Monday, October 10, 2016

Eating in Quebec City

There was no shortage of incredible restaurants in Quebec City.  Thanks to our cell phone plan extending to Canada ($2/day for normal use), we were able to leverage Yelp to find tons of delicious eats within walking distance of our hotel.

Our first night, we arrived fairly late and were craving pub fare.  We found Pub St-Alexandre (1087 Rue Saint-Jean), touted as an "authentic English pub" just down the hill from our hotel. It hit the spot, with delicious beers, sausage, and crispy fries, er, chips.  I chose the Imperiale (stout and white cheddar) and Goddfather (smoked paprika and fennel) sausages.  Dan really liked their beer selection (and prices).  I had a hard cider from Cidre du Minot, a Quebec cidrerie.  Definitely hit the spot on a chilly, rainy night!

Sausage at Le Pub St-Alexandre

Not surprisingly, Quebec had fantastic French pastries.  One of Dan's favorite things in Quebec City, hands down, was quick service restaurant/bakery/pastry spot Paillard.  We went there for breakfast, sandwiches, coffee, you name it.  You order at the register and grab a seat in the communal seating area.  Everything we had was delicious; I think Dan had a daily fougasse for breakfast.  He even stopped there on our way to the train for Montreal.  Their macarons were excellent too.

Pain au raisin, my fav in France, loved it Paillard!

Macarons at Paillard

One restaurant that we found on our own (and later had multiple people recommend) was La Bûche (49, rue Saint-Louis).  Yes, you may recall we stopped there on our beer tour later!  The restaurant had this hip sort of lumberjack lodge feel, and it claims its own spin on traditional Québécois food.  (Sidenote: I'm trying to put accents on these French words, but it ain't easy in Blogger, so don't nitpick if I'm missing a few.)  I chose to have their pâté chinois for my dinner feast.  It's their sort of regional version of a cottage or shepherd's pie.  While I'm not sure where the Chinese reference in the name comes in (some say it was from the Chinese cooks during railway construction), it is definitely delicious.  This one had mashed potatoes, corn, wine-braised beef, and a fruit ketchup.  (Note: In Quebec, I noticed that the word ketchup is used not just for Heinz-style condiments, but other types of compotes as well.)

pâté chinois

I also indulged in a Caribou sangria; Caribou is a sweet Québécois alcoholic beverage that contains wine and maple syrup, so it made a bomb sangria!

Sangria Caribou

Another favorite of Dan's was the restaurant and bar at Sapristi.  We went there for dinner one night for a little Italian comfort food, and we were not disappointed.  Then we went back on our last night for the bar and ended up doing shots of Jack Daniel's with the bartender.  Much love for Sapristi.  We had arancini and fried mozzarella on different occasions (ate it too fast to photograph), and on the night we ate dinner there, I had classic spaghetti and meatballs.  Delicious, and fresh!

Their pizzas were delicious too, with a great crust.  Eat it with a fork and knife, because they're topped with amazing-ness!  Warm, delicious, and comforting.  That's the food at Sapristi.  We also loved their ambiance, very hip, modern, and dark.

There were some other one-off spots worth mentioning on our trip.  We grabbed breakfast (our hotel had a discount) at Chez Jules, which offers a small breakfast menu in a brasserie.  Good food and zero complaints.

Breakfast at Chez Jules

We also enjoyed Cochon Dingue in the lower town historic district, especially their poutine and Bretzdogs.  Basically, hot dogs in pastry = AMAZING, and poutine is classic.

Cochon Dingue

For those wanting to get your hands around a solid burger, look no further than Le Chic Shack (15 Rue du Fort).  (Sounds like Shake Shack, eh?)  It really reminded us of the awesome burger spots around Nashville.  Super hipster decor and servers, craft beer on tap, and tons of burger options.  It's right by the Chateau Frontenac and near the tourist info center.

Beer flight at Chic Shack

We both ordered delicious burgers with a great selection of sauces and toppings.  They have vegetarian options too.  I can't recall which ones we ordered (their website is under construction, so I can't consult the menu!), but we enjoyed it a ton.  Fries were crispy and flavorful, and their poutine was on point too.  We would have gone back if we'd stayed in Quebec longer!

Burger please!
Poutine, with style

If you're looking for craft cocktails, there are a ton to choose from at Batinse (1200 Rue Saint-Jean).  We also enjoyed their bacon-wrapped sausages.  They have a ton of small plates and bites to choose from, and you feel very young and hip being there in general.

Maryline cocktail

As you can tell, we thoroughly enjoyed every bite of Quebec City.  And we haven't even gotten to what we ate in Montréal!

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