Quebec has all the charm of a medieval European City. While Farida was attending the conference, I was walking and admiring the streets of Quebec. It is an interesting city to walk around, but as it was summer it was quite crowded. Through the courtesy of the university we stayed at a pleasant old hotel right in the centre of the old city, which for me was ideal because as soon as I stepped out of the hotel I was amongst the major sights of the old town.
During one of my photographic forays I discovered a pub that actually had a beer menu. The reason is that they had 250 types of beer including 26 different beers on tap and to top that, over 40 different single malts. I thought I had died and woken up in ‘Beer Drinkers’ Heaven’. Unfortunately I was not in Quebec long enough to sample all the beers, so I now have a good reason to return. Marketed as a traditional English pub the Pub Sainte-Alexandre is tastefully decorated and has an interesting menu. Maybe instead of bed-and-breakfast, Sainte-Alexandre could offer bed-and-beer, now that would definitely be a beer drinker’s paradise.
After visiting Château Frontenac we strolled down Rue Ste-Anne and discovered a superb five-star restaurant, Guido Le Gourmet. After studying the menu we decided that we would have dinner there that evening as the menu was interesting and appeared to be good value for money. Farida and I always quickly look at a menu before deciding whether or not we will eat at a certain restaurant. For us the main criterion is that there are at least two choices on the main course that interest us. Here there were definitely more than two and our second criterion is that it fits our budget.
The chef who is also the owner is from Provence and the food and service were out of this world. I decided on the gourmet dinner, an eight course exquisitely presented ecstasy. The meal consisted of fresh duck foie gras, shrimp and scallop fricassee with candied tomatoes, roasted whole pigeon, buffalo tournedos and the most superlative chocolate dessert. This three-hour cuisine delight was complemented with a grand wine list. For me Guido Le Gourmet is the best restaurant that offers unmatched value for money for French cuisine anywhere in the world. I should substantiate that statement as the best I have visited.
Whilst Quebec is a very charming old town, which I enjoyed and found interesting, today the memories of Quebec that immediately come to my mind are the culinary and beverage reminiscences. Photograph taken 20 June 2000