Day 19-21: Quebec City

Friday

We left after lunch and it took 3 hours to drive there. I basically planned out what I wanted to do in Quebec City in advance and it was revolved around food! It’s not everyday you get to eat French-Canadian food! Once we arrived, me and my roommate were very assertive and left immediately to see Vieux-Quebec. There was only 1 bus we had to take for 15-20 min and the fare was $3 per ticket. The bus was reminiscent of the 99-B Line but less crowded and more clean.

Residence: we slept at the University of Laval for the weekend…I’m not exactly sure how people can stay in this room with another person for a whole year! It’s very, very tiny and it feels sad. The walls were super thin too. My roommate said it’s slightly better than her dorm in China and slightly worse than her dorm in Russia. The women’s washroom was also downstairs so most of us ended up using the men’s washroom since the ratio in our program is a very skewed 10:1 …it was kind of awkward walking into a 17 year old using the urinal

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The moment I stepped into Vieux-Quebec I immediately felt like I was in a tourist centre because there were so many people!

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We went to find Restaurant SSS, a restaurant my teacher recommended. Their cuisine is an innovative twist on bistro classics.

Smile! You’re in my photo!

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We ordered: pulled pork poutine and it had too much bbq-sauce as I had to add all the fries from the salmon tartare to make it less salty. It still was very addicting to eat, probably because it’s still poutine

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Torchon foie gras was spreadable, rich, and very tasty. I think I prefer foie gras non-mousse, like the one I disliked in Paris many years ago

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The salmon tartare was basically a sashimi tower they serve at Japanese restaurants but with a slightly French twist. It was a tartare with avocado, sesame oil and onion strings. Well seasoned and fresh, I really enjoyed it because I miss eating Japanese food!

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Their creme brulee was the best I’ve ever had! Very smooth, creamy and it seemed like they added mascarpone. I could eat this all the time.

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Restaurant SSS on Urbanspoon

After a dinner of super rich foods, it was important to walk it off! We walked around the old town and saw some beautiful churches and buildings. Unfortunately I can’t remember all the names…sorry =\

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Cathedral Notre Dame

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Chateau Frontenac

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Sunset near one of the entrances to Vieux-Quebec, it was a great place to look at the city

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We watched the Image Mill show (Moulin a l’image) which is a free outdoor projection show that pays tribute to Norman McLaren, a pioneer of animated film. It was very interesting and the extracts of his work were amusing. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t so windy! We sat behind the ropes because the seats within the ropes were $20 D:

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Saturday

We started the day at 8am and got a free breakfast from the university. I regret eating so much breakfast because I didn’t feel hungry enough for lunchtime! Sigh, the problems of eating out on vacation.

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Afterwards we strolled around the Citadelle, Parliament, and Vieux-Quebec. Visiting tourist places is definitely much more tranquil in the mornings! It felt more like an actual town and less fake.

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Chateau Frontenac and the Dufferin Terrace

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The Citadelle. I was going to visit the inside but it costs money : ( and time

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The Parliament building was my favourite! I really liked the statues on the walls of the building

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Lunch at Le Billig, a creperie and my favourite meal in Quebec. We shared a scallop in leeks and cream sauce crepe, a duck confit with goat cheese and onion jam crepe, and an apple tartin crepe. All 3 were delectable. The scallops were perfectly cooked and very large, the duck confit had a lot of duck confit and the onion jam was amazing, and the salted caramel and chantilly in the dessert crepe was lovely.

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Le Billig on Urbanspoon

In the afternoon we walked for nearly 5 hours, just wandering around. I’m thankful the weather in Quebec City was sunny and not too hot.

A building that stood out to me:

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Interior of a church in a less busy part of town. I’m proud that Canada has this much culture and history! : )

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We also visited the Marche de Vieux-Quebec, an indoor farmers market. I wanted to buy maple butter for my brother but I think I’ll wait until Montreal! We did buy some macarons and local fruits to share though. The flavours were: creme brulee, speculoos, yogourt, caramel, coffee, and I forgot the last one. For the most part I enjoyed them and they were pretty to look at!

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My first time seeing fruits like this and I forgot the name in French so I’m just going to call them jelly fish fruit. They were kind of like grapes but less sweet.

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Dinner was at Cafe St. Malo. Restaurants in Vieux-Quebec are always very busy and I feel like it’s necessary to make a reservation for weekends. We didn’t have to wait for an hour or be turned away because we went right when the restaurants opened (despite not feeling hungry…you have to do what you have to do!)

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We shared the rabbit and sweet breads (veal pancreas). Both meats were cooked well and seasoned well. I’d say this is more homey French food as both plates were kind of like stews. Overall I enjoyed the meal but I wouldn’t call it remarkable.

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For dessert we shared a blueberry cheesecake and a tarte sucre. I honestly wasn’t even hungry after the main courses but we only had 2 days in Quebec City! I know, my logic sucks. The cheesecake was very nice and fluffy. I prefer fluffy cheesecakes over the dense ones which resemble blocks of cream cheese. The sugar pie was too sweet for me but I really liked the texture of the filling, it was eggy!

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Café Saint-Malo on Urbanspoon

In the evening we waited for about an hour for the free Cirque du Soleil show but unfortunately there were many others ahead of us and we weren’t able to get seats. So for people who will go to Quebec City in the future, line up early on weekends!

Sunday

I think we were the only students who woke up early to take a bus to Old Quebec and eat brunch since the bus back to Trois-Pistoles departs at noon. It’s important to make sure you eat great food when you’re on vacation okay?

Brunch at Le Lapin Saute! Lapin = rabbit. So we ate rabbit for brunch. A lot of it. First in eggs benedict form with confit lapin. The side potatoes were like chips and I loved the fresh fruit. My only complaint is that the shredded carrots ruined the taste of the dish since carrots have a very strong and distinct taste. I suppose they were added to feed the lapin in my brunch? D:

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Lapin poutine: the mustard gravy was nice, mostly because I like mustard a lot. I really enjoyed this not so traditional version of a  Quebecois classic!

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Dessert with brunch…I would never do this in real life (okay I think I have though) but we’re on vacation (I’ve said this like 10 times in this post already, damn)! Tarte sucre with apples! I think this was my favourite tarte sucre so far. It had the eggy texture I enjoy and the apples added a different flavour. It also wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. We finished brunch at 11am and I was full well past dinner time.

An interesting insight: I feel like we received great service (better than I expected) in Quebec City and my roommate noted it’s because we chose to speak French the entire time that the Quebecois were more genial towards us. Perhaps?

As well, someone asked me for directions in English and I became lost for words in the first moment. Then I started to speak with a French accent (??) but after a few sentences I finally got my English back @_@ my brain needs to switch back and forth faster!

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Le Lapin Sauté on Urbanspoon

A little incident occurred before brunch. I was walking down the staircase to get to Petit-Champlain when my iPhone fell out of my pocket and onto the stairs. The stairs were those wooden plank ones in which things can fall through them. The case came apart and fell into a place I couldn’t reach without a ladder but thankfully my iPhone landed right on the stairs. I am never carrying my phone in my pockets again!! I’m upset because I really loved the case and Kate Spade doesn’t make them anymore. Kate Spade doesn’t even make new iPhone 4 cases anymore I think.

ANYWAY, 2 HOURS LATER OF WRITING AND UPLOADING…

…that was my first trip to Quebec City! Overall it tasted delicious and I tried poutine and tarte sucre in all its variations was beautiful and fun to get a feel of old Europe in Canada! Or rather old Canada in Canada? I think the next time I will return will be in the winter time so that the buildings will be covered in snow : )

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  1. Christine | Reply

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