Story and photography by Alain Boss.
We’ve shared a lot of hot spots in local communities all across Atlantic Canada and I thought it might be time to share one from my hometown of Pictou, NS.
People always ask me if I still feel like cooking every night since I work with food so much, and I always reply “Oh no, Sharon usually cooks for me.”
“Sharon” is Sharon Stewart, and she and her husband John own and operate our local diner, Sharon’s Place. Sharon is one of the hardest working women I know. The restaurant is hugely popular, and it isn’t unusual to see every booth filled and a line up at the door! You might think that Sharon would be kicking back and enjoying life but instead on any given day you can find her on the line cooking, or out front serving tables.
I particularly enjoy it when Sharon is out front interacting with customers. Others obviously feel the same way, since there are always familiar faces in the restaurant—although I don’t know their actual names because the guy in the booth beside me is always referred to as “doll” and the woman at the counter is “hun.” That’s how Sharon is, genuine and warm. The restaurant closes at 7pm but I promise if you show up at ten minutes to Sharon will still greet you with a genuine, “Come in and have a seat, darlin!”
But no matter how wonderful the staff, (and at Sharon’s, they all are terrific you need good food to back it up and here you will not be disappointed. I will stake my reputation on Sharon’s fish and chips. They are some of the best in the province, more fish than batter and always flakey and fresh. Her liver and onions is a favourite mainly because you have to hunt to find the liver under mounds of perfectly caramelized onions. Her meatloaf is a big hit; so much so that I’ve only had it once in the last three years, it sells out that quickly!
When I’m feeling nostalgic, a Big Boah burger (named after her son) and strawberry milkshake is perfect. Her portions are generous, and everything is from scratch. The prices are more than fair, and everyone can get the seniors portion if they choose.
But then… there is Sharon’s carrot cake. I could do a whole story just on that carrot cake: it’s super moist and the ratio of cream cheese frosting to cake is just right. If carrot cake isn’t your thing, there is always a selection of three pies available along with a dessert of the day.
This is one hot spot that shouldn’t be missed; and when you stop be sure to tell them that Al sent you.
Sharon’s is open 7 days a week from 6am to 7pm and is located at 12 Front Street in Pictou.