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Out of Town: Quebec City

Monday, August 16th, 2010

A Foodie in Quebec City Summary:

  • Maple Products @ the Old Port Market – Marche du Vieux-Port: Maple Syrup, Maple Sugar, Sugar Pie, Maple Ale, Maple Wine, Maple Salad Dressing, Mini Maple Cones, Maple Candies, Maple Butter, Maple Spread, Maple Tea, Maple Beer from Boreale Beer … (A great brand of Organic Maple Products: Biodélices Organic Maple Syrup)
  • Ice Cider, Cider, & Ice Wine Tasting Day Trip (just outside the city): Isle d’Orleans
  • Classic Canadian Food: Tourtière = Meat Pie, Poutine (Canadian Quebec Style) = French Fries, Cheese Curds & Brown Gravy, Sugar Pie (Quebec City Sugar Pie with Thick Cream)= Maple Sugar Pie, Caribou Stew
  • Drinks: Cheese Plates, Beer, & Sangria – Two spots to grab drinks before dinner: One in Upper Town is Bar L’inox - a 21 year old microbrewery, with 11 delicious beers, also pitchers of Sangria and happy hour specials + sausages in baguettes for a snack to split. *See below for rue Saint-Jean spots such as Pub Nelligans & La Ninkasi.

La Rue St. Jean Area (rue Saint-Jean - A Street beyond the city walls on the west end was a very cool area that seemed less touristy.)

  • J.A. Moisan Epicier, a Gourmet Food Store (oldest grocery store in North America), with many Canadian products, prepared gourmet foods, and interesting selection of cheeses, chocolates, candies, and beer/wine.  La Rue St. Jean is located in the Upper town close to some really interesting shops such as The Chocolate Museum and a clothing shop on a street I liked so much, rue Saint-Jean. A pub that we would like to try next time: La Ninkasi is the best place to have a large choice of Quebeckers beers and see a variety of shows.  Pub Nelligans, was great but we had too many people to fit inside because it was raining and we were there on the Tuesday night jam session of Irish music, which seemed really cool.

Wandering lustfully in search of the unique and delicious was the beauty of our trip.

In researching our visit to Quebec City online we found it quite hard to find the local spots as I assume the local food blogs are all in French. This made us realize that it may be difficult to have an Anthony Bourdain-type of locals experience in Quebec City. Luckily we did have help from our friends from Maine who had visited Quebec City quite a few times because of their interest in their French-Canadian heritage. So we knew our first visit was going to entail wandering, talking to locals, and exploring.

What we discovered about Quebec City:

We found the people in Quebec City to be very friendly from the man who gave us the mead to taste at the market and told us where to eat Poutine to the waiter at the restaurant who served us Poutine and told us where to drink next. The city had a very cool blend of modern and classical architecture where the new and old city met. There were many smaller shops instead of huge, mega-stores meaning you could find some unique items that you don’t often find in other cities without infinite exploration. There were many sidewalk-dining areas at the restaurants to dine and drink el fresco putting people together on the streets without glass separators. We discovered unique food and drink in our three day stay and the ability to eat it by walking constantly.

Great Food & Art Suggestions for Quebec City:

  • Casse Crepe Breton Great Breakfast for Crepes in the Old City Quebec (There is always a line but the crepes are worth it.) Also try their half-coffee/half-hot cocoa with ice cream drink!
  • Restaurant La Nouvelle France Great restaurant for traditional Quebec food such as Yellow Pea Soup, Poutine, Meat Pie, Caribou Stew, and Sugar Pie for Dessert (A Prix Fixe Dinner for about $20, not including drinks).
  • The Market in Quebec City had great local goods and produce and was very worth a visit but make sure you have room for snacking – Le Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec
  • A Contemporary Art Gallery in Quebec City – Galerie Lacerte Art Contemporain located near the Market in the Old City is worth taking a look in if you appreciate contemporary art.

Isle de Orleans: A Quebec City Day Trip

The Isle de Orleans was an interesting sustainable agricultural community. There were cows next to a small field of corn beside a fromagerie and orchards by vineyards and so on. All of these entities seemed to be sustaining everyone in the community as opposed to a monoculture. Many of the products they were producing were world class such as the Ice Wine and Ice Cider. As we entered the island by car from Quebec City (about 15 minute drive) we stopped on the right at the information center to grab a map of the island ($1) and to figure out where we wanted to go. We found some great wineries, cideries, a fromagerie, brewery/bar, and farms. Some tasting rooms have minimal fees of $2-3 and some are free.

Suggested Food & Drink Tasting on Isle de Orleans:

  • Blackcurrant Liqueur & Blackcurrant Wine = Mixed together make their Sangria Recipe which we really liked @ Cassis Monna & fille Economusee de la liquoristerie This winery had a great outdoor patio to hang out on after sampling their products in their tasting room downstairs.  We loved the design and aesthetics of this place!
  • Ice Wine @ Vignoble Isle Bacchus ($35 for 200ml bottle & $3 for wine tastings, classy spot)
  • Ice Cider @ Cideries
  • Blackcurrant Framboise @ La Ferme de Liz Ouellet (made by a local woman and a Frenchman from the Dijon Region of France had just come by and said her products were as good if not better than those found in Dijon)Maple Butter
  • Duck Terrine, Mustards, Jams, & Cider Tastings for $3 @ Domaine Steinbach Ciderie et Relais Gourmand – Great spot for an entire range of tastings. (I liked the onion preserves and the blueberry and apple jam)
  • Cheese, the very first ever made in North America (in 1635) Samples @ Les Fromage de l’isle d’Orleans