John’s Lunch – January 25th, 2008
It was a frozen winter afternoon in Halifax. We took the Woodside Ferry, a new and thrilling experience for the entire party (even the native Bluenoser). John’s Lunch is located very close to the Ferry Terminal – a fact that was most welcome as we made our way through the bitter cold.
John’s Lunch is cozy and welcoming. There are several booths along the wall, and more in the back, designed to fit four adults comfortably. As we were a party of five, we decided to sit along the counter. It turned out to be a great choice. The kitchen at John’s is a bustling hive of frying, grilling and serving. It is fun to watch. The staff are very friendly (and funny) and kept us well entertained while we waited for our food. I must say I liked their sass and some of the regular customers chimed in too which added to the fun, friendly atmosphere. John (I assume?) took a shine to Shannon and kept giving her free samples of things whenever she mused loudly, “What do halibut tips taste like?”
John’s is known for their seafood. They have a wonderful selection: haddock, haddock tips, calamari, scallops, shrimp…and clams. The clam strips are legendary (and they did not disappoint). To start, Amanda ordered a milkshake. The metal cup was not provided but the milkshake was thick and delicious and later they noticed that her glass was low and refilled it. As seafood is the specialty at John’s, we all ordered fish or clams and chips. The breading was light and crisp, not too greasy. A word of warning, the portions were enormous. Too big for one person really and overflowing off of the plate (see picture). My advice is to go to John’s Lunch hungry or think about splitting an order with a friend. Although, when I couldn’t finish my meal the waitress helpfully offered reheating tips…leading me to believe people leave with doggy bags on a regular basis.
Shannon was the only one of our group who had enough room to sample desert. She ordered the rice pudding, which was creamy and heavily spiced with cinnamon. The little taste that Shannon offered was very nice. John (?) gave us all lollypops as we were leaving – a nice touch!
The “peak hours only” Woodside Ferry schedule made getting to John’s and back to Halifax a bit rushed…the last ferry back is at 6:05pm. Still it was definitely worth the trip to Dartmouth. Fantastic! So who makes the best fish and chips in HRM? Willman’s Fried Foods is really great and so is John’s…perhaps someday soon we will have to re-sample both and name a winner. Please feel free to cast a vote if you have a favourite.