I was asked recentlyby Exclaim! to put together a top five of my favourite spots in Quebec City. So, I put together a list of places where you can find something exciting or unusual about Quebec City. A place with a distinctive character. Great spots to bring your teenager along.
In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss the hidden gems in their hometowns. Here, Allison Van Rassel outlines her picks in Quebec City, Quebec.
Gallerie Morgan Bridge Gallery (367 rue du Pont) This underground, urban art nucleus is a small version of a local artist-oriented gallery. It features vibrant, audacious and mostly unknown talents. AVIVE (Patrick Beaulieu) and PisHier (Pierre Girard) are two of their more recognized artists, and often there to welcome you. GMBG is where you’ll get a snapshot of the city’s mystifying stream of consciousness while chumming-up with its street artists. (morganbridge.ca/home)
Le Cercle (228 Saint-Joseph E St) A multidisciplinary complex where creativity merges with gastronomy and art. To the left is a restaurant where cooking with local foods is mandatory. Alongside the main wall of the restaurant, a near 20-feet wide screen illuminates conversations with video projections. The right side of the building is a concert venue featuring up-and-coming indie and underground artists from all over the world. The downstairs area hosts smaller, local bands as well as various expos. (www.le-cercle.ca/2010)
La Coopérative les Grands Rangs / La Luncheonette (199 rue Saint-Joseph est) If you want to know what la Belle Province tastes like, crafty-canteen grocery store Les Grands Rangs is your one-stop shop. This co-op is a 100 percent pure-laine Quebec concept featuring cheese, rilettes and sausages of over 80 local producers. Have a seat at the counter while Chef Eric Fontaine and his team cook you up a local favourite grilled cheese sandwich. And while you’re chomping away, have a sip of their Labrador tea infused lemonade. Délectable! (www.lesgrandsrangs.com)
Article 721 (721 3e avenue)
f you only have time for one destination, Article 721 is it. Not only will you find creative, somewhat loony T-shirt designs from Baltrakon Vêtement Tordus, unique OBV bags or some vintage accessory, but also a plethora of unique limited editions, exclusive prints, restored junk and Limoilou-style apparel. (article721.com)
La Souche (801 Chemin de la Canardière)
Within a 30-kilometre radius, there are ten microbreweries, with another one expected in the fall. The youngest, yet most effervescent is La Souche. Located near the Limoilou Cegep, you’ll find a student-friendly establishment with tasty, yet reasonably priced food. One sip of their maple syrup infused, wee-heavy scotch ale and you’ll never want to leave town. (www.lasouche.ca)
Allison Van Rassel lives and breathes Quebec City. She shares her passion for music, arts, culture and food for various media including CBC, Radio-Canada and Vtélé. She blogs about food at foodiequebec.com.
How time flies, especially when you’re having fun!
14,000 times thank you for taking the time to drop by this small, unpretentious place. And to those of you who come back once in a while, a special thank you for finding interest in what I have to say.
Quebec City is the most beautiful city in the world. And even though I have spent almost all of my life here– I lived for two years in Toronto and four in Montreal–I discover something new about this city every day.
Tonight, I raise my glass to all those passionate people who make life so tasty and beautiful in Quebec City.
PM2 is one of the very few food trucks in Quebec City. Yes, Quebec City has food trucks. It’s the second Panache Mobile and well into its second season.
But, it’s not your typical food truck, because it’s parked! It sits at the Brown Bassin in Quebec City’s old port. Why is it parked? Because food trucks are not (yet) allowed to roam the streets of Quebec City. The city council ruled on that just this past Spring. Continue reading →
The cronut is not a doughnut, nor a croissant, it’s a little bit of both. Packed with pastry cream, it’s light, flaky and filled with a GINORMOUS amount of calories! One calorie per milligram and the cronut weighs on average 500 mg. 0_o Continue reading →
Because I love cheese. Who doesn’t when the best cheese in the world is made right here in this beautiful province.
