Bienvenue a Quebec!
First of all, take a deep breathe and grab a glass of your favourite vintage. Got it? Great. Now you’re ready to join me on a weekend getaway made for any, and every, kind of traveler.
Let me start by saying that this weekend in Quebec was a long time coming! I hadn’t been to the city since middle-school and my husband had only visited the city briefly over a decade ago in the middle of winter, during a few months spent working in the U.S. For the past 2 years, we’ve been talking about revisiting the city and finally, in celebration of a baby giraffe that will soon be making an appearance, we decided that it was finally time.
Welcome back to “Street Eats” where we discover some of the best, and worst, street foods from around the world. Today, we’re taking a trip to Canada’s capital city. Ottawa, a city whose name is actually derived from the Algonquin word adawe, meaning “to trade” takes a lot of flack when compared to the bigger, more “exciting” neighbouring cities of Toronto and Montreal. In truth however, Ottawa is a wonderful place to enjoy a weekend getaway or summer escape when visitors can enjoy one of the many festivals taking place throughout the year, a great selection of museums and historical monuments, a stroll through Byward Market, or a visit to Gatineau; just a hop, skip and a jump across the St.Lawrence River.
An international hub and home to many diplomats and parliamentarians, the city boasts exquisite cuisine, from fine dining to some of my favourite Canadian street foods. From the specialty cheese shops and fruit stands that clutter the market on the weekends, to restaurants like The Black Tomato or afternoon tea at the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier, there really is something for every visitor to enjoy. That being said, when it comes to tasting typically Canadian cuisine, my vote goes to…
#1 Street Snack in Ottawa: Beaver Tails
I wanted to say poutine, I really did. But the fact is, it was up against a beaver tail for goodness sake. Seriously, does it get more Canadian than that?
What is it?
A Beaver Tail is not really a beaver’s tail – we’re not that barbaric (most of us). It is however, a delicious pastry somewhere in between a crepe and Hungarian Lángos. It’s fried and not at all healthy, but topped with your choice of sweet or savoury (cinnamon and sugar is by far the most popular) it’s the perfect way to end a skate on a winter’s day, or provide you with that extra boost of energy during summer months. Continue reading “Street Eats, Ottawa, Canada: Beaver Tail or Poutine?”
My mouth is watering as I pull into the platform at the Gare Centrale in Montreal. I can already taste the buttery croissant I have been looking forward to for the past 5 hours, suffering the shaky path of the VIA Rail (read more about VIA Rail here) as we make stops en route from Toronto in Oshawa, Cobourg, Kingston and so on. All I want is to enjoy a cup of hot tea that isn’t spilling over myself and my laptop as I try unsuccessfully to connect to the WiFi en route .
Exiting the train, I’m greeted by a friendly “Bonjour!” and with an energetic smile, I return the greeting and relish in the fact that I have begun my mini-escape in the most European this side of the Atlantic. The city, 3/4 of whom are native French speakers, is the second largest French speaking city in the world. But it’s not only the language that is reminiscent of old world Europe. Montreal is arguably the cultural hub of North America and is without a doubt the most colourful city in Canada.
Continue reading “Magic Moments in Montreal: the English, the French and the In-Between”