April 13th, 2024

New Halifax street food restaurant bring east coast flavour to the Hat

By BRENDAN MILLER on March 27, 2024.

Blowers & Grafton staff pose for a photo during their grand opening in Medicine Hat on Tuesday. The new restaurant brings authentic East Coast street food to Alberta.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER


In downtown Halifax locals refer to the corner of Blowers Street and Grafton Street as ‘Pizza Corner,’ a well-known intersection serving authentic East Coast street food including pizza, garlic fingers and donairs.

Now those East Coast foods, flavours and culture can be found in Medicine Hat as Blowers & Grafton Halifax Street Food & Bar celebrated its grand opening along Carry Drive on Tuesday.

Blowers & Grafton first opened in Calgary in 2017 as a small 34-seat restaurant and serves Atlantic seafoods, ingredients and donair meat imported from the East Coast.

Co-founder Josh Robinson says he has a passion for East Coast foods and wanted to bring its unique taste to the Prairies.

“One of my favourite things and what fills my heart,” says Robinson, “is having Albertans and other Canadians and even people visiting Canada able to have this food that generally if you’re not in the Maritimes you wouldn’t normally be able to get.

“It’s really exciting for us to be able to see other people falling in love with the foods I grew up eating and so many maritimers really are very proud of these ingredients and these styles of food.”

Before founding Blowers & Grafton, Robinson sold cotton candy on the Halifax waterfront from a small stand and later opened up his own donair shop downtown.

Robinson moved to Calgary in 2013 where he met his business partner and founded their East-Coast themed restaurant.

“It’s always so exciting, how much people really enjoyed the East Coast food and all the ingredients that we bring in from Halifax and around the Maritimes,” explains Robinson.

Robinson says the restaurant imports donair meat from the original maker of the donair who uses the original blend of seasoning that’s been used since the 1970s.

“It’s as authentic as you can get of the flavour of the donor meat,” says Robinson. “And our donair sauces are authentic and it’s a sweet style of donair sauce.”

As well as East Coast food, Blowers and Grafton ships in craft beer from brewers from P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

The restaurant is also the home of a popular pizza from Pictou County, N.S. called Pictou County Pizza that uses a secret family recipe sauce.

“It’s called a brown sauce,” explains Robinson. “It’s something you just really have to try.

“It’s hard to describe, we sell it in retail bottles, but you can get it on the pizzas here and that’s the real way to have it, let us cook one up for you,” says Robinson.

Blowers & Grafton is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 pm and is open until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

“It’s really awesome. We have the best guests that really have a fun time when they come in,” says Robinson.

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