Back on the road we went enroute to Prince Edward Island (PEI). We drove across the Confederation bridge into PEI with such a scenic view. The sky was surreal. If you are driving over, there is a $47CAD toll upon returning across the bridge leaving PEI.
We took the first exit off the highway once we had gone over the bridge and stopped to see the bridge in all its glory by a small lighthouse.
Back on the road towards Charlottetown and when I mean road, there is only one road and this road is like a roller coaster – up and down and up and down – extreme angles at times.
We finally arrived to downtown Charlottetown and oh boy the architecture is stunning with all the old houses and all the colours. We stayed at The Holman Grand – (123 Grafton St, Charlottetown PE C1A 1K9). Unlike Nova Scotia & New Brunswick, the weather started to get a little colder.
The downtown seems to run on a nice grid like system with everything within walking distance. I ended up walking around a bit by myself and found myself walking on Victoria Row which I guess is the Chinatown area of Charlottetown. Many stores of Anne of Green Gables. Cows Creamery also originates from PEI. Cows Ice cream is to Canada as Ben & Jerry’s is to USA.
After a quick rest, we walked over to Hopyard (151 Kent St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1N5) for dinner. This was by far the best experience we had in terms of East Coast hospitality. Once we walked in, the atmosphere was laidback and cool. We took to a booth seat and was approached by a server. The server was amazing. He let us know the rundown of the restaurant and the food and drink list. Hopyard is exactly what their name says – Beer – Food – Vinyl. There is a table of vinyls in the middle where you can browse and find a record you would like to play and bring it to the bar so they can put it in the queue. If you feel the need to own the record, you are more than welcome to purchase it as the vinyls are brought in directly from a nearby records store.
The menu itself is complex but great value and a variety of flavours. The menu changes every few weeks and the top of the list are the vegetarian options while the bottom half are the meat options with some fun dessert options. Majority of the things on the menu are $8CAD each. The menu is a complex fusion of Asian flavours and a play on new mixes. The theme for the dishes during our stay was Qingdao to Incheon. The beer menu is also a long but great list to choose of for local and slightly further Canadian brewed craft beers.
Among the 3 of us, we ordered a bunch of dishes and they all had distinct flavour.
What we ate:
-Nuoc Cham Spring Rolls (Crispy Veg Rolls, Nuoc Cham, Fresh Cilantro, Black Sesame Sour Cream), – the black sesame sour cream was AMAZING!
-KoKuma Yam Fries (Crispy Shallots, Garlic Sauce, Hot n’ Sour Sweet Stuff.)
-Bun Mi (Marinated Roasted Tofu, Salted Cauliflower Relish, Shredded Carrot, Cucumber Kimchi, Hoisin Mayo, Spicy Salt on a Brioche Bun)
-Qingdao Fried Broccoli (Fried Broc, Shoyu Mayo, Cherry Sauce, Hot Salt and Scallions) – The biggest surprise in taste was the broccoli – it tasted like candy.
-Sesame Hot Wings (Sesame Candy, Chili Salt Mayo and Cilantro BBQ Sauce)
-Crispy Fish Taco (Flour Torts, Iceberg, Black Bean Sour Cream, Wontons, Jalapeno Ginger Tartar, Cashew)
Unfortunately one of our subjects bailed so we had the morning free to explore PEI. We found ourselves indoors at Receiver Coffee & Co on Victoria Row (128 Richmond St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1H7) because it was raining outside. We had breakfast in the cute little coffee shop. I ordered the Smoothie Bowl (avocado based smoothie with cinnamon, blueberry, strawberry and cucumbers) and paired it with a chai latte. We ended up staying here for majority of the morning before we hit the road to explore a bit before catching our flight.
The server from the previous night mentioned that we need to check out Brackley Point beach and drive through (shoe horse) via the PEI national park before making our way to the airport. With our laidback morning, we ended up not really having enough time to explore. We drove 20 minutes to Brackley Point beach but unfortunately we only had about 30 minutes before we needed to get to the airport and because it is part of the national park, we were unwilling to pay the fee to see the beach for a few minutes and drove to the airport. We were told that once you make it to Brackley Point Beach, if you go under the bridge, you can walk on the sand dunes. The park itself is suppose to be worth its while and should not be missed if you have the time.