The first things that come to mind when considering Quebecois food are poutine, crepes and maple syrup products, and none of these should be missed. Don’t worry, they won’t be hard to find because Quebec is known for them.
If you don’t know what poutine is, it’s golden brown, good quality potato fries smothered in rich gravy and topped with cheese curds- the curds taste a bit like mozzarella cheese but squeak slightly when you bite into them. Crepes are thin pancakes filled with whipped cream, chocolate, fruit, or sometimes healthy items like veggies, cheese and meat. They are more filling than you would expect, and come topped with a sprinkling of icing sugar. Eat them like a pancake, using a knife and fork and trying not to let it fall on you.
Poutine can be eaten with your fingers, too, but if you buy it in a restaurant you will be given a knife and fork. Otherwise, lick your fingers. 🙂 When I went to Quebec City for the first time, I enjoyed poutine and crepes, but didn’t have time to savor the really fancy restaurants this city is famous for. I walked down the streets of historic Quebec wishing I had the time and money to experience the lovely looking, photograph worthy, European style restaurants from the inside. Next time, I will definitely sample some of these. But for the moment, I digress.
Quebec City has many kinds of non European ethnic restaurants. One of them is a nice little restaurant called Deli Mex, 300 Rue de la Couronne. I went there with some friends and was not disappointed. Deli Mex is a Mexican restaurant offering many authentic dishes that go far beyond the expected nachos, guacomoles, and salsas. Enjoy these favorites as well as enchiladas, quesadillas, beef or chicken fajitas, marinated crab or pork, desserts, and more. You can even buy carbonated Mexican style drinks from Columbia.
The prices are extremely reasonable for what you get. The staff are friendly and efficient, the food very tasty. It’s a great place to reserve for your gathering. While eating, you can see that your table cloth is a colorful weaving. Traditional woven wall hangings tied in swags, painted traditional dishes, and wavy shaped mirrors decorate the walls. The menu comes in French and English. Afterwards, buy some stuff to make at home, like corn flour, salsa and other sauces, jalapeno peppers, and more.
Now for the restaurants I read about and drooled over while reading Voila Quebec, a helpful free guide to Shopping, Events, Attractions, Restaurants, and Maps provided by my hotel.
Le Tyrolienne. Location: 2846, rue du Bois-Gomin. West of Laurier Shopping Centre. Tel. 651-6905
Designed to be just like a mountain chalet in Zurich, Switzerland, this restaurant’s logo pictures the Alps and a suggestion of the Swiss flag, complete with a white cross. Reasonably priced, with group rates included. Accepts American Express, Certificate-Cadeau, Diners Club, Interac, MasterCard, and Visa. Choose grilled pepper steak, filet mignon, Swiss style seafood (Bordelaise style clams, salmon filet with mustard cream sauce a la Meaux). Choose from 15 different fondues.
For a Swiss inspired cafe with even more variety, try La Crolla. 815 Cote d’Abraham Quebec, 540 Fentin G1R 1A4 tel. (418) 529-8107
L’Astral. 1225 coeurs du General-de-Montcalm Quebec, Canada G1R 4W6 Tel. 1-800-463-5256
Enjoy a delicious, refined meal with lots of choices in style as you enjoy a panoramic, rotating view 540 feet up and 15 miles of visibility by a clear sky.
Gambrius. Located near the Chateau-Frontenac. 15, rue de Fort, Vieux Quebec. Reservation (418) 692-5144
Italian and Provencal traditions meet here in this romantic little place that will make you think of Europe with its ambiance of luxury. Gorgeous ivy trailing down from the windows complements chocolate brown paneling, coffee-cream table cloths, and comfortable chairs covered in tasteful printed fabrics. A musician comes in to entertain diners every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and free valet parking is available every evening.
Quebec City offers some healthier choices in most places, but overall it would be a terrible place to start your diet.