesting flavour and not with the typical 'red' colour of other Tandoori meals that I have had. The decor was great, the staff were very friendly and efficient and Mr. Riz himself came out to chat to his customers. We definitely will be returning to this place!
UPDATE: (As of late 2006 this restaurant has closed and the building now hosts the highly rated 'Amici', with an Italian-themed menu) The Jester's Court is located in a former Bank building, and only opened in December, 2004. It is one of a few Pub Concept establishments located in Canada seeking to achieve the following from their web-site: "A concept developed to provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to own and operate their own unique British style pub with minimum investment and no franchise fees. The passion of word and song, of fresh, flavourful foods, velvety stouts, lagers and ales, fine wines and high spirits; such, define the public houses of Britain - the pubs - having long been the hub of the community, and to experience this atmosphere is to bask in it. But to be its caretaker ...a noble triumph!"
I must say that I was very impressed with the changes to the interior decor of the Bank building. Several large skylights provide soft diffuse lighting, dark wood walls lined with books give a feeling of warmth and the long bar along the left side is very impressive. The Jester's Court even has a couple of small almost private booths set along one wall if you want to have a more intimate meal.
Favorite Dish: A great variety of food is served, from the usual hamburgers and wings to sandwiches of various types. They also have a great selection of British-style pub meals such as Yorkies or Boxtys, which are essentially stews inside a flaky pastry. I am a sucker for Curry, so I usually have to try that when I am exploring a new place in town. True to form, I had their Bombay Curry, consisting of Green and Red Peppers & Red Onions sauteed then simmered in their special sauce with tender strips of Chicken (or Beef) and served with Basmati Rice and Mango Chutney. It was a delicious meal with a creamy sauce and just the right amount of spice to it (US$8.50). There are plenty of types of beers on tap and a selection of wines available as well, so it is not hard to put in a meal at the Jester's Court.
While in Fredericton, one of your best bets for a great meal is the Diplomat Restaurant. This restaurant was built on the site of the former Diplomat Motel after this prime riverfront area was bought by the Sheraton chain of hotels. As a condition of building the new Sheraton on the property, the owners of the old Motel were allowed to build a new 'Diplomat Restaurant' on their former location. The Sheraton recently changed ownership and is now a Delta Hotel, the finest in Fredericton.
Favorite Dish: Although the Diplomat serves all the traditional 'Western' types of meals, its speciality is a Chinese buffet, or individual Chinese meals. While my wife's sister was visiting from England, we headed here one night to sample their fare. I was surprised to see that they had completely re-done the interior with very well appointed individual booths with glass dividers. I really enjoyed the Chinese buffet with its many choices, including spare ribs and dessert (US$15) while the ladies settled for individual 'Half-Meals' of Szechuan Seafood and Scallops Singapore (US$10 each). We all raved about how much we enjoyed all the dishes! With a Moosehead beer for me and two glasses of wine, the bill came to US$57 for the three of us (including tip and taxes). We left well satisfied!
The James Joyce is a very good pub and restaurant located on the ground floor of the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel. The Pub has a spacious and dimly lit interior with only a few windows to the outside world. The few windows that it does have give a view over its rear patio and seating area which fronts the Saint John River beneath huge Elm trees. There is a second patio on the street side (Queen St.) adorned with the flags of the Canadian provinces which touch the waters of the Atlantic Ocean - Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and finally, Newfoundland & Labrador. The Pub is a great place to go for live folk music as well - I know we enjoyed some great Irish bands with their foot-tapping music into the early morning hours on one of our expeditions! Lord Beaverbrook was the British Minister of War under Winston Churchill in WW2, and he made his fortune in the British newspaper industry. Being a native New Brunswicker, he donated vast amounts of his fortune to the Province, financing the building of the Beaverbrook Art Galley (next door to the Hotel) and the Playhouse (across Queen St.) to provide some cultural stimulus to the city.
