Lincoln — If, like many New Brunswickers, you’ve never heard of the Michelin Food Guide, you’ve probably at least heard of the Blue Canoe Restaurant. Part of the Irving Big Stop in Lincoln, the dining establishment is known for its friendly service, incredible variety and — most importantly — its massive portion sizes.
Last week the Blue Canoe made international headlines when it received a 3-star Michelin Guide rating, which is the highest rating any restaurant can attain, meaning worldwide renown and the respect of famed gourmands.
“I was on a flight to L.A. for a convention restauranteur internationale,” explained the Parisian reviewer. “The pilot said he wanted to get out and stretch his legs, so we stopped at the tiny airport in Fredericton. He said the stop would take un longtemps, so I thought I would try to make the most of this otherwise — how you say — pointless layover.”
That pointless layover led him to check out the Blue Canoe, which a New Brunswick passenger told him was “freakin’ good.” The restaurant was pretty dead except for a few truckers sitting at the counter eating huge chunks of coconut cream pie.
“The waitress brought me the menu, which was une géante laminated placard displaying photos of the food. Juste imagine — you do not even need to be able to read to order! And I was astounded by the sélection. I have never been to a restaurant that offered steak, a host of deep-fried seafood options, Italian fare such as lasagne, and ‘chicken fingers.’ I had no idea chickens had fingers!”
The seasoned reviewer was astonished that the Blue Canoe offered something he’d never heard of: a “kids’ menu.”
“In France, children simply eat what the adults eat, but in smaller portions,” he said. “It seems that people from New Brunswick serve lower-quality versions of adult food to their children. Par example, a parent may enjoy a freshly ground all-beef burger with a baked potato and chives, while the child eats something called a ‘hotdog’ smothered in ‘ketchup.’ C’est une révolution.”
The most impressive part of the visit for the review was, without a doubt, the quantity of food he received.
“It was enough food for 5 adults, served on something they call a ‘platter.’ I enjoyed the Lobster Club Wrap Platter, which is Atlantic lobster, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, rolled up into a tortilla, served with a potato — made any way I want! — and coleslaw. AND a milkshake. AND pie as big as my head! And imagine my surprise when the bill was moins que $30. I do not know why anyone with a refined palate would ever leave New Brunswick.”
The reviewer did eventually leave New Brunswick and return to France, but has said he’s never before or since experienced the sheer quantity of food available in Atlantic Canada.