After St. Andrews, we were onto Saint John. There are many reasons I’ll remember our time in New Brunswick's biggest city; there was its charming harbour, the boats that rise and fall with the Bay of Fundy, and the Victorian-era brick buildings, just to name a few. Mostly, however, I’ll remember Saint John because it was where I had my first lobster roll.
On the east coast, one of the most popular ways to eat this locally-caught crustacean is by steaming it, chopping it, tossing it with a bit of mayo, and stuffing it into a toasted white roll.
If you go to Saint John Ale House (SJAH), a well-known restaurant run by Chef Jesse Vergen, you’ll be treated to that classic recipe, jacked up. Way up. A bonified doo-zie.
At SJAH, they take an entire lobster, cook it, remove the meat, stuff it into a huge wedge of toasted and buttered bread spread with lobster mayo, and put the legs 'on' for effect. In additional to being tasty and comical, it made us wish we'd worn elastic waistbands and possessed larger stomachs. This is the only way I’d want to start my lobster roll-eating career.
We were drawn to SJAH because of this roll, and also because we knew they source most of their beer and ingredients locally. In addition to the roll, we each had a pint of Picaroons, and shared some Colville Bay oysters in honour of my recently deceased Grandfather.
Oysters were his favourite food, and Dana and I both agreed this was the first time we’d actually loved a plate of oysters, rather than just liked them. To Harry Disbrow! Now, and always, one of my favourite people.
After our very ample lunch, we explored the Saint John City Market, a bright indoor space with a vaulted ceiling and plenty of windows.
There was fresh produce for sale, all kinds of seafood, hot food stalls, and other local goods.
We bought a bag of dulse for all our future salty soup needs, and decided that if we move to Saint John, we’d like to work at the Lobster Office. Who wouldn’t?
Do you have a favourite place on the east coast for lobster rolls? If so, please share!