Friday, August 25, 2017

Taste of Nova Scotia is hungry for your nominations

Posted By on Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 12:35 PM

  • Sam Kean

It's probably obvious to you by now that we're fans of voting, nominating and giving out awards around here. But today, we're interrupting our usual Best of Halifax programming to remind you that Taste of Nova Scotia's annual celebration of province-wide culinary greatness is looking for your nominations.

It's the 10th year that Taste of Nova Scotia has given out awards to the top-picks from its 180 members, this year handing out hardware for Restaurant of the Year, Producer of the Year, Server of the Year, Product of the Year and Culinary Ambassador of the Year. You can have your say with a couple of clicks here, nominations close next Thursday, August 31.

For a taste of some of  the type of inspiring culinary innovators ToNS gives props to, check out this profile of last year's Producer of the Year, Bay Enterprises.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mr. Bern's BBQ on the Run heats up on Barrington Street

Feeling the Bern's

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 12:41 PM

Rolly Panaligan, Neil Tantiado, Bernard Palparan and Sonny Tubo - GLADYS BUMIDANG PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Rolly Panaligan, Neil Tantiado, Bernard Palparan and Sonny Tubo
  • Gladys Bumidang Photography

“Filipinos are known for feasts,” says Mary Panaligan on a break from the lunch rush at Mr. Bern’s BBQ on the Run. “If there’s a birthday party, it’s a feast. We wanted to offer not just street foods, but a feast. You’ll feel like you’ve been to a party.”

It’s been just under two weeks since the Filipino food truck made its debut, and it’s since been serving up barbecue pork skewers, spring rolls, adobo burgers, chow mein and more from its little lot (complete with picnic tables) on the corner of Barrington and Kent Streets, across from the Superstore.

  • Mary Panaligan
“This is actually run by friends. Filipinos love to spend time together and eat and cook,” says Panaligan. Mr. Bern, by the way, is an acronym for those co-owners—Bernard Palparan, Rolly Panaligan (her husband), Neil Tantiado and Sonny Tubo, who after being told to open a restaurant many times, went for it. It’s a project nearly two years in the making.

“We were immigrants, and it’s hard to put up a business when you’re new to the province. We were starting to save, and we decided to push through,” she adds. And so far, she adds, “it’s exceeded our expectations.”

For now, Mr. Bern’s is open noon to 10pm at its Barrington lot, but hopes to be on the move this fall. “We wanted to be able to cater to a lot of people instead of stay in one place,” says Panaligan. “It’s nice be able to share authentic food with people.”

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Sushi Nami Royale brings izakaya to Queen Street

New location, new concept

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 12:22 PM


“We just want to bring something new and fun to Halifax,” says Catherine Luo, regional manager of the Sushi Nami restaurant family. After over a decade of opening sushi and Japanese restaurants across the city, the downtown location of Sushi Nami Royale—which has moved from its Dresden Row home to 1458 Queen Street—will open September 1, with a little something extra up its sleeve.

In addition to the dishes and fishes the restaurant is known for, the location will operate as an izakaya restaurant, dishing up Japanese bar food that’s designed to be shared and consumed with with beer and sake.

“We want to let people know what izakaya is, and how to izakaya,” says Luo. The restaurant will have a new look along with the new izakaya menu—with snacks like chicken wings, skewers and lobster sashimi— which will target the after work crowd. Luo says when it comes to izakaya, it’s all about the atmosphere and the energy, which Sushi Nami hopes to provide. “Even if you’re by yourself, you don’t feel like you’re by yourself,” she says. “We hope to let people know why izakaya is so popular.”

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Belgian beer takes over Stillwell

For one day, you won't have to travel to get this stuff.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 2:11 PM

  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Belgian Beer Fest
Sunday August 27, 1pm
Stillwell Beer Bar
1672 Barrington Street

Stillwell co-owner Chris Reynolds has been on a mission to bring more Belgian beer to the bar’s taps, having travelled and tasted what the country has to offer multiple times. The Belgian takeover of his dreams—“12 kegs and a slew of bottles”—is finally happening this weekend.

“The list is truly special,” Reynolds says of the Belgian Beer Fest offerings. “They’re the very, very best examples of what is available in Belgium.”

