Ever have one of those moments driving through an unfamiliar area and you catch sight of something on the side of the road, something which compels you to pull over and eat, even if you weren’t really planning on doing that anyways? Driving up Highway 114 through New Brunswick form Alma to Moncton recently presented us with such a situation as we passed through the hamlet of Hillsborough. Stopping was definitely the correct choice.
Lobster shacks are relatively common near Alma. We went in to the late afternoon with plans to lobster for dinner but the timing was a bit challenging. We were in the area with the waterfront shops where we wanted to eat but it was earlier than we originally planned. And so we agree to dine well and then head up into town, leaving open the option for another late-night snack later if needed. We pulled in to the Alma Lobster Shop and headed inside to find dinner.
I do love getting to pick which specific lobster I’m going to eat based on size and trying to not go completely overboard. I’m often somewhat successful; this was no exception as we each ended up with a 2+ pound specimen for dinner (and I added chowder, too). The lobster was served cold which was different than we’re used to but it was still served with drawn garlic butter and it was delicious.
After eating we needed to clean up a bit so asked to use the bathroom at the shop. “Just head through that room to the far side” was the answer and we didn’t think much of it. Turns out they sent us in to the warehouse where the main part of the operation runs. Sure, they have a retail shop but wholesaling is what it was all about for these guys and they had a substantial amount of space dedicated to the effort. That’s a ridiculous amount of lobster being kept ready to ship out.
And, more than sated by the first dinner, we continued up the road to Moncton and our hotel. That’s when we passed the ice cream shop. And we actually passed it; I had no idea it was there and no reason to think I’d be stopping so we were moving at a pretty decent clip. And we still hadn’t decided if we were going to eat more (still rather stuffed from the lobster) and when that might happen. We probably made it another five minutes up the road before I pulled over, turned around and headed back for dessert.
The convincing factor for me was the line out into the front yard. This was a small town with not many residents and it seemed they were all lined up for ice cream. “They must know something I do not,” I reasoned as we returned back down the road.
And they did. They knew where to find real ice cream: Momma T’s Ice Cream Stand. We each ordered up a couple scoops and sat in the lawn chairs amongst the families enjoying their evening treat. We heard some of the local gossip, like details of an upcoming family photo and the hair dye job going in to that effort. We were loosely involved in games which mostly resembled Calvinball as best as I can tell with some of the kids running around, jacked up on sugar highs. And we got to enjoy the great weather and delicious ice cream.
There were other meals, all fresh and delicious. The lobster roll at Alma Boathouse Restaurant was spectacular, for example.
But I’m pretty sure none of them beat the random little ice cream shop where the whole town turned out that one evening.
Read more from our New Brunswick adventures here.
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I’m glad to see you’re enjoying New Brunswick. One of the nicest parts of Canada, IMO. Fell in LOVE with the place and the people (especially the people ^_^ ) during a working-holiday in Canada… Now planning to get back there permanently 🙂
Nice story… This is how to discover a country. I’m sure every country, every little town has these undiscovered gems that only the locals know about.
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