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Food for thought: Blowers & Grafton

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Before COVID plagued us and we were all hugging and visiting at restaurants, a friend of mine took me out for some authentic East Coast food. She swore the place was amazing and that I would love it. I have never been to Eastern Canada, and to be honest, I wasn’t even sure what East Coast food was, but I trust my friend, and I love trying new food, so there was no resistance on my part.

We drove to Whyte Avenue, hungry and ready to eat. When we got to Blowers & Grafton, my first thought was that I loved the atmosphere. A brick wall and a street sign for the intersection of Blowers Street and Grafton Street make up the entryway where a friendly hostess greeted us. The restaurant was jam-packed with people enjoying their Friday night, and in the corner, there was a small live band playing.

Initially, I hadn’t realized that Blowers Street and Grafton Street was a real intersection in Halifax. I soon learned that not only is the intersection real, but it is a major hub for street food. Both locals and tourists gather until the wee hours of the morning to get their hands on some of the incredible food available at the intersection known as “Pizza Corner,” though they serve a lot more than just pizza. The intersection attracts foodies of all sorts, including world leaders who attended the 1995 G7 Summit and brought the Halifax donair to the world stage. Now Albertans are lucky enough to be able to dine on the incredible Haligonian street food without leaving the province.

Naturally, the Blowers & Grafton menu has several donair options. There’s the OG Halifax Donair, but you can also get donair nachos, pizza, or poutine, all of which are amazing. My favourite item on the menu, though, is the Fishermen’s Feast. It is the ultimate seafood and chips combo! The platter includes prawns, scallops, haddock, and clams with your choice of chips or fries. Everything is perfectly battered and fried, then served with grilled lemon, tartar sauce, and coleslaw. At the time of writing this, there’s a steamer clam shortage in Canada, so you have the option to double up on your prawns or scallops or to get an extra piece of haddock. I got double scallops with my most recent order, but whichever option you choose, you are making the right choice since all of the options are incredible.

Although we can’t go in for a drink at the moment, once we can, I highly recommend trying the Oak Island Old Fashioned. I’m not a big bourbon drinker, but something about this cocktail really hits the spot. I think it’s the combination of smoked oak and maple syrup that makes this unlike any other old fashioned. If the old fashioned doesn’t suit your fancy, the Blowers & Grafton drink menu has plenty of options whether you’re looking for a cocktail or a pint, and the knowledgeable staff is great at making recommendations.

To-go orders are never quite the same as dining in, but while takeout is the new normal, you can either order for pick up or get delivery through Skip the Dishes if you’re in their delivery zone.

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