A Pearl of a Restaurant in Ship Harbour
A few miles from Ship Harbour on either side of the highway; stand
the signs for Family Fries restaurant.
The signs have long since faded, and they don't tell you how far
the restaurant is, or where exactly it's located. In
fact, if you don't know the Family Fries restaurant or Pearl Newcombe,
the owner, you'll probably drive right by. That would be a mistake.
You've missed some of the best home- cooked meals on Highway 7.
Signs aren't high on on the Pearl's shopping list right now, although
she'd love to have new ones. That will come in due time. Right now,
Pearl is just beginning to measure the success of 8 years of hard
work. Finding herself divorced shortly after establishing the new
restaurant 8 years ago, Pearl continued alone, working 140 hour,
7 day work weeks. She was cook, chief bottle washer, kitchen help
and head waitress. She still is.
For Pearl, a great example of Eastern Shore perserverance, the
long hours, plus her self-determination and a friendly personality
are starting to pay off.
Family Fries is a place many Shore folk stop at on a regular basis.
Locals, travelling sales reps, bus and truck drivers, and a few
savvy tourists don't have any trouble finding Pearl's place. Most
of the patrons that enter Pearl's front door are greeted by name.
If she doesn't know you, she will by the time you leave, and if
you don't come back for another few years, rest assured that Pearl
will still greet you by name when you come back in to sample the
daily special or some of Pearl's excellent fish and chips, chowders
or home baked goodies.
Pearl was a bookkeeper at the beginning of her working life but
she found the job stressful. She was always taking the work home
with her. A career change found Pearl working for Versafoods at
a Dalhousie student cafeteria. It was here that she first became
interested in the restaurant business. Later, when Jeddore Diner's
Mildred Lyons asked Pearl to be her cook, Pearl wasn't too sure
she would like it. However, once she started she found cooking for
people suited her just fine. From Jeddore Diner, Pearl went to work
at Captain Todds which is now Toddy's in Jeddore.
While working at Toddy's, Pearl opened her own chip wagon outside
her home in Lower Ship Harbour. Already no stranger to long hours,
Pearl ran the chip wagon for customers who arrived by the road,
or by water, for four years, while working a full week at Captain
Eight years ago, Pearl opened her new establishment in Ship Harbour.
Family Fries was given its name by her son Brian who was a fan of
the popular television show, Family Ties. She didn't want the place
to be called Pearl's because as she says, she's not an egotistical
person. To the locals, who make up the bulk of her clientele, the
everyday name for Family Fries is just that - Pearl's. She said
she still likes the name Family Fries, but sometimes it is misconstrued.
People think that she just serves fried foods.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who's eaten at
Pearl's will attest to. Pearl specializes in seafood, and chowders,
and her daily specials are just like Mom used to make: corn beef
and cabbage (South Shore Boiled Dinner), salt cod and pork scraps
(Dutch Mess), home baked beans and fish cakes (Saturday Night Eastern
Shore Dinner), and sometimes, not so traditional dishes like Chicken
Tetrazinni -- all good, and all home made.
Signs or no signs, Pearl's or Family Fries... a good little restaurant
run by a hard working lady is located at the Head of Ship Harbour
on Nova Scotia's Highway 7. Next time you're headed down (or up)
the shore, stop in, introduce yourself and chow down. In fact, for
all you weekend travellers, why not pick up Friday night's dinner
on your way 'down', or Sunday night's dinner on your way 'up' ?
Pearl loves to cook, but still hates bookkeeping.
Call Ahead for Pick Up
1 - 902 - 845- 2042
Tell her Highway 7 sent you
(maybe we'll get a free order of Pearl's fried clams - yum).
Any sign painters out there who'd like to
donate their time for some free promo on Highway
Shhh... don't tell Pearl.