Both mornings before we set off for our day's biking activities, we fueled ourselves up with breakfast at our motel in Richibucto. Located in a bright room with nicely set-out tables, we opted for their buffet meal on both occasions.
Favorite Dish: This consisted of your choice of scrambled eggs, home fried potatoes, beans, pancakes, bacon, sausages, toast, jam, orange juice and coffee or tea in any combination and amount that took your fancy. It was excellent food and we found that having a full stomach at the start of our biking day provided enough energy to keep us going without the need of another major meal until we returned in the evening.
The service was efficient and friendly too! Total cost of the buffet, including taxes was C$6.40 (US$5).
The photo also shows the three flags common in this part of the province - the New Brunswick provincial flag on the left, Canada centre and Acadian right (the French tri-colour with a small yellow star in one corner).
After our first full day of biking, we were in the mood for another decent meal because we had essentially gone without lunch. After cruising the streets of Richibucto, we finally settled on The Morgan Pub & Eatery (although what looked like a Vietnamese restaurant next door to it also piqued my interest - but I could not get Russell to bite!).
Favorite Dish: It was about 7:30 PM on a Saturday night by the time we entered and took our seats, but the restaurant was still almost empty. The staff were on us in a flash and no time was wasted in either getting our order placed or prepared - in fact I was surprised at how quickly the food arrived at our table.
Here we were on the east coast of New Brunswick, with fishing boats all around us, so we decided seafood was the way to go. I opted for the scallops while Russ went with clams for the main portion of our heaping platters. Both came with a pile of french fries, coleslaw and wedges of lemon (C$13 or US$11 for each platter). My meal was washed down by one of New Brunswick's own brews, an ice-cold Moosehead Alpine lager (a recent gold medal winner at a New York beer festival). We both really enjoyed our fresh seafood!
No credit or debit cards accepted - cash only.
When I returned to the Habitant 2 weeks later, with my wife, we decided to give the motel restaurant a try on our Saturday night stop-over. We sauntered over just after 7 PM, and it seemed to be peak time, but we managed to find a table for two in this spot that seemed to have quite a reputation with the locals!
Our waitress mentioned that, if we wanted to partake of a bottle of wine, they had their own private cellars just below the seating area. We took her up on her offer to descend into the coolness of this room, where we were left to ourselves to select the bottle of our choice. They had a varied selection of wines from Australia, South Africa, Chile, Italy, United States, France and Canada and the prices were only a couple of dollars more than you would pay if buying them yourself - not the usual doubling of price when ordering a bottle from a restaurant. I was very impressed as we picked out our US$15 bottle of Italian Pasqua Pinot Grigio 2002.
Favorite Dish: We decided to go for the seafood, since they seemed to have a wide variety of choices. Sue selected the 'Habitant Ultimate', a filet of sole sauteed in a light batter with sliced almonds (US$12) while I decided to try their 'Seafood Brochette' (US$14) of lobster, scallops, shrimps, onions and peppers grilled on a stick. Both dishes came with a wedge of lemon, carrots, green & yellow string beans and rice pilaf. Sue's dish was one of the best we have tasted in some time but my Brochette was a trifle overcooked. Still, we had an amazing evening with no complaints - I recommend this spot!
As we pulled up stakes and headed home on Sunday afternoon, we stopped at the small Family Dairy Bar for one last fix before starting the 200-km (125-mile) drive through the almost uninhabited forests of south-central New Brunswick.
Favorite Dish: My soft icecream cone dipped in Cherry sauce hit the spot, while Russ decided on a chocolate milk shake. As we stood there placing our order, we noticed few other patrons giving us odd looks because our legs, socks and sneakers were still covered in hardened mud from our morning adventures on the mountain biking mudholes of the Park. A good spray with the garden hose fixed that up when we reached home!
It was about 1 PM by the time we had finished the first stage of our mountain biking in the Park, and we had reached the area of Kouchibouguac's famous coastal dunes at Kelly's Beach.
The dunes are accessed by a long boardwalk, and it's start from the mainland also includes a small rest area that comes complete with a little snack bar. There are also many steel bicycle posts where you can chain your bike while you head off-shore to sample the dunes (access is only by foot).
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed a nice break here with cold ice-cream cones (US$1) and a re-stock of water bottles before we headed out to see the dunes and beaches for ourselves. The snack bar also serves fast food and has a variety of the usual products like insect repellent and sun screens. Changing rooms, showers and a tap to wash the beach sand off your feet are also located here.
It was coming up on 3 PM by the time we had finished our explorations of Kelly's Beach and then resumed our biking in the Park. The bike path was now along the coast, and we had only just started out when we came across a wide expanse of scattered picnic tables on the mainland side of the wide lagoon between it and the miles of off-shore sand dunes.
Favorite Dish: Our ice-cream cones had worn off by then, so we broke out our usual staple of crackers and old cheddar cheese, carved up by my Swiss Army knife, while we sipped our bottles of water. There was quite a lot of seabird life here in the lagoon and a large magnification telescope was conveniently located very close to our little spot. I had a look at some of the birds that were wandering about in the shallows and spotted some nice Greater Yellowlegs!