You may never get to St. John, New Brunswick even once so a next time is probably even more unlikely. However, there is a restaurant in that city that definitely needs a shout-out.
In May, we went on a birding trip to Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, but we added two extra days in St. John before our ferry ride to the island. Our hotel served breakfast but the menu didn’t really excite us. So we asked the concierge for a good restaurant within walking distance. He enthusiastically recommended The Bourbon Quarter Restaurant. It was only a few blocks away and once we got there we discovered that Bourbon Quarter was also the Magnolia Cafe. Even when you check the Bourbon Quarter website there is a link to Magnolia and the menus all take you to Magnolia. I think it may be a daytime/evening thing. In the evening the bar is hopping and live music is offered.
But we were there for breakfast so it was much quieter and beer was not available.The menu said they featured New Orleans favorites and Canadian classics. This included Chicken & Waffles, a Bourbon Quarter omelet with chorizo, jalapeno and onion, Breakfast sandwich with beignets, and various combinations or eggs, potatoes, sausage and bacon. For me, the Pain Perdu looked intriguing. Pain Perdu means ‘lost bread’ and originally it was a way to save hard or day old bread, soaking it in milk (and sometimes egg) and frying it. However Pain Perdu in restaurants just means French Toast. I ordered it with a side of berry compote.
This was the best Pain Perdu/French toast I have ever had. The outside was crispy/ crunchy, the inside soft and eggy. When we inquired about the crunchiness, our server told us that the chef dredges the slices in bread crumbs after soaking it in a mixture of milk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla, and then deep fries the bread. Whipped cream and syrup accompanied the dish.
Curt went with the Eggs Benedict served on cornbread, choice of Hollandaise or Creole sauce and then a choice of either Crab cakes, BLT, Sausage/Apple/Cheddar or avocado/Sweet Potato. He went with crab cakes and Hollandaise.
Traditional Eggs Benedict is poached eggs, ham or bacon and Hollandaise sauce, served on an English muffin. This one, served with cornbread and a variety of in-betweens under the poached eggs, was very creative and good. The dish came with home fries and Curt also got the berry compote.
We went back the next morning and had the Classic Breakfast, two eggs, choice of peppered maple bacon or sausages, home fries and toast. It may not have been as creative as other menu items but it was well-prepared and equally delicious.
So the next time I’m in St. John, New Brunswick, I think I’ll try the Buttermilk Waffles or the Eggs Benedict with Sausage, Apple and Cheddar or….