Favorite Dish: The last visit made by my wife and I was spent on the river patio, sharing a delicious Tandoori Chicken Wrap (US$7.50) in the warm summer evening. However, I find the restaurant seems especially good at traditional dishes such as poached Atlantic Salmon or hearty Irish stews of one kind or another that seem to go down quite well during those long and cold months of winter! My favourite is the Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Pie, consisting of tender white and dark meat stewed with carrots, onions, peas, mushrooms and then baked into a flaky pastry. This dish is accompanied by mashed potatoes an fresh seasonal vegetables (US$7.50). Of course, I am usually sampling some of their many on-tap beers, but I normally prefer a pint of the locally made Picaroon's Best Bitter Ale (US$4).
UPDATE (October 16, 2006): The Preying Mantis location is now home to a new restaurant - the Asia Beef Noodle Vietnamese restaurant. Have not tried them yet, but the menu looks good!
The Preying (that is how they spell it) Mantis is relatively new to Fredericton, and it is a bit of a 'hole-in-the-wall' restaurant without a flashy sign to draw your attention to it, so it could be quite easily walked past. The dining area consists of one medium sized room with large windows opening onto Queen St.. Down the centre of the room is a long bar with stools available if you want to eat at a slightly higher perch than the various normal tables scattered around the periphery of the room.
The decor of the Preying Mantis is nothing too elaborate, but they do have the typical rice paper light covers and some Samurai swords mounted on the wall behind the bar. What they lack in fancy decor, they more than make up for with their delicious and authentic meals featuring Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese food. The serving dishes have an Oriental appearance and all meals come with both chop-sticks and forks. The atmosphere and speed of service was very good and the staff were friendly as well.
Favorite Dish: My wife and I stopped in for an evening meal while we were waiting for the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival to get into gear on a Friday night. I ordered their Chicken Curry with onions & potatoes topped with Green Onions while Sue decided to settle for their thin strips of Chicken Skewers (or Beef or Pork) with a Peanut (or Teriyaki) dipping sauce. Both meals cost US$6.50 and went down very well with a shared bowl of rice. Beer and wine by the glass is also available. I saw a lot of interesting things on the menu and decided that I want to come back here again to try a few more of them! Total cost of the meal with drinks and tips was US$30.
Well, these new restaurants in Fredericton are popping up all over the place! Isaac's Way is another that owes it's existance to a transplanted chef from Montreal, Jesse Demers. After several years of experience at different locations in the internationally flavoured scene in Montreal, Jesse has brought his considerable talents to Fredericton. He says that he loves to cook, and it shows in the varied menu available at this new restaurant located in the heart of Fredericton's tourist district. The unique blend of spices and flavourings makes this food mouth-wateringly excellent! My wife and I met our long-time friends here for a little pre-Christmas chat before we head off to England for the actual holiday season, and we were all impressed.
Favorite Dish: The menu had a lot of tempting dishes, including curries and pastas but I decided to try one of their Cajun dishes. The Salmon New Orleans features a large Atlantic Salmon steak with Cajun spices, Hollandaise sauce and is served with Caesar salad, mussels in the shell and choice of potatoe or rice. Sue also likes her seafood, and went with one of her favourites, Haddock. The 'Matthew's Haddock' consisted of a generous fillet, grilled and seasoned, served with a creamy smoked bacon sauce and with the same side dishes that came with my meal. Each of these great dishes cost C$13 (US$11) and we thoroughly enjoyed the unique blend of flavours! For drinks, I started off with a 20-oz. glass of locally brewed Picaroons Irish Red (US$4.50). Sue and I were both pleasantly surprised to find the excellent Argentinian Trapiche wines as their 'house' brand when ordering by the glass (US$5).
The Snooty Fox has been in Fredericton for a few years now and I have eaten there more than once! The decor is English pub-style, with a cosy bar area at one side of a small entrance room which is divided into booths. In the depths of the building is another larger room with more of an open-seating plan. Adding to its 'historic' look are hardwood floors, oak finishing on the walls and a nice fireplace.
Although the ususal English-style dishes can be had, the restaurant also offers a nice selection of international dishes (including various degrees of 'hot' in its Thai offerings), chicken wings and so.
