Last week I spent four days in Quebec City. What a great place to visit! I count it as one of my favourite spots in all of Canada. For the many tourists who flock to the city (especially this year, the city’s 400th anniversary), its special charm is the area known as Old Quebec with its European-style architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, old brick buildings, boutiques, galleries, antique shops, and restaurants.
I stayed in the stylish Hotel 71 in Old Port and enjoyed casual dining at St. Alexandre Pub and Le Conchon Dingue, and a more formal meal at L’Echaude. The sugar pie at Le Cochon Dingue, a cheese burger at a small restaurant in the Petit Champlain district, and chocolate noisette gelato at a nearby confectionary, were favourite taste experiences.
Quebecers enjoy eating out and take their food seriously. There are plenty of restaurants, many offering table d’hote (you can choose a meal from a set menu at a fixed price). I found serving portions appropriate and my meals tastefully prepared and garnished. Since you “eat with your eyes” before actually tasting what’s set before you, a garnish definitely adds to the pleasure of a meal. The cheeseburger and fries platter I enjoyed at a small restaurant in the Petit Champlain area of lower Old Quebec (unfortunately I don’t recall the restaurant’s name) was garnished with a small salad made of long thin carrot strings, cucumber slices with the edges artistically notched, tomato slices, rings of onion, and strips of sweet pepper perched above a bed of lettuce. My late lunch looked appetizing, and since it was raining outside and I was inside and dry, seated at a table by the window watching the world scurry by, it tasted c’est délicieux!