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If you look in the phone book under Restaurants, there are about a dozen pages full of places to eat, some with big flashy colour ads, some with just a name and phone number. It’s no wonder some eateries get overlooked. Your Best Restaurants Nobody’s Heard Of include places from Elmsdale (Characters) and Enfield (Curly Portable’s) to Fran’s in Dartmouth to Bedford’s Garden Grill to the South End’s Gingerbread Haus. The big vote-getter was Fid, chef Dennis Johnston’s little piece of culinary heaven. Fid, a winner in multiple categories, rebuilt from a devastating fire that put it out of action for two crucial periods—the whole Christmas season, including New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day.
Mexico Lindo and Tu Do were next on your list; authentic Mexican food and a delicious Vietnamese spot respectively. Mexico Lindo really is un-heard-of; authentic Mexican food also appears on the Restaurants Halifax Really Needs list, as does African food which can be enjoyed at the Highlife Cafe on Gottingen. Fiasco also garnered quite a few votes, as did Anatolia’s, the Montréal Grill and Steve-O-Reno’s place under the Delta Barrington.
Other vote-getters ran the gamut from upscale (Bish, San Remo’s) to homey (Cafe Michele in Dartmouth). Dartmouth’s other secrets include Jamieson’s and Queen of Cups. The worldly flavours of the Middle Eastern Food Centre, Greek House, Cheelin, Kinh-do and Seto Gardens were mentioned too.
Vegetarian hot spots include Big Life and Heartwood cafes; the members-only Halifax Club, cigar haven Tom’s Little Havana, tourist favourite Sweet Basil and the folk-arty SoHo Kitchen round out an eclectic mix of Best Places Never Heard Of. Whether or not a restaurant is truly “heard of” can make the difference between staying open and losing the struggle to survive in a tough business. If you’ve had a great meal, a special dining experience or just a down-home good time, tell your friends. Let other people know, so that when you go back for seconds, your restaurant is still there.