A Grain of Salt

SaltShakerDeliDecor

The Salt Shaker Deli in Lunenburg, casual little sister to sophisticated older sibling Fleur de Sel. I’ve been wanting to visit for awhile, and with the tourist season winding down, we finally snag a table at this perennially packed eatery. The deck is still open, and hardy diners are enjoying the warm October sun, ignoring the slightly chilly breezes that dance over the tables from time to time.
We opt for the main seating area, butcher paper clad tables lined up against a comfortable banquette, a view of a sunroom with bar height chairs to the left, the white wainscotted counter ahead, and the impossibly tiny kitchen to the right.
Service is fast and friendly, these folks used to a much faster pace in the dog days of summer, I’m sure.
The lunch menu offers a varied, yet not overwhelming, selection. We settle on the soup of the day and the “award winning chowder” (although which award, it doesn’t specify), and a couple of sandwiches: smoked salmon club and meatloaf.
SaltShakerSoup We agree, and this is a nitpick, but we don’t like the bowls. They have a wide, scalloped ledge, and the soup that’s in this shallow part gets cool really quickly. Potato bacon is redolent with garlic, plenty of smoky bacon, and probably the best soup I can remember tasting in a restaurant in a very long time. The chowder would be award-worthy were it not for a couple of very small clumps of pasty, partly cooked thickener. A little more care in making the stock, whisking and ensuring the flour was completely incorporated, and this chowder would have been excellent. Of special note: the perfectly cooked scallops, seared before adding to the soup.
SaltShakerSandwiches Our sandwiches are on breads from a local bakery, foccacia for the smoked salmon, ciabbatta for the meatloaf. These rustic Italian breads would elevate any filling, and these fillings are quite lovely. Plenty of smoked salmon, and an expertly seasoned meatloaf means these sandwiches leave nothing to be desired. Another nitpick–one of the sandwich plates feels dirty, the texture of a plate that’s been run through an overly packed dishwasher,or it could be just the texture of a melamine plate that’s seen very heavy usage. Either way, I get past it pretty quick with the first bite of sandwich.
Overall, this was a great meal, with matching service, and certainly the Salt Shaker has lived up to it’s reputation.
I already have my eye on the lobster mac and cheese for the next visit.

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