After small-town Shediac, we moved onto the geographic centre of the Maritimes – Moncton!
It’s a relatively small city - just under 139,000 people - and yet it has two busy, permanent farmers markets. Obviously there’s huge demand from citizens for local food, year-round, and it makes me quite jealous, honestly.
We first went to the Dieppe Market, which was packed with vendors selling fresh produce, crafts, and every kind of hot food and baking imaginable. Just look at this crazy long list of vendors.
We wandered around, happily accepting samples, and eventually settled on a Tunisian chapati for lunch. It’s like a thick, soft, pan-fried pita stuffed with fresh vegetables, chicken, carrot puree, and crumbled feta. After our wonderful Lebanese meal in Fredericton, I was very glad to be introduced to the wonders of a Tunisian lunch in Moncton.
Afterwards, we headed to the other market - the Moncton Farmers Market - for dessert. At Nick the Dutch Baker’s popular bakery stall, we found one of Dana’s great childhood loves – boterkoek (Dutch butter cake). It was my first time trying boterkoek, and while it didn’t necessarily look all that impressive (it’s flat, plain, and golden), I wished we’d bought two as soon as I bit into it.
Also, while at Nick the Dutch Baker’s stall, we were attended to by one of the most professional servers we had on our whole trip, and she couldn’t have been more than 13 years old! Kudos to her.
In addition to the boterkoek, we bought a package of spice cookies, which, because they’re dark brown, always seem healthier, so we used those for car snacks in the days that followed. Perhaps just the day that followed – they were very addictive.
Another Moncton highlight was the Tide and Boar Gastropub, which is the kind of place you end up going back to again and again because it’s so darn good.
We went once for dinner and again for brunch. They serve upscale pub food featuring New Brunswick wild boar and seafood; there’s housemade charcuterie, Atlantic Tide chowder, Boar Poutine, oysters, fishcakes, and more. Our first time there, we had, among several things, the Welsh rarebit, which is a very English snack.
It's pretty much a fancy version of cheese on toast, with a cheese sauce flavoured with Worcestershire, mustard, and stout spread over bread, then broiled. Tide and Boar topped theirs with extra slices of cheese. Cheese + cheese on bread means this was the best rarebit I've had, and I loooove the stuff.
They also have a wickedly good drink list, and live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Seriously, Tide and Boar is a MUST VISIT for good times and local food if you’re in Moncton.
And with that, we bid farewell to the friendly province of New Brunswick! Next we made our way over to Confederation Bridge, and are happy to share tales of PEI next…..