Doyle W. Sansome & Sons Super Lobster Pool
Eileen (just call her ‘mom,’ everyone does) and Calvin Sansome love what they do. They started their holding tank for live lobsters, called a lobster pool, back in 1999. They admit they had no idea if the venture would even work. It did. In 2005 they added “a little take out” to the lobster pool serving (what else) lobster, and things took off from there, she said.
“By 2011 we took the old shed down that was there and the old stage my father-in-law used we built into a restaurant.”
Inside the sea-side restaurant there’s underwater cameras to watch as the fish swim around the wharf while dining.
Eileen laughs. “That was my idea. I would like to have one out in the lobster pool as well to watch the lobsters, but my husband says, ‘that’s too much. You’re going too far.’”
Food is to die for!
The two laugh as Calvin fishes around inside one of the holding tanks for a lobster. “Word of mouth in this business is important but in this industry, hospitality is number one. When you hire excellent people and you have great food made from scratch, then people spread the word that this is a place to visit.”
And the food is to die for! Seafood chowder, fish and chips, fish cakes, crab legs and of course lobster! All amazing! And the blueberry cheesecake? Also amazing! “We go over menus and we try things and we see what works, and then the chef takes over and it all works,” she said glowing. One secret she doesn’t mind sharing; their lobster and crab are cooked in sea water. “Anyone who knows can tell the difference,” she said.
Hospitality & grub
Their combination of hospitality and grand grub is working. Sansome’s isn’t on any main drag, and is located in an out of the way area making theirs a “destination” and not a “drop in” spot.
“You’re not on any main drag. People have to come to us. They hear about it and they come from all over the world. Word of mouth is unbelievable.”
If planing on visiting, come early, as the parking lot fills fast and there’s usually a line up at the door.
With a staff of nine, it’s a busy spot in season, but they both love the work, she said. “We love meeting people and this is my husband’s home. My father-in-law was in the lobster fishery for years and years and years so this made sense to us. I used to work at other things, but I didn’t get to see enough people. Now, there’s no shortage of that!”
For more, like Doyle W. Sansome & Sons Super Lobster Pool on Facebook
The Dynamic Duo: The Quay & Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co.
Dave Collins, owner/operator of The Quay restaurant in Brigus and Mark Burry, entrepreneur/managing Director of Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company Ltd., a microbrewery located in Bay Roberts, have no problem sharing their best creations.
On the day we visit The Quay, we dig in to the dishes presented before us by the enthusiastic Collins. One of the many wins? The Quay’s crab cakes which comes with a delightful and incredibly touching story. Collins had never really had a dream to own a restaurant, he shared.
“I’ve always been a foodie … always did a lot of cooking for family, friends, or for charitable groups, and a good friend of mine, his name was Gary Corcoran – and I say was because he passed away – and Gary was a phenomenal chef and an unbelievable individual.”
Corcoran raised “millions for charity over his lifetime,” Collins said and the two friends did a lot of cooking together. Corcoran even penned a cookbook titled In The Kitchen with Gary Corcoran: Recipes from Home and Away. Corcoran developed ALS shortly after Collins purchased The Quay. “Gary was not of good health and I used to see him every week, and we used to talk about what items to potentially use on the new menu.”
One of his friend’s suggestions? Crab cakes. “I made some and had my family and friends in and it was loud and clear that crab cakes were as a keeper so I put them on the menu as Gary’s Crab Cakes as it’s our way of celebrating him on the menu.”
‘Ten out of ten’
The Cuban sandwich is also something that reminds Collins of his late friend, as it was one of the meals he requested towards his final days. Collins shared that Corcoran gave The Quay’s Cuban sandwich “a ten out of ten.”
Such stories make the menu meaningful and personal, said Collins.
Mark Burry of Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company Ltd. said that he got into the micro brewery business as a passion.
“My grandfather was an entrepreneur all his life,” he said.
Burry, who had been brewing beer at home, just felt that it was time to make the move. One of the best parts about being in business is the relationships you get to have, like the one he has with Collins and The Quay. The Quay serves the brewery’s beer and Baccalieu Trail brewing Company serves The Quay’s food.
“We have a good business relationship with many other businesses in the Baccalieu Trail region and we all want to see one another be successful,” he said.
NTV’s Rock Solid Builds
Both agree that shows like NTV’s Rock Solid Builds helps the region by showcasing the beauty of the area. Burry’s products, including their creatively designed and brewed Grab 4 and Explore pack, are available in many locations, but if you wants great food – as well as entertainment – why not visit them in Bay Roberts.
Whether it’s a lager to enjoy on a hot day or sipping an Irish red; there’s a beer to please any taste bud. Collins smiles. “There’s so much to take advantage of in this amazing province. See the sights and enjoy the food and the beverages.”
For more destinations pick up next week’s NL Herald! Plus, more on The Doctor’s House Inn & Spa, the Dildo Brewery, Dunrovin in Lethbridge and Iceberg Alley B&B!
Twillingate-New World Island Dinner Theatre
The food is second to none and the entertainment? Well that almost has to be seen and heard to be believed. With performances by talented locals like Chelsea Cox, Denise Dove, Sandra Gillett (who has been performing since 2002), Gary Rogers, Jody Hale and Wayne Gillett, there’s no shortage of side-splitting comedy and spine tingling musical performances.
On the day we visit, to say there are people from all over the world there would be an understatement. Canadian. Americans. Australians. Almost too many to mention – though the performers make sure to give a round of applause to all who visit from near and far. Owners/operators of this merry crew are Cathy Brown and Ernie Watkins who were born and raised in the Twillingate area.
When The Herald spoke to Watkins he was in his shed which also serves as a kitchen. He had not long ago tied his boat off and was boiling the water to prepare 90 lobsters and 75 pounds of muscles for that evening’s feed. But that’s not the only thing on the menu. Salmon and cod is brought in fresh daily as well. When asked if he’s also the fisherman for the feed provided, Watkins stands tall. “This is the boat, that brought in everything. I’m a fisherman, absolutely,” he said proudly.
The dinner theatre came about seven years ago, he said. How did it start?
“A lot of people want to experience old fashioned shed parties when they come here to visit and that’s what this dinner theater is about. There’s a lot of traditional Newfoundland music, but often Newfoundlanders make fun of Newfoundlanders and our ways and that’s what we started to do, so it’s music and comedy,” he said.
What is it about his home that he loves so much, we ask. “It’s just the rustic look. The cliff lines and the shorelines and what we’ve got to offer the world. Icebergs when they’re here, but it’s the way of life and it’s the people that make this place a destination.”
Giving back is important too, he shared. The dinner theatre seats between 14-15,000 people each year and they sell fifty-fifty tickets to anyone interested. This year they are hoping to sell 60,000 tickets and the funds raised help those less fortunate in the area over the holidays via their Twillingate/NWI Christmas Hamper Fund. “This is our home. Whatever we can do to make it a great place for everyone, we will do.”
For more visit Twillingate-New World Island Dinner Theatre on Facebook.