Monday, July 22, 2013

Eating on the Quebec bike trip

One of the fun things about a bike trip, or even just traveling in general, is the food that one finds along the way.  The bike just makes it much easier to stop, when, for example, you find a duck farm on your route.

Le Canard Goulu (pictured above) is the supplier of fois gras for all the good restaurants in the region, and is well known for its fine duck products.  Of course I had to make sure our route went right past it :)  Nimue enjoyed visiting the white Muscovy ducks, and the woman inside the shop was nice enough to help me pick a tasty snack to add to our picnic stash.

A few miles down the road, we ran across a cheese shop attached to a rather large cheese-making facility.  Mmmm, more snacks.  Note the little orange "Arret Gourmand" sign -- the gourmet stops were often good places to pick up things for lunch.

Some days, we had to rely on trail mix we carried with us.  Or leftover pizza.

Other days, there was food at tourist stops.  (this one is the Huron village reconstruction at Wendake).  Even Faith occasionally eats an ice cream bar!

Sometimes, we cyclists were thirsty, rather than hungry.  In the apple-growing area of the province, it is a good idea to look for a ciderie.  The first one we tried to stop at was not yet open for the season, but the second one had a wide selection of comestibles to sample.

And, they had a nice patio where they would let you sit and drink your beverage of choice.  In this case, it was unfermented apple must -- a most delicious cider that Nimue picked out.  We had the added benefit here of enjoying our beverage for long enough that Bill and Faith caught up to us and joined in on the fun.

Speaking of things wet, the only rain we saw on the trip was first thing in the morning on the day we had planned to walk around Old Town Quebec.  Nimue responded by hiding everything except her eyes under coat, hat, and warm beverage.

For dinners, we relied on Bill's excellent, carefully-researched restaurant choices, which meant we ate rather well :)  The standout in my mind was a restaurant called Toast! in Quebec City, which served foie gras from the farm we had stopped at earlier in the trip, along with many and varied other interesting bits of yum.

We did run into one day where it was hard to find food.  Apparently June 24 is a national holiday and things were closed when we arrived in Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse around lunchtime -- except for a tiny little internet cafe/photography studio that only served espresso drinks.  Nimue got lucky (I didn't think we'd get away with drinking lattes in front of her without getting her one too.)  The interesting photographer guy running the place, J. Lauzier,  only spoke a little English (about on par with our French), but we gathered that he had *never* made a coffee for someone so young, and was amused by it.  We also admired his work around the small shop.

Note that Chad focussed on the coffee and not on the kid when he took the photo...

Oh, look -- we are still carrying around an extra bottle of cider!  And this one was cider for grown-ups.  A fine way to kill some time while waiting for Bill and Faith to arrive at the hotel.  Enhanced by fresh strawberries from the farmers' market at the port across the street from the hotel. (devoured by Nim before a picture could be taken)

Also not pictured are the amazing giant ice cream cones hand-dipped in a thick layer of high-quality chocolate that Chad and I found at the Chocolaterie de l'Ile d'Orleans in Saint-Petronille.  Totally worth the half hour wait in line, and powered us through the last 25 miles of our long day on the tandem.

And last but not least, at lunch stops, sometimes you even find a playground!

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