Thursday, February 4, 2010
Living in the North East of the United States, I am accustomed to being extremely cold for at least 3 months a year. I have several coats, but to be honest I hardly need them and when I do it's usually just to pair with a scarf and some of my other clothes to look more fashionable. Hey, I'm just being honest. So when I was invited up to an event in Quebec City this past weekend it didn't occur to me at all that I was going to be going into the coldest weather I have ever experienced in my life. And what did I bring with me? A polo shirt and one coat. Not unlike my Cambridge days when I would be known as "that guy who only brought 2 pairs of pants and 2 polo shirts." I like polo shirts, sue me!
We drove to Quebec and as soon as we crossed the border is was like we were in a different country. Hmm... probably because you were, you moron. The drive from the border to Quebec City is like driving across a frozen tundra. There was nothing but white, more white and just for a welcome change, more white. Trees were barren and even the land looked like it was cold and wanted some tectonic plate movement down to Florida.
Upon arrival, I had one thing on my mind, food. I knew Quebec was a French territory and that means one thing to me... Bistros. Lots and lots of Bistros. We unpacked our suitcases and took a stroll down the block. About 500 feet from where we were staying at Hotel Pur, we came across a lively and trendy looking restaurant. It was called Les Bossus and it sat on a street which housed such shops as Hugo Boss and a Children's clothing store which displayed their mannequins in Burberry. Whenever I'm in a foreign place I always try and eat near expensive looking streets. It hasn't always paid off, but most of the time it does.
Although the restaurant was almost filled to capacity we were seated quickly. I have never chosen my main course so fast in my entire life. A quick scan of the menu revealed a welcome surprise, Horse Meat Burger. If I have learned anything from my travels it is this, never pass up a meat that you've never tried before, or that is politically incorrect to eat in another country. Most U.S. restaurants would never dare serve horse, but Les Bossus was unashamed.
The other diners ordered their main courses and within 15 minutes we were brought our food. Horse Meat Burger is unlike any other Burger I've had. And I've had my share. It's a little tough and bland, but once I took off the Burger Bun, which was hard as a rock, I was able to get a full mouthful of just the meat. And I have to say, I liked it. It reminded me of Ostrich Jerky. You know, Beef Jerky but made with Ostrich? It's supposed to have less fat or some other nonsense. Although, I still prefer my Burgers made with the sacred Cow. However, the Fries were delicious. Served with a little Bernaise Sauce, or something similar.
When I was finished with my Horse Meat Burger I needed to cleanse my palate. A few forkfuls of my wife's salad revealed to me how incredible mixed greens could be when they are combined with Goats Cheese and dressed with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. As I sat there chewing I had a thought. My first actually since coming into the city and being hit with -20 degree wind chills. That's Fahrenheit, not Celsius, by the way. In Celsius it was -29 degree wind chills. My thought was this, does America have the worst native food in the world? And the answer to this, I'm afraid is most likely, yes. We finished our meals and left. The next morning we would return to the restaurant for an even more amazing meal.
Once again we were greeted with a warm smile and swiftly taken to our table. The same table we had the night before. The same waiter too. And once again it took only a few seconds to decide what to order, Oeufs Benedictine, or Eggs Benedict for the rest of us. It was served with chopped Potatoes that must have been roasted in Maple Syrup. I don't normally enjoy Maple Syrup, but it had just enough for me to taste it. My fellow diners weren't making a sound. Always a sign of a good meal. With a few quick hand movements I was able to steal several bites of the Cheese and Ham Omelet that one of the diners was mightily working away on. With another quick hand movement I was able to pilfer a small bite of my wife's Croque Monsieur. One of the best dishes on the planet, and this one did not let me down.
All in all, Les Bossus is a fantastic, authentic French Bistro in Quebec City. My only wish is that it was closer to the Old Quarter. That's where most of the action is in Quebec. Most of the restaurants, as well as the hallowed Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel are located in the Old Quarter. I will never forget my trip to Quebec. As my best friend said before I left, "Quebec is a little taste of Europe on America's back door."
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Posted by Passport Foodie at 8:26 AM