In 57 ad, the Romans moved north and established a fort on the west coast of Scotland near present day Edinburgh. To make money, locals would sell the soldiers mussels from a local mussel bed. The town was later named Mussel Bed. They still sell mussels today, and so does Dick, Cape Breton resident and owner of The Auld Brass Door in Whycocomagh.
Originally from mussel bed, Scotland, his Scottish roots are displayed in the decor at his restaurant.
The interior is small and simple, the perfect reprieve from a long roadtrip. Off the main area there is a bar and a third space that acts as a coffee shop during the day and a space for music and dancing during the summer nights.
The menu is made up of simple, hearty, home cooked meals of burgers, ribs, pasta and of course, mussels. He describes his menu as international fare with a cape Breton flair. Pricing is good, with items starting at $5.99 and going as high as $22 for seafood and surf and turf dishes.
We split the mussels (of course). They were 10.99 and were cooked in a simple broth of wine, garlic, butter and spices. We also ordered the full rack of ribs to share. It was the daily special, $17.99 for a rack of ribs (honey or BBQ), fries and coleslaw.
When we were ready to leave, Dick insisted on a joke before we hit the road. “Everyone needs a smile” he said. We left stuffed, smiling, and ready to tackle the road.
If you are in the area don’t forget to stop into nearby Firehouse Ironworks. It is one of our favourite spots to visit on a Cape Breton roadtrip!
The Auld Brass Door
9816 Trans-Canada Highway
Season: May – October