quebec city

I travel to many conferences, both as a speaker and as an attendee.  I’ve been to Montreal  several times, but I had my first chance to travel to Quebec City for a children’s hospital conference.

I have never ever eaten so well at a conference.  I ate duck every single day.  I also ate rabbit (by mistake.  Someone told me at the conference lunch buffet that it was chicken.  IT WAS NOT CHICKEN.  I am still recovering from that trauma).

But the conference food!  Fluffy scrambled eggs, juicy sausages, steaming pastas, duck and beans, pate, apple tarts…my, it went on and on.  There was also an exceptional amount of cheese.  Thank goodness I managed to slip out and walk and walk all this decadence off in Quebec City.  There, I ate poutine, more poutine, and drank wine and hot chocolate and Bailey’s.  My, the residents of Quebec sure know how to live life.

I ate some really good meals in this tiny jewel of a city.  Of note:

Le Hobbit – the staff put up with our rotten French, and served us duck cannelloni.  Yes, you heard right:  duck cannelloni.  Smothered in cheese.  The word decadent is too pale to describe this dish.  Thankfully the serving size was contained, as it was served in a tiny little cast iron pot.  This restaurant offered up my favourite setting:  dark with communal tables, flickering candles and brick walls.  Tres French Bistro.

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a gnocchi masterpiece

Chez Boulay – this was a much tonier place.  It also served my most scrumptious meal: potato and seaweed gnocchi with asparagus.  I usually order the gnocchi because I like the way it sounds (tee hee).  But the description of this gnocchi does not do it justice (and neither does this photo).  It was somehow pillowy & crunchy and decadent & earthy all at the same time.

very french, non?

very french, non?

The Panetier Baluchon isn’t fancy, but it is a real neighbourhood bakery on Rue St. Jean, off the tourist track.  I happily sipped a hot latte while eating a flaky chocolate almond pastry that I am still thinking about a week later.

the hot chocolate & bailey's didn't hurt too.

the hot chocolate & bailey’s didn’t hurt too.

Well, then there was the poutine.  Four days, two servings of poutine, and that was me controlling myself.  First, Chez Ashton’s poutine, which is like McDonald’s of poutine in Quebec City.  Fast, cheap and cheerful, with the mandatory squeaky cheese.   It did the trick.  Then, Le Chic Shackwhich offers smashed potatoes instead of fries, which I’m still unsure about, but they were swimming in deep dark gravy, which I’m pretty sure about (as in yes.  Deep dark gravy is a good thing).

Sadly, there were no food tours offered on my time off, but I did sign up for a Tour Voir Quebec walking tour, with an entertaining and informative tour guide named Richard.   It was a two hour refresher on my Canadian history, along with a glimpse of this gorgeous little city:

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