Category Archives: Bridgewater

The Best Little Oarhouse In Nova Scotia

The Best Little Oarhouse In Nova Scotia is actually a “homemade take-out” restaurant in Bridgewater, NS. What started as an outdoor food stop by the Bridgewater Mall has now moved indoors to 99 Aberdeen Road, where you can still get take out, but also sit down and enjoy your food right there.

Any place called the “Oarhouse” has gotta have great seafood, so we all ordered the fish & chips this time around and, let me tell you, this is NOT your average “fish ‘n’ chips” joint. They specialize in seafood and burgers, but with a local, homemade flavour. All the fries are hand-cut, never frozen and the condiments, such as salsa, garlic mayo, tartar sauce, hot sauce, etc, are all made by hand right there on-site.

The fish is local Nova Scotia haddock and the burgers are all half-pound (8oz) 100% AAA Canadian beef hand-pattied right there. Even the take out trays are made of compostable or recyclable material! There is no frozen, then reheated under a lamp, semi-recycled food to be seen anywhere. The menu boasts creative names, like Riley’s Fish Taco, the Kenny, Wilma, Dynamite and Rugged Dude burgers, as well as coconut shrimp and pan-fried haddock.

As we sat waiting for our food (only 10-15 minutes) we noticed the decor consisted of local artwork all along the walls of fish, lobsters and even a seahorse. Pretty cool! There is not a lot of room inside with only a small amount of tables for sitting and 2 picnic tables outside, but there is also bench seating along an entire wall.

When the food arrived it was immediately clear that this wasn’t some frozen fish triangle and the visual screamed “YUMMY!” before even taking the first bite. It was presented well, the fish was golden browned to perfection and the fries looked tasty and the helping size was just right without being “padded” by fries, like a lot of places love to do.

I was then “hooked” by my first bite of fish at the Oarhouse. The menu claims it to be RD’s gramma’s recipe unchanged over 100 years and now I believe it! The batter was just the right amount of crispy, the fish inside was delicious and the fries on the side were made to perfection. Nothing was greasy or droopy. I ate everything on the plate and think I would have eaten the plate itself if it was organic! LOL

I would also like to point out that we did eat at the outside version of The Oarhouse last year and the food was fantastic then as well. We all had tasty burgers and my only complaint then was that it was so hot outside sitting on the picnic tables. Of course, the weather is not their fault, but now that they are inside I can better enjoy the food itself without worrying about heat stroke by eating under the sun.

BTW, the owner’s real name is Rugged Dude Carson (no kidding…he showed me his real identification card) and he assured me the burgers are just as good inside as they were outside (I’ll be testing that on my next visit).

The prices are good when you consider that you are getting hand-made food at a take out restaurant. Most take-outs just throw some frozen fries in a deep fryer and frozen burger patties on a grill and, in my opinion, they end up all tasting the same because of it. There’s nothing to make them stand out, or be recommended.

The Best Little Oarhouse In Nova Scotia, on the other hand, IS recommended….highly!!

They are a bit hard to find, as they are behind another restaurant (Curry Express) and I fear that potential customers will miss them because of it, but I wish them (and Rugged Dude!) much success!

Overall score: 9/10
Review written by: Henry

UPDATE: It was my Dad’s Bday a couple days ago so I decided to bring him some take out fish n’ chips from The Oarhouse because I suspected he would enjoy it. Let me tell you that my Dad is a retired seaman who spent his entire working life on ships and has eaten a LOT of seafood over the years and he told me this was GREAT food. He’s not a big eater anymore, but he ate every single crumb and it was a good sized 2-piece helping, so I guess that means 2 thumbs up from a senior who knows good fish when he tastes it!

