Hey Foodhead, Your post encouraged me to try Panda for lunch (not on a Monday). I ordered two half portions of quite different dishes with great expectations, looking to try out their kitchen....crispy duck and Pad Thai. Alas, the Fredericton norm of mediocrity was much in evidence. The duck was reheated, no spicing at all and the bed of stir fried veggies was flavorless. The Pad Thai had absolutely no relation to any Thai dish I have ever eaten....basically, noodles with a few slivers of chicken breast stirred in oil and a bit of chicken broth. What am I doing wrong? In fifty years I could count the secent meals I have had in this, my home town, on the fingers of one hand and have enough digits left over to salute the Fredericton food industry. In your opinion, has Panda gone down the tubes or was I just unlucky?
I have lived in Fredericton more than half a century and as much as I hate to say it, it is a gastronomic wasteland. While the population is minuscule by international standards, we do have two universities, the provincial government and many sophisticated businesses. I have never understood why we cannot support some decent restaurants. Basically, Fredericton is a pub food city.....beer and good grub. That said, Chez Riz is OK, Bruno's at the Delta is a disaster. The Friday night seafood buffet at the Lord Beaverbrook is reasonable.
I just discovered this site in a back issue of Macleans....... it's a bit like finding family you never knew you had! Regrettably, I have to agree with Greg B that New Brunswick is a bit of a gastronomic wasteland and Fredericton is no exception. Yes, you can get a pleasant meal at the Blue Door, Racines sometimes at the Palate and at Brewbaker's (although we have run into some really poor service at Brewbakers) but haute cuisine is not to be found here. However, I am anxious to be proven wrong and can't wait to try some of the suggestions I see among the posts eg Sense of Tokyo, Chez Doris etc.