While Stillwell has had Belgian beer available before, most of those brews were “shelfies,” as Reynolds puts it: Ones you can get off a store shelf. Stillwell has tried to partner with Belgium-based breweries in the past, but it’s difficult. Many of what Reynolds considers the best breweries are small and don’t enough supply to do a tap takeover. However, they eventually found a supplier willing to deal with the logistics of getting their “dream list” of beers together and sending them to Nova Scotia.

Reynolds encourages anyone who’s interested in food and drink to come out to the event—even those who aren’t beer drinkers. The beers on offer “taste like none of the beers in Nova Scotia.” Lambic beer, for example, is ideal for winos due to it’s dry, acidic nature.

“It’s a totally different species of beer,” says Reynolds. 

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Monday, August 14, 2017

The Company House to close

The north end venue signs off September 5

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 4:27 PM


Last weekend, Gottingen Street bar and arts venue The Company House (2202 Gottingen Street) announced via a Facebook post that September 5 would be its last day in business, citing online harassment as the reason for closure. The bar came under fire last spring after community members criticized comedy podcast Laugh House, which records at the CoHo, for telling jokes about trans folks on its stage. Owner EmmaLeigh Rivera told the CBC that her family has incurred "ongoing harassment" since.

Opened in 2009 by Mary Ann Daye and Heather Gibson— who modelled it with the arts mecca The Khyber (which Gibson had previously managed) in mind—The CoHo was long known as one of the city's top listening rooms, home of the In The Dead Of Winter music festival and a LGBTQ+ community hub.

In summer 2016, the pair sold the bar to EmmaLeigh and David Rivera who've continued to bring stand-up comedy, improv and music—like the super popular The Big Sing—to its stage.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Beerfest is on a quest to help you try all the beer

A portion of proceeds goes to Prostate Cancer Canada Atlantic and Adsum House.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM


Halifax Seaport Beerfest
August 11-12
Cunard Centre, 961 Marginal Rd
$45/$50, VIP $65

It’s almost time for the Halifax Seaport Beerfest, which festival co-founder Brian Titus calls “the biggest party.”

“It’s such a unique offering where it’s almost 100 percent proper craft beer or specialty import,” says Titus, who is also the president of Garrison Brewing Co.

Beerfest started in 2007, and it’s been growing ever since. Attendees have three sessions to choose from (one on Friday and two on Saturday) to taste unlimited samples. There will be 112 breweries and 368 brands participating.

“This year, it just exploded,” says Titus. “Part of that is, obviously there’s a lot more breweries around now than there were a number of years ago. But the other part is that we’ve been working really, really hard with individual breweries.”

Titus acknowledges that it’s a busy time of year for brewers, so although the festival has actively tried to focus on local and Atlantic beer, it can be tough—especially if the brewery just opened. This year, the local focus “really kicked in, in a great way” and about 40 percent of the beer is Atlantic Canadian.

That being said, there will also be booze from overseas to sip.

“There’s all kinds of beers here that you just genuinely cannot get otherwise if you don’t go to this festival,” he says. More than half of the beer and cider on offer is not available in stores, and Titus says the fest is an opportunity to seek it out.

“Whether it’s beers that have come in from several provinces away or outside the country that just never makes it here,” he says, “or even stuff that’s from quite a small, rural brewery that doesn’t normally end up on tap in town.”

There will be a total 40 gluten-free options, too, (should that be a concern of yours) and some non-alcoholic kombucha for the designated drivers. Bottoms up.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bagel Montreal Style is now open in Dartmouth

Pass the cream cheese, please

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 12:56 PM

When Labana Sukhchan Singh first came to Halifax in January, he didn't know a soul. But he did know was that there was no one in town making wood-fired Montreal style bagels.

"Every week, all of these bagels are coming from Montreal to here," he says. "I said, 'let me take a chance'. So I started to look for where I could open a shop."

Singh isn't just a bagel enthusiast, he's a veteran. He honed his expertise in the bready baked good by putting in 18 years at the St-Viateur Bagel— home of the Montreal bagel. And with that skill set in his back pocket, he confidently promises his bagels are, "hand rolled, boiled with honey water and cooked in a wood-burning over. It’ll be 100 percent Montreal style."

Singh's Bagel Montreal Style opened today at 135 Wyse Road, after a summer of preparations, which included the construction of the aroma-inducing wood burning over.

"I have a whole bunch of bagels you can’t get anywhere here," he says. The list of flavours is sprawling, including the classic sesame, poppy seed and cinnamon, plus options like coconut, strawberry, garlic, Montreal steak spice and pumpernickel.

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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