Saturday, April 13, 2024

Eating on the road: Evan's Fresh Seafoods in Dartmouth

 My visit to Halifax in December was planned as a culinary visit, and before I left I consulted friends who were or had been local residents to get their tips on where to get the best bites -- especially those that come from the sea. A clear recommendation was that I take the ferry across the harbour to Dartmouth to a spot you wouldn't find on most tourist guides: Evan's Fresh Seafoods. 

Located conveniently in the same building as the ferry terminal, at Alderney Landing, they also sell fresh and frozen fish and seafood and offer hot fare in what is basically a small mall food court. I liked the local feel, and I like transit boats (think an East Coast sea bus) so I actually went twice.

My first visit was for lunch on my first full day in Halifax. It was raising so I took an Uber to the Halifax side of the ferry terminal, and when I told him where I was going and why he offered a hearty endorsement. So that was a good sign.

Not to divert into a transit review, but while they had a ticket booth I couldn't buy a fare there. They made me download an app, link my credit card and buy my fare there to show the agent. Kind of a pain, though seamless for future transit this trip once done. And now I have the Halifax transit app on my phone. Guess that's better than my growing collecting of reloadable physical transit cards.

Anyways, after the crossing it was easy enough to find Evan's and I was able to quickly order because, of course I had pre-scouted the menu. Are you new here?

I was here for the lobster roll. Recommendations were sought and given on that basis, and I was told this is where locals go for a lobster roll. Not cheap at $26, but the lobster lobby has done a very good job at elevating this once overlooked sea creature to gourmand status. You could add a side fries but I'm not here for empty carbs. Caesar salad for me. They had a special to add some breaded side scallops at a discount, and I was all for that.

Definitely worth the boat cruise. The bun was fresh and buttery, and the lobster tasty, creamy and plentiful. The salad was a salad. The scallops fresh and delicious, and I really liked the lemon wedge for a splash of acid. Hearty and filling, and just the seafood fix I was looking for.

A few days later, on the last day of my visit, I would take the ferry over to Dartmouth again, suitcase in tow for one more seafood lunch before a taxi to the airport. This was a Sunday and, while it was quiet on my last Friday midday visit, today Alderney Landing was hopping with locals as their was some kind of bazar happening in the mall-like area and some sort of live music in the food court.

I was here for the fish, not the music, which wasn't really my vibe. But I managed to find a seat free at one of the shared tables. For today's lunch I went in a different direction, wanting to sample some of their other offerings.

First was a bowl of seafood chowder, with haddock, potatoes, scallops and lobster, to which I added some mussels for a small upcharge.

I would put the chowder as third of the three I had this trip. The broth was watery and flavour undeveloped. On the positive, it was packed with fish and lobster chunks quite generously and no potato filler. The mussels were a cheap add on.

I also ordered the two piece haddock, but with onion rings instead of the chips. It's not often I waste my carbs on fries.

The onion rings were ok. Onion rings are hard to screw up though, believe me, some places manage it. The haddock was good but I think I just don't care for their batter. I prefer a more wet batter while this seemed more like a meal. But it was still tasty and filling.

All in all, I enjoyed my first visit to Evan's more. The lobster roll was outstanding and the scallops were simple and enjoyable. Next visit I'll go elsewhere for my fish and chipless.

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