So, the new hubby & I took a road trip from Boston to Quebec City and drove through Hurricane Irene to Bar Harbor, Maine (see that board for more info) a few weeks ago to celebrate our newlywed status. Being foodies we ere excited to try the various recommendations we saw on here. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown and found it to be excellent for a Courtyard Marriott. The location is right outside of St. Jean's gate so it was central to everything within walking distance - and walk we did! They have valet available through which you can access your car at any time, although we didn't need to retrieve ours until we left. The concierge was extremely helpful & made excellent suggestions. Two new little additions to the property - a small bar in the lobby area & a new cafe where they serve made-to-order breakfast (for an additional fee).
The Liquor Store - Stopped in this great little town, Magog, on the way to Quebec City. We were kind of late for lunch (approx. 3:00 pm) and we didn't want to eat too heavily. We were overwhelmed with all the little places to eat! Ended up here mostly because hubby wanted to sit outside. The patio is huge - can people watch on the main street or enjoy the view overlooking the river. The appetizer was tasty - apple with goat cheese & honey. The burgers (which seem to be their "thing") were okay - interesting toppings but the burger itself was well done, not juicy. (I should have known when the waitress didn't ask how we would like it cooked.) Overall, it was the patio that made it a pleasant meal - I bet that place is a great night-life spot.
Le Hobbit, QC – Hubby’s favorite meal of the trip! He had never had Sweetbreads before mainly because most places only offer them as an entree. The fact that these guys offer it as an appetizer allowed him to try them. He said the dish was delicious. He also had the Elk Skirt, was pretty good... mixed with the mashed potatoes and roasted leeks it was sublime! I kept stealing tastes of the potatoes & leeks off his plate... I had the cheese platter for one & was pleasantly surprised by the portion size. Had fun mixing & matching to see what went best with which cheese. Also had the pan-roasted sea scallops entree & everything was cooked perfectly (including the risotto) and delicious! Crème brulee for dessert was perfection. Service was excellent & we were able to walk right in and get a table in one of the little open windows. The value was excellent - most expensive thing on the menu was 27 CAD.
Paillard, QC– Great quick breakfast spot right in old city. Popped in here for breakfast to start the morning of wandering the streets of Old Quebec. We were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pastry available! Enjoyed two perfect Cafe au Laits, an apricot & cheese tart, & a chocolate filled croissant. Overall, good service, good pastry, big, clean, fast & inexpensive.
Brynd Smoked Meat, QC – “Friggin’ awesome… meat & bread never tasted so good!” That's an actual quote from my husband! We ordered the 2 sandwiches & fries plate - excellent value at 15.25 CAD. I am extremely picky about my smoked meat - and I have to say this was THE BEST smoked meat I have ever had. The meat was so flavorful & tender that we didn't even realize until there was only a bite left of one sandwich that there was mustard, etc. on the table - hubby tried a bite with the mustard & declared that the sandwich was better without it! Generous portions of meat & fries. Also came with two sour pickles. He loved how all you do is order a "sandwich" and their only question is "How fatty do you want it?" We went with the middle option & I have to say there was almost no fat at all on the meat. This was my favorite lunch of the whole trip!
Lapin Sauté, QC in the lower part of city (ride the Funicular!) If you want to try rabbit - this is the place! I had never had it before so I was eager to try it here where it is their specialty. The waiter recommended the rabbit lasagna - was like a giant ravioli made with shredded rabbit meat & a camembert sauce. I was nervous the sauce would be too thick or overpower the dish - especially when it came out looking like a giant bowl of sauce! But it ended up being perfect, just the right amount. Hubby had the rabbit pie (a little on the dry side but that is its nature) and said it was good. We split the rabbit rillettes appetizer - meat was excellent with the different accompaniments. We didn't have a resv. and when we put our name in the hostess said 30-45 min. wait but 10-15 min. later we were called. There's a little park/garden you can sit in while you wait right next to it. The pricing was reasonable - most expensive thing on the menu was 27 CAD. Would definitely go back!
On our last morning there we hit up a little shop, Epicerie J.A. Moisan, on Rue St. Jean. What a fantastic little shop! We stocked up on a fresh baguette, salami, goat cheese, water, & a couple of exquisite pantry itmes (as gifts!) to have as lunch on our drive to Bar Harbor. I wish they had shops like that down here!!
Hope that helps out any fellow chowhounders!
Brynd Smoked Meat
550 Boul Pere-Lelievre, Quebec, QC G1M3R2, CA
2600 Boul Laurier, Quebec, QC G1V4Y4, CA