Sunday Brunch at Paddy’s Pub
Brunch has to be one of my favourite meals. It reminds me of relaxed weekends with plenty of time to linger over coffee and enjoy a luxurious meal, in stark contrast to the normal rushed bowl of cereal or piece of toast during the work week.
I love to host brunches for my friends since everyone always has the same realization as I do, that we just don’t do brunch enough. Add in the fact that it can be much easier to schedule a morning meal than to find an evening where everyone is free and it’s clear that brunch is an undervalued opportunity.
Driving through Kentville a few weeks ago, I realized I have never been there before. It’s a pretty little town and since it was just after Thanksgiving, the famous Pumpkin People were out in droves. I had heard of them before but had no idea how many houses and businesses would be participating.
It seemed like the normal population of Kentville doubled, either with orange-headed lollygaggers or the visitors that came to see them. We didn’t actually plan to go to Paddy’s Pub specifically for brunch so it was a pleasant surprise that it was being served when we arrived. It was, after all, 12:00 on a Sunday so I’m not sure why we didn’t anticipate it. I’ll blame it on a deficiency in caffeine. And eggs.
Our server solved our first problem by offering us coffee as we perused the menu and made our choices. We decided to share steamed mussels to start and then continue on to share two entrees.
Since Paddy’s has been brewing their own beers for the last 17 years at their Wolfville location, we just had to order a sampler of 6 of their signature brews.
To me, samplers of beer or flights of wine are like the tapas of beverages: lots of variety and a great way to try some new things. The beers ranged from pale blonds to dark stouts so we sampled in the order they were presented, lightest to darkest. First in line was the Acadian Cream Ale, a dangerously drinkable brew that would sail down nicely on a hot day. It went well with the huge bowl of mussels that arrived with rich garlic butter on the side (mmm, butter).
Then came a Blueberry Ale with real wild berries waiting patiently at the bottom of the glass. While some may turn up their noses at flavoured beers, this one was crisp and clean with the essence of summer infused right into it, and was one of my favourites of the day. Next in line was a seasonal Pumpkin Ale with the sweetness of the orange gourd and a hint of the spiciness of a pumpkin pie.
At the top on my list was the Annapolis Valley Ale, an amber beer with just enough hops to peak my interest but not enough to be overpowering. Raven is darker and malty with a bit of smoke on the palate, and we finished off with Chimney Swift Stout which I definitely preferred over Guinness.
For our mains, we decided to split the Seafood Crepes and that staple of brunches everywhere, Eggs Benedict. The crepes were stuffed with haddock, scallops and shrimp in a tasty cream sauce then covered with cheese and baked. They were absolutely delicious and I would definitely return to Paddy’s to order them again.
I’m not usually one for Eggs Benedict but the ones at Paddy’s may have changed that. Served with a Maritime twist, the soft-poached eggs sit atop fish cakes instead of the standard English muffin, and that changed everything for me. The fish cakes added a great salty backdrop to the richness of the oozy yolk and decadent Hollandaise sauce, something an English muffin just can’t offer. The benny was served with toast and yummy home fries for a completely satisfying and very filling meal.
Taking a look over the rest of the menu, I was happy to see lots of local product listed. Hook and line-caught fish, locally raised meats, and produce from Valley farmers have all become part of dishes from Paddy’s kitchen, proving how easily one small business can support others in the community. It also peaked my interest to come back and try some of the other meals, especially considering how tasty our brunch had been.
I’m a big fan of exploring the province and checking out places I’ve never been. If Kentville is on your to-do list, head out a bit early and stop at Paddy’s Pub for a bite.
I’ll be willing to bet I’ll be back.