GASTHOF OLD BAVARIAN RESTAURANT, SUSSEX, NB
1.5 hours from Fredericton
Chef Claudia Giermindl
Claudia runs the restaurant. She’s the youngest of eleven children. When she was little, her father emigrated from Germany with the whole family to open a farm in New Brunswick. Claudia’s sister Maria runs the farm, and another sister, Inge, is the restaurant’s butcher. They’re only open on weekends but the amazingly fresh Bavarian feasts are worth the wait and worth the drive.
You Gotta Eat… Roast Pork Hocks
Like everything at Gasthof, the roast pork hocks are a family affair: the recipe was taught to chef Giermindl by her mother. The pigs are raised on the family farm and the pork is prepared in the family butcher shop. The pork hocks are first brined for two days in water, salt and pickling brine. Then they’re roasted with pepper, caraway and chopped onions with the skin left on. (Onion skins are the secret to the chef’s flavourful, richly coloured brown gravy.) Each of the ample hocks is served with bread dumplings and warm sauerkraut, a traditional German wine kraut cooked with caraway, onions, apple and bacon. Completing the plate is a large scoop of each of five traditional Bavarian salads: German potato salad, purple cabbage salad, tomato salad, cucumber salad and lettuce salad. Main dishes are also served with homemade soup of the day and German bread. Loyal fans of this massive meal often reserve it in advance, lest the restaurant run out.
SALT SHAKER DELI, LUNENBERG, NS
A bit more than an hour from Halifax
Chef Martin Ruiz Salvador
Salt Shaker Deli is run by the chef and owners of another famous Lunenberg restaurant, Fleur de Sel, but it’s way more casual.
You Gotta Eat… the Seafood Pizza
This eatery is known around town for its large selection of thin-crust pizzas; the seafood pizza is arguably the best of the bunch, featuring fresh pan-seared scallops, mussels steamed in white wine and garlic, and shrimp. For his sauce, chef Salvador uses canned tomatoes from Italy, simmered with fresh garlic, dried thyme, basil and oregano, plus sugar and marjoram. Along with mozzarella cheese, capers and red onions are also added to the pie. When the pizza’s hot and ready it’s garnished with parsley and a lemon wedge to brighten the seafood flavours.