We drove down to La Pocatière which is about 1h30 from Quebec City on the 20 eastbound, we then parked at a 30-minute walk from the site (the road was blocked by firefighter trucks) and waited in line for TWO HOURS before we could get a snippet of a piece of cheese. All I’ll say is that the organizers didn’t expect that many visitors: 22,500 people showed up during the two-day event vs 5,000 from the previous edition. Quebecois love cheese! But I found one exceptional piece of cheese. Continue reading →
It was once called the Festival des fromages de Warwick and used to be the biggest of its kind in the province. Now, it is known as the Festival des fromages fins de Victoriaville—it moved to the neighbouring city and no longer includes artisan cheesemakers of the Association des fromagers artisans du Québec (Association of Quebec Cheesemakers now have their own cheese fest called the Festival des fromages artisanaux québécois!). So we left the city Friday night for Victoriaville. An hour and a half later and 15$ to get in the Pavillon des Sports, we were stuffing our faces with cheese. Continue reading →
Wow! Have the past couple of months been exciting or what? 2013 is a year to make dreams come true. (13 has always been my lucky number; I turned 13 on a Friday the 13. In your face superstition!)
What’s keeping me busy
I’ve been doing a weekly radio column on Radio-Canada’s afternoon drive show called Radio-Canada cet après-midi with Catherine Lachaussée. I get to talk about what I love the most: FOOD! and am I having so much fun doing it.
Oh and speaking of TV, I’ll be talking about my favourite local products (province-wide) on Vtélé’s Trucs & cie and Quebec City’s best kept culinary secrets on Radio-Canada’s En Supplémentaire. Set your pvr’s starting mid June.
Best way to keep in touch
I’d like to invite you over to instagram, twitter and facebook where I post on a regular basis. It’s the easiest and most effective way for you to keep in touch with my whereabouts. I’m roaming the province in search of the best products all summer long. So, if you too are looking for flavour, quality and creativity for your taste buds, sign on and keep a napkin handy, because you might drool a little. Cheers! and thanks for tagging along the ride,
Never underestimate the power of a grilled-cheese sandwich. Its basic ingredients: two slices of bread and cheese. It just so happens that this province is pretty good with cheese, and that some of the finest bread artisans are in and around Quebec city.
Located inside the Coopérative les grands rangs on the corner of Caron/Saint-Joseph streets in Saint-Roch, La Luncheonette offers a few varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches. The restaurant across the street, le Clocher Penché, owns La Luncheonette. Not surprising to see the same great quality ingredients, all from local producers. Continue reading →
La Planque is Quebec City’s newest enfant chéri. Located in the heart of Limoilou, La Planque opened in the fall of 2012. I helped out a friend recently and in return I was offered a gift certificate for the restaurant. “Can’t wait to read what you think”, she kindly said. Catherine, encore merci infiniment.
La Planque is described as a hiding place, a hideaway if you like, where one leaves behind life’s worries in exchange for comfort through food and drinks. In my words, La Planque is a place where Ray Lamontagne’s Trouble takes essence.
The restaurant is set-up as a hallway (long rectangle) of three distinctive atmospheres, but with the same soundtrack (I will come back to it later). You are greeted to a bar and long black velvet drapes that hide any possibility of light to filter from the outside. At first, the velvet felt imposing, even somewhat oppressive, but the warmth of the rustic wooden tables (maple?) and Stevie Wonder blasting out of the speakers quickly took the feeling away. The velvet doesn’t show up anywhere else in the restaurant. Baby, it’s cold outside! Continue reading →
My plan for 2013 is to eat in as many different restaurants as possible (without putting on weight will be a challenge!) and to be as faithful as I can in my opinions with regards to the quality/quantity of food that I am being served without neglecting atmosphere, service and price. I want to make this blog a useful tool for anyone looking for a great place to eat in Quebec City. I’m a foodie and I am very passionate about my city and its cuisine and therefore I want to share my knowledge with you. (Oh and I promise to bring my camera along as often as I can. This visit wasn’t planed, so please excuse my cellphone.)
The first open kitchen concept to arrive in Quebec City was introduced by former Panache Chef François Blais. Opened in 2011, Bistro B is located in a vast local on the corner of Cartier and Aberdeen Streets in the heart of Montcalm.
My partner Marie-Eve joined me at the restaurant at 6:30, and we were seated without having a reservation. Not rare for this time of year, but otherwise recommended. We sat at the counter where the bar meets the kitchen near an imposing wall-mounted cellar of privately imported wines. I wanted to feel it all, in a Feist kind of way: the action, the heat of the ovens and the artists in creation. This calls for a gin & tonic. Garçon! Continue reading →