Story and photography by Alain Bossé
If you live near or in St. Andrews, New Brunswick and it’s mid-March, you find yourself longing for two things... The first, of course, is the solstice marking the start of spring; and the second is the official opening day of The Clam Digger.
This canteen has seriously good food. They don’t try to be anything other than a canteen, they do what they do, and they do it really, really well. But you don’t have to take our word for it: the cars that are lined up and down either side of the road will speak for themselves!
The Clam Digger is well known for their fresh whole clams, served with hand-cut fries; the clams are brought in fresh weekly, and each summer the owners fresh-freeze large amounts so that they are still able to offer this customer favourite during the off-season. They value their well-deserved reputation for quality product and will not rely on clams that have been frozen for the wholesale market.
Whole-fillet fish and chips are another very popular menu item, as is the grilled salmon burger: a one-quarter pound marinated salmon fillet, served on a bun and topped with homemade tarter sauce. Their seafood platter only comes in one size: Huge! It features those fabulous clams, juicy scallops and fresh-battered haddock with a side of those wonderful hand-cut fries. You want to make sure you come hungry when you visit.
The Clam Digger has the non-seafood lovers covered as well, with their donair burger, which is loaded with more than a quarter pound of fresh donair meat! A new item this year is their bac n’ blue burger; a juicy beef burger loaded with bacon and topped with Castello blue cheese! Deep-fried mac and cheese is another favourite with local fans.
For those with gluten sensitivities, gluten-free buns are available and their poutine is gluten-free as well.
The Clam Digger’s commitment to sourcing local meats and seafoods plays a huge part in the success of their canteen. In addition, their dedication to running an environmentally-friendly establishment is commendable; from recycling their oil to be used in the production of biodiesel, to ensuring that their “to-go” bags are made from recycled material, to their conscious decision not to use styrofoam packaging.
There are many reasons to visit beautiful St. Andrews and the surrounding area, and The Clam Digger has certainly earned a spot on that list. If you’re in the area be sure to stop in for a visit.
The canteen is located at 4468 Route 127, Chamcook, NB, and they’re open daily from 11am to 8pm. Phone 506-529-8084.
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Intro caption: Seafood platter.