Quebec City

So I've decided that I am falling way behind on blogging.  And it's not even that I'm not cooking (really, I am, and I have 2 or 3 things up my sleeve to post when I have time!), but being away for about 1 1/2 of the last two weeks didn't help.  Tonight is the first night that I feel like I have time to just sit down and blog.  Or relax for that matter.  Summer has been great, and I'm not complaining a bit.  But with the major change of heading off to a new school in less than a week looming over my head, things just feel a little rushed right about now.  However, besides maybe adding in a few more weeks of summer, I wouldn't change it a bit.  Not at all.
With half a week at home after coming back from Maine, I headed off to Quebec City with BMM and her grandparents, the Ls.  I was supposed to go with them four years ago (right after high school graduation), but I didn't.  BMM hasn't let me forget it.  So this time, I made sure to go.
I hadn't been out of the country in a few years, so it was fun to be "international" again.  Even if Canada just doesn't quite feel the same as heading over an ocean.  I think Quebec City is pretty much as close as you can get to Europe in North America though.

I've decided that people go to Quebec City for three reasons.  1. To eat.  2.  To see pretty scenery.   3.  To eat more.  There are sooooo many restaurants there, and they seem to all be of a very high quality.  There's no such thing as a "family restaurant" there -- think Friendly's or Applebee's -- all the restaurants seem to be a step up from there.  At least the ones we found were, and others seemed to be fairly comparable.

Yeah.  So I ate well.  And the Ls were kind enough to feed BMM and me.  It was very generous and wonderful of them.

The first night, we ate at an Italian restaurant.  I just had chicken parmesan, and I didn't get a picture of it.  It wasn't all that different from American Italian food, but I got an idea of how Quebec's restaurants are different from ours.  First of all, you are greeted in French first, then English.  Second, there is no rush.  Time is not important.  Third, the bread is not those huge rolls or hunks of bread that we are accustomed to.  It's small slices of baguette.  And it's pretty darn good.

The next morning, we headed to McDonald's for breakfast.  Up here, even in this food atmosphere, there's a McDonald's.  And it's mixed right in with the fancy restaurants.
Then, I discovered the wonder that is cream of carrot soup.  I like carrots, and I do not like onions.  Therefore, when a light lunch of soup left the options of carrot soup or French onion soup, I went for carrot.  I must say, I had never heard of cream of carrot soup before that day, but it was the special at both restaurants that we went to that day.  It's pretty orange.  I guess that's to be expected of carrots.
That night, we went to a French restaurant.  It just happens to be BMM's favorite restaurant in the world.  And I see why.   We even got to eat out on the sidewalk.  It added so much.

She ended up getting beef tenderloin, and I have never seen a steak look so extraordinary.
I got a vegetarian plate, a combination of pasta, mushrooms and pesto, couscous salad, veggies, and a portabella mushroom top stuffed with goat cheese.  I was never a goat cheese doubter -- I knew it could be good, but I am a believer now.  The goat cheese blew everything else away.  It was perfectly creamy and wonderful.  I want to find out how to make something that wonderful from goat cheese.
BMM pretty much did everything but lick her plate.  And I can see why.
I was very hopeful when it came to eating breakfast at the local creperie.  I love the combination of apples and cheese, so an apple and cheese crepe sounded perfect.  It wasn't as good as I had hoped though.  I have had better crepes in the US.  I might just have to play with this idea.
Our last night in Quebec City, we ate in the rotating restaurant on the top of the hotel.  It was such an amazing view.

I had fun with my new camera and being, well, sort of a creep.  There was a wedding going on in the park below, and I took some pictures.  Uhhh, yeah.  Maybe they will pay me for pictures from above?  It's a fresh viewpoint.  Or something like that.
The butter was even authentically Quebec -- the logo of Quebec was pressed into them.
At Mr. L's insistence, we got an appetizer: scallops with spinach salad and lemon dressing.  It was one of the most interesting platings I have ever seen.  The salts were infused with bacon, hot pepper, mint, ?, and pepper from left to right.  It was pretty cool.
Then, I got the chicken dish.  It was served with a lemon mascarpone cheese.  Another amazing cheese.  It tasted a lot like lemon yogurt, which went much better with chicken than I ever imagined.  It came with sweet potatoes, cauliflower and a date.  And I don't know what that brown stick thing is.  It must be for looks.
BMM spent the last four years raving about the desserts at this restaurant, so we both decided to have one.  When the waiter described the mousses as "sticks" that tasted like green and black teas, I should have know something unique was coming.  And it was.  The cake is a hazelnut cake.  It was very interesting.  "An experience," as BMM says.  It wasn't as good as I had hoped.
There was also an "after dinner mystery".  It looked like an after dinner mint, but it was much bigger. 
Once we finally got them open, it ended up being some sort of truffle with crispy stuff in it.  Way better than the actual dessert.  I would buy those things by the case if I could.
I also figured I had to have something maple while in Canada.  I mean, sure, we have maple stuff here, but we don't have maple soft serve served with a maple candy on top.  That is cool.
BMM and I also found a really fun store called The Fudgerie.
They seemed to be famous for their chocolate barks.  There were so many flavors, and it looked like they had hammers sitting there, just waiting to break pieces off.  And they served it in cones.  Pretty cool.  And we also got samples of fudge.  Yum.
Even with all the food, we had some time for sight seeing, the apparent secondary reason for visiting Quebec City.
And we hung out with a goat a bit.  Important stuff.  And it was really good to spend some time talking with BMM.  
And now it's time to get back to real life.  And cooking.  More recipes and actual cooking.  Less eating.  I promise.


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