Tag Archives: L’Inox

Quebec City – Outside the Walls

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We loved exploring the city of Quebec! And although we loved staying in Vieux-Quebec, the vieille ville, some of the best little spots we found were located outside the walls of the fortified Old Town.

First up is Rob’s best hot dog of his life… {I can’t argue; it was pretty damn good!}

If you exit the Porte Saint Louis of the old town along Rue Saint Louis, the street becomes the Grande Allée. It’s along here that you’ll find L’Inox Brasserie {brewery}, which we visited on our first day after we had lunch. Still, we perused their menu, on which the Deluxe European Hot-Dog was highly recommended.

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After Rob saw one of those hot dogs served to another patron, he declared that we were coming back. It was almost as intense as Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy:

And so we did. And we were blown away. You see, this Deluxe European Hot-Dog {I love how they hyphenate it!} is not only made with specialty meats, but it is also served in a baguette. Yes, I said innot on, like on a bun.

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This is because a hole is poked through each baguette with a warm pointy device {technical term}. The result is that warm doughy interior and the crunchy baguette exterior surrounding the entire hot dog. Genius.

We both tried to capture the guy prepping the baguettes on video; but it was challenging trying to keep all of the employees’ faces out of the shot. We didn’t get a good enough video; but here is a teaser… It’s quick! So look carefully at the top of the screen and replay if you need to! Tee hee. I wish I knew how to make a GIF.

Inox has a few guest taps in addition to their own. That day, I went with the Mystique Sparkling Cider. I love that they don’t ever put ice in the glass when serving cider, which is becoming more and more common in The States and was always assumed when we were in Ireland.

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Oh! There was also the beef jerky. Rob loved the fact he could find that on a menu!

After Rob’s epic hot-dog experience, we continued to walk along the Grande Allée further away from the Old Town. We had intended to go far enough to take another street that intersects Rue Saint Jean. We had a list of little recommended hot spots we wanted to check out on that street. It was time for some hopping!

But along the Grande Allée, I spotted this cute little church with the doors swung open. It had a sign that read in French, “For Lease. For all types of business.”

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But the doors where open and from across the street I could tell that there some lights strung about. Was it a bar or restaurant? I had been to a church-turned-bar in Belfast back in 2000. I was curious…

But it was even better. Here is what we found:

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This was a secondhand book sale! I was in heaven. I could have spent hours in here just looking… There were hundreds and hundreds of books in this run-down church. It was really in need of repair. It would be so beautiful! Just look at the stained glass and tiles on the walls…

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There was a small section with books in English. However, most of all of the books and albums were in French.

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And when I found these, I just had to take a photo for my mom:

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Her favorite author’s books all translated in French. 🙂 Finding surprising things like these is why I love exploring new cities!

As we came up on Rue Saint-Jean and were about to take a right to make our trek down it back toward the old town, I saw a sign to the left that read, Le Projet – Spécialité Microbrasseries”I knew what each of the words meant, but I couldn’t determine what the building was. My first thought was that it was a home-brew supply store called Le Projet {The Project – great name} that specialized in microbrews.

But then I took a peak around the corner. The room was filled with people sitting at tables! It was a little bar, gastropub actually, that specialized in microbrews!

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I ordered the Boréale Concombre & Basilic (cucumber and basil) beer – tap handle on the far right.

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It was a saison-style beer. Rob hates saisons and he hates cucumbers. So I guess it was kind of mean of me to offer him to try it without him knowing what it was. He hated it instantly! I just wanted him to have an open mind before he knew what the beer was!

I’ll tell you this, though, I do like cucumbers. In fact, I LOVE them. I eat them all summer long. But I’ve slowly learned that I don’t like cucumbers in my drinks. I made a mental note. Then I noticed any gin cocktails I saw on menus throughout the trip always had cucumber in them.

Have you ever discovered something surprising in an old building?

Cheers~
Carrie

Other posts on our trip to Quebec City:

Quebec City – The First Bites

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We arrived in Quebec City around lunchtime.

The first thing I wanted to do was stop at the cafe or bar at the Chateau Frontenac. Alas, it was not open until 4pm. However, I did have a list of recommended restaurants.

I don’t know how it was chosen, but L’Inox was meant to be our first stop. I had notes next to it that said “Brewery? Quick bite.” Don’t ask me where I got these recommendations. I have been collecting links for a couple of years!

I searched for it on Google maps and located it outside the city walls. {Yes, Vieux-Québec was once a fortified city, quite uncommon in North America, hence adding to the European-like charm.} L’Inox was called Bar L’Inox on the map, so that is probably the reason for all the question marks in my notes. Across the road from L’Inox on the map was an establishment called Les 3 Brasseurs (The 3 Brewers). Yes, this definitely sounded like a place we needed to stop! And because we saw it first, that’s where we ended up.

This is where my experience with Québecois French began. When speaking French, I was automatically replied to in English. We pulled a seat up to the bar. Both French and English menus were offered.

Normally, in France, I’d see this as a bad sign. It often means that the restaurant is very touristy and isn’t going to be very good. However, we found that in both Québec City and Montréal, both options were offered almost always.

I ordered the featured beer, the Rhubiscus, made with – you guessed it – rhubarb and hibiscus.

I love the name of this beer. First, look at the photo above with the Rubick’s Cube stamp. Now, if you pronounce Rhubiscus in French, it sounds like ROO-BEES-COOSE, very close! So I thought the stamp was clever. The beer itself was just okay. But I appreciated the effort.

While perusing the menu, we discovered that this was a chain! DOH! We don’t like to do chains when we travel {or ever, really}. However, we liked the story of their inception in France and opted to stay for lunch.

Immediately my eyes went to this:

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Did you see it?! YES! The Grilled Camembert! It was like a dream come true to have this on the menu! {And look at the photo.} Still, the portion size was meant for sharing and there is no way Rob was going to order that with me for lunch.

We opted for something different to split:

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Flamm (as the servers like to call it) originated in Northern France. Since this was their specialty and something I’d never heard of before, we had to get it. {Notice how there is a poutine version? I swear there is a poutine version of nearly everything in Québec!}

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Braised Beef and Brie Blue Flamm

All I remember about this was that it was just okay. I can’t remember exactly why – if it was the flavor, the meat or the crust. This was our first meal of the trip and we had much more memorable bites! They also talked us into the fries. {One of the servers was training and practicing her upsell. We gave in.}

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They were fine. I thought I wouldn’t like the dijon mayonnaise, but was pleasantly surprised! Little did I know that this was only the beginning of All The Fries and I would get very sick of them very soon!

After lunch and full bellies, we decided to finally check out L’Inox. The sign outside reads “L’Inox Maîtres Brasseurs” (Master Brewers), so it truly was a brewery – no question mark about it! We came