Favorite Dish: In my case, Sue had left me so she could spend a month in England to help with her elderly parents. After 10-days of my own cooking, I figured I was owed a treat and, besides, if she was in England I would have to get to an English pub myself the best way I knew how! I was by myself, so sat up at the bar and was served up very promptly by the bar maid.
I was in the mood for something hearty, and their Steak & Guinness Pie offering (US$7.70) immediately caught my eye. This steaming dish consists of braised beef with button mushrooms, carrots and onions, served in a bowl and covered with puff pastry. The side included mashed potatoes with gravey and mixed vegetables of kernals of corn, green pepper, zuchini slices and red onion. A nice 20-ounce amber Heineken draft from the tap (US$5.50) went down very nicely with this delicious meal - the chunks of beef were very tender and there was not a scrap left on my plate when I finished! The total cost with taxes and a tip was US$17.
Nice clean restaurant, usually referred to by us locals and regulars as "the Dip".
It is popular any time of the day, but also with the late-night crowd. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Favorite Dish: The variety is great: Chinese and Canadian cuisine, full breakfast menu, steaks, salads, seafood, sandwiches, combo platters, hot and spicy Szechwan, children's menu, and a senior's menu. Their menu is shown on-line at www.diplomatrestaurant.nb.ca
Eat in, or take-out.
*** 2009-05-11 update: Seasons has closed its doors. This place is now a dental clinic.
If you're looking for genuine Chinese food, not the North Americanized style stuff, your best bet in Fredericton is probably the Seasons Chinese Family Restaurant.
It's open everyday except Mondays. On Saturday and Sunday, it's only open after 5 pm.
It's also wheelchair-accessible.
Tim Horton's is a chain that is very well known across Canada. This company was established by a National Hockey League hockey player many years ago. Since, it has grown and grown and grown. It is a coffee store that is comparable to Starbucks or Second Cup.
Favorite Dish: One medium with a suagr and milk please!
A very nice little Irish pub. One of my favorite places in town. Diner is availible if you go before 7 or so I beleive. They have great food! However the best thing is that Dolan's has bands almost every Thursday and Saturday night. Great place to hang out with some freinds!
Favorite Dish: The beer!
If you're in the Fredericton area over Easter Sunday, a number of hotel restaurants around Fredericton put on brunches between 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (hours may vary somewhat).
You can expect a good variety of food at these brunches, including omelettes made-to-order, roast ham, roast pork, roast beef, a chicken dish, salads, waffles, a pasta dish, fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, veggies, salmon, desserts, etc. And, of course, you can keep going back.
The adult prices for these big brunches are typically in the CAD$17. - $22. range, plus 15% tax. Kids under 12 yrs are often free.
Check my Hotels and Accomodations pages for directions to these hotels.
Favorite Dish: I have eaten brunch at both the Beaverbrook and the Delta, and they were both delicious.
I walked away stuffed !
Keep in mind that you don't have to spend $17. - $22. to have a brunch that fills you up. Bruno's Restaurant at the Delta, for example, still had their $11.00 brunch on, offering fruit, waffles, custom omelettes, sausage, bacon, and home fries.
(One little beef with Delta: even though our group had made reservations for Bruno's for Easter 2006, the hostess tried to direct us to the ballroom where the more expensive brunch was being held. Whether intentionally done or not, this shouldn't have happened.)
What first attracted us to the Blue Door was the restaurant's lovely building and patio, but after looking at the menu, we were soooo happy we had decided to go there! It started out with a great selection of cocktails, which we made good use of, followed by a nice wine selection and a truly originial menu. My friend Annie-Claude and I both ordered something different and had to restrain ourselves not to lick what was left on the plate! Of course we had to top it off with a creme brulee trio - the flavours change every day and are all scrumptious! It has to be one of the best restaurants in town!
Favorite Dish: The guava stuffed chicken breast was out of this world! I also really liked the caipirissma cocktail (similar to a mojito).