Link to the dude’s website: RuggedDude.com

Ko’s Restaurant Review Bridgewater

As far as I know, Ko’s is the oldest Chinese food restaurant in the Bridgewater area. It has been serving customers for decades, and in the past few years has undergone some renovations to include an outside deck and more spacious dining area. If you like eating while overlooking the Lahave River, then check it out!

kos-restaurant

The atmosphere is nice and there is also a separate, larger dining room used for family gatherings and events requiring space for a room full of people. The regular dining area consists of several booths near the front and more tables near the back patio with all window views, in case you don’t want to eat outside (or it’s winter…brrr!!!). This restaurant both in and out are wheelchair accessible. ๐Ÿ™‚

kos-restaurant-patio

My only complaint in this review was something I noticed right away, so I’ll get it out of the way right now and move on. The day we went there was hot and very muggy outside, so I was expecting some relief in the way of air conditioning inside, but there was none, and all they had was a side door open with a square floor fan blowing air toward the back. I don’t like eating when I’m not comfortable, and I was very uncomfortable that day. Still, we were there to eat, so we did.

During our visit, all 3 of us had Chinese Fried Rice with sweet and sour chicken balls. The waitress was awesome, very friendly. Our food was delivered to our table in a reasonable amount of time and everything was hot and didn’t taste like it was sitting around waiting to be served. Liza always orders extra sweet and sour sauce when getting Chinese food, and itย  was delicious! The rice was moist (not like some places with bland, dry rice) and the balls were big and tasty (not shriveled and tough).

Personally, I think their food has improved, as I’ve eaten there before over the years and I used to find the chicken balls to be more like dough-balls with very little chicken, but these were good. Also, the price was surprisingly good, at under 9 bucks for a good individual helping of rice and balls. They also have traditional Canadian dishes as well, such as fish and burgers.

I visited the washroom and everything was clean, smelled nice and was well supplied. It was wheelchair accessible, with lots of room. There were no issues.

As we got up to leave, the friendly waitress took the little guy back and gave him a personal tour of the kitchen, where he met some of the other staff and the owner. He even scored some extra fortune cookies for on the way home. Thanks, guys!!

Overall it is a nice restaurant and a good place to take the family…anytime the A/C is working ๐Ÿ™‚

Ko’s Restaurant rating: 8/10

Review written by: Henry

Hebbville Tastee Freeze Review

The Tastee Freeze in Hebbville has been a static landmark in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia for decades. It’s like an institution that never changes, and I remember going there many times for ice cream when I was a kid growing up in nearby Bridgewater. While it’s still a great place to stop by for a tasty frozen treat, it falls short in a few ways when it comes being a full scale restaurant.

tastee-freeze

First, it’s an outdoor food establishment, so there is no inside dining area. You simply order at the take out window and then either eat in your car, take it with you, or sit at one of the 3 picnic tables provided around the restaurant. This in itself is not a huge issue, as picnics are fun, but I firmly believe that ANY place serving food to customers should have bathroom facilities, and the Tastee Freeze does not.

If they are not going to allow customers access to an indoor toilet, then at least have a porta-potty outside somewhere. This should be MANDATORY and against a food serving bylaw to not have one. During our particular trip there this time it became an issue because the little fella needed to go pee and we asked if he could use their indoor bathroom (assuming they must have one inside for the staff working there all day long), but they refused. Refusing the use of a bathroom to a small child is just wrong, in my opinion (feel free to comment below if you feel otherwise). He ended up going in the bushes behind the building because, when a kid’s gotta go, he’s gotta go quickly…no messing around.

Further to that point, I have Crohn’s and the idea being put forth of government issued cards allowing emergency access to washroom facilities would mean they’d have to comply, but really, it’s just common sense that if you’re serving food to anyone paying for it, then do the right thing and spend a few bucks on renting portable toilets during the few months in the summer you’re open. Shouldn’t that be a municipal rule or something? Anyway, it rubbed me the wrong way, but let’s move on to the food.

tastee-freeze-hebbville

I had fish n’ chips and both Liza and her son had poutine. My first complaint was that it was all chips and very little fish. The entire container was full of french fries with a little piece of fish on top. Restaurants who pad meals with fries are a common complaint with many restaurant-goers (see our Focsle review here to see how it should be done). On top of that they only gave ONE Ketchup packet, which isn’t nearly enough if your going to load on the fries. Liza and little man both enjoyed their poutine with extra cheese.

