One of the best things about Newfoundland is finding towns that look like perfectly preserved movie sets; bright-coloured houses and white picket fences dot picturesque harbours, and there’s usually at least two freshly-painted wooden churches.
Brigus is one such startling photogenic town, and it’s just down the road from Cupids, where we stayed during our road trip. This year, we spent the afternoon in Brigus, exploring and eating lunch in three installments.
On our way into town, we stopped at E&E Drive In, a hearty fast food joint and an institution amongst Conception Bay locals. We’d been told their fish and chips are hefty, and upon seeing this sign,
we knew to take that warning seriously. E&E is a tiny shop in the corner of a large parking lot, which is usually packed beyond capacity throughout the summer months. An E&E meal is certainly not for the sternly health-conscious, but it’s fast, comfort food, and an excellent choice for an indulgent lunch or late-night snack. We ordered the fish and chips and weren’t disappointed.
Seeking dessert, we continued on to Brigus, and arrived at the Country Corner.
It’s both a restaurant and gift shop, each celebrating the culture and food of Newfoundland. The shop sells many Newfoundland cultural relics, including cookbooks, hand-knit sweaters, and jams.
We found ‘Fatback & Molasses,’ a charming collection of favourite old recipes and stories from Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Country Corner’s cafe is locally famous for their chowder and blueberry crisp. Since we already felt sufficiently stuffed with seafood, we decided to stick with dessert.
This tower of blueberried goodness takes its namesake fruit very seriously. Hand harvested, wild Newfoundland berries sit below a salty, sweet, and perfectly crisp crumble, then that’s topped with blueberry ice cream and smothered with house-made wild blueberry sauce. It truly gets more and more awesome with every bite. Brigus is home to a popular blueberry festival every summer, so it’s not surprising to find tributes to the berries as good as this one.
Filled with fish and crisp, we were ready to start exploring the picturesque town of Brigus. We meandered the town’s twisting streets,
visited the tiny harbour,
and explored the rocky coastline.
Brigus was established in 1612 by English, Welsh, and Irish Settlers, and the name comes from ‘Brickhouse,’ an old town in England; it’s charming to note how the Newfoundland accent took ownership of the original name. Throughout its long history, Brigus has raised many sea captains, the most famous of which is Robert Bartlett, known as the greatest arctic navigator of the 20th century.
On Brigus’ harbour there’s also a famous tunnel, which was hand-blasted in 1860 over 4 months in order to provide easier access to the deep-water dock for exploration and fishing vessels.
After an afternoon exploring the coast, peaking through tunnels, and taking in Brigus’ beautiful architecture, we needed to refuel, and really considered getting another crisp at the Country Corner. However, since we’ve been non-stop chatterboxes about toutons since our first breakfast in Newfoundland last year, when we spotted them on the menu at Brigus’ North St. Café, words weren’t necessary—we simply knew we’d be getting them. We ordered a hearty portion of baked beans with toutons and molasses,
then added an order of scones with jam and scalded cream, because why the heck not?
We ate in silence, our cheeks still blushy from the wind, content to once again be consuming our beloved toutons.
In Brigus, we discovered our heart’s delight (blueberry crumble), our heart’s content (diner fish and chips), and our heart’s desire (toutons, always toutons). Incidentally, we later drove through three towns on Trinity Bay with those very names: Heart’s Delight, Heart’s Content, and Heart’s Desire. Our own hearts nearly exploded as each sign appeared. Thank you, rural Newfoundland, for your pretty towns with endearing names. We are, however, still trying to figure out where the town name ‘Dildo’ fits in, other than being perfectly hilarious…
As well as its undeniable pun-potential, the town of Dildo is famous for its fish and chips at the Dildo Dory Grill, which was unfortunately closed when we were there (or rather fortunate, since we did not need a second helping of deep-fry). Like Brigus, the town has a gorgeous harbour, full of beautiful boats with hand-painted signs. Even just for the jokes alone, it's well worth a visit.
Next up, our adventures at the dreamy Doctor's Inn.