The sun is starting a slow decline as some storm clouds clear and a bit of evening warmth creeps into the air on the last few streams of sunlight. I'm meeting Allison on the Halifax waterfront for a quick dinner at Canadian Bacon Cookhouse, one of the new crop of snack shacks that popped up this summer on Queen's Landing.
Even as the day stumbles to a close, the waterfront is bustling. There are small crowds wandering down the pier, blue jeans and sneakers blending into taffeta skirts and dress shoes when tourists wander by small parties gathering around the tall ships Silva and Mar. Seagulls squawk and squeal at one another as they dip and dive around the tall masts.
A trio of bros in sunglasses are perched on the edge of the pier, their warbles and strums scuttled by the pulsing vibration of ship engines and chatter of a passing Harbour Hopper. Vendors lean out of the windows of the various shacks, waiting for customers to wander to their wares.
The bright pink Canadian Bacon Cookhouse stands in stark relief to its grey surroundings. It's staffed with a couple of young guys dressed in baby pink t-shirts and backwards baseball caps. We wander up to the window, and the guy working behind sort of casually acknowledges us, and stands back from the window disinterestedly, acting a little too busy to deal with us. When I start to order, he sort of shrugs and says "sorry, but we've got the music up really loud to compete with that" and points at the three buskers across the pier. So I start to order again. Half way through, he wanders to the side and comes back to say I owe $16. I let him know I'd also like drinks so he wanders back and gives a final total.
In the end, we order the Abe's Bacon Butty ($6), the Simply "Dill"icious ($7), two bacon lollipops ($5) and a bottle of water ($2) each.
We're handed the lollipops immediately. Each is a strip of bacon that weaves its way down a stick and then is dipped in chocolate. The chocolate is dull and either poorly tempered or not tempered at all, seemingly completely reliant on refrigeration to stay solid. It starts to get soft almost immediately.
The lollipops border on sickly sweet, but the sugar does go well with the smokiness and salt of the bacon. It's a relatively expensive novelty, though, and with the chocolate being a pretty poor quality, neither of us love it. A few feet away a kid, whose parent ordered a lollipop right after we did, yells "Oh, yum!" on first bite.
The sandwiches only take a couple of minutes. We essentially parrot the kid when we have our first bites. The lollipops may have been a disappointment, but the sandwiches are great.
The butty is a simple, tasty sandwich. A fluffy, buttered kaiser roll has a couple of juicy slices of back bacon and thick, slightly crisp belly bacon strips tucked inside, topped with caramelized onions and a large slice of tomato. There is a little bit of a signature sauce, but the taste doesn't really register against the pile of sweet, maple-tinged onions and smoky bacon that dominate.
The "Dill"icious sandwich somehow manages to be leagues better than the delicious butty. It is a wobbly tower of peameal bacon, more of the thick bacon strips, and a mix of sharp, pungent old cheddar, sour dill pickles and crunchy, salty dill pickle chips. The mix of salty, smoky, sharp, pert flavours is really fantastic.
Service wasn't the best, but the quick turnaround and decent prices make the sandwiches at the Canadian Bacon Cookhouse worth a try if you're wandering down the waterfront.