The food itself was bland and generic tasting with nothing special about it at all. I’ve also had burgers there before that just tasted like frozen packaged beef (see here for what a GOOD burger is like). See, to me, the point of recommending a restaurant is that there is something special about it, such as having the best seafood, or awesome homemade pies, or a really cool decorative vibe. This has none of that. The food is non-descript, the decor is non-existant, and there is no place to go to the bathroom after you eat to wash up or anything else.

The prices were ok and average for a takeout eatery and the ice cream was good (not great, but not bad either). I like their chocolate dipped soft serve cones.

Tastee Freeze Rating: 6/10 (NOT recommended for the food, but ok to stop by for a dessert treat AFTER you’ve eaten a proper meal, requiring full facilities, somewhere else)

Review written by: Henry

Jerry’s Diner Review Bridgewater

I have a simple question for you. Do you like “trucker food”? If so, then read on!

While there are many people who like the idea of a dining experience, with a fancy table, well-decorated washrooms, maybe even a fireplace or chandelier….and others who just want a quick meal of great food and then be on their way. Well, Jerry’s Diner in Bridgewater, NS, is the place for you!

jerrys-diner

It’s basically just a few tables and stools inside an ESSO gas station, but they have all the truck stop staples on the menu, including fish n’ chips, hot sandwiches, burgers, fries, and even fishcakes and beans!! I had the fish and chips and my better half had something called Newfoundland Poutine. I admit that had me curious…

Turns out it was poutine with real stuffing in it! I tried a bit and found the gravy sauce to be a bit strong for me, but she quite liked it. My fish batter was golden brown and the portions were a good size. The fries were crispy and not lifeless. We both enjoyed our meals immensely.

The waitresses on duty were friendly and joked with each other and the customers while they made the meals, which we could see, as everything was open with no walls separating the staff from the customers.

The washrooms were surprisingly clean for a service station, although if they weren’t I would not mention here, as they were not maintained by the restaurant staff. I’m adding it as bonus to the overall experience.

jerrys-diner2

The prices were reasonable, with most items being around 10 bucks or less, as well as daily specials posted on the sign outside for things like cheeseburger platters or fishcakes for under $10, so it didn’t break my wallet to feed 2 people. Yay!!

Check out Jerry’s Diner at 2 North St., Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Recommended!

8.5/10

Turkey Burger Cookville Review

Hello! Henry here!! This is my review of the Turkey Burger restaurant in Cookville, NS.

I’ve lived in the Bridgewater area most of my life and I remember this particular restaurant being around when I was a kid decades ago and how my Mom used to take me there whenever we went on the highway to New Germany. They always served good food, even though the place was cramped inside with only a few tables, and never looked like much on the outside.

turkey-burger

Well, I’m now 47 and the place still doesn’t look like much on first glance when pulling up in the parking lot. However, I noticed a LOT has changed as we walked through the door. It’s totally different inside from what it used to be years ago, with a spacious dining area featuring several tables and renovated washrooms that are roomy and clean.

We both sat at a table by the window with not much of a view, except the highway, but it was bright and cheerful anyway. The waitress was friendly and served us right away. I was tempted to order an actual turkey burger, but I settled on the all-day breakfast special instead, featuring eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. Liza had poutine and tea and we both only had to wait a few minutes before chowing down.

I LOVE a good breakfast meal in the evening, but I find it’s difficult for most places to get right because of all the elements involved. The eggs can be made in many different ways, the toast shouldn’t be tough and burned, nor should the hash browns be soft and lifeless, and don’t even get me started on the ways people want the bacon…aye carumba!!!

For me, I like my bacon to be crispy, not stringy like chewing on a stick of fat, and this is where they missed the mark. However, it’s minor compared to how great the rest of the meal was, so I’ll just make a mental note for next time to ask them to fry it a bit longer. No biggie.

The prices were fairly average, and mine was a good deal at only $6.95, plus the cost of a drink.

turkey-burger2

Overall, the experience was pleasant with a friendly atmosphere, clean tables, roomy washrooms and good company (Liza!). Don’t let the plain look outside scare you away…the Turkey Burger restaurant has yummy food!!*

Look for them at #1671 Hwy 10, in Cookville, just a few minutes outside Bridgewater, N.S.

8.5/10

*Not one turkey was harmed in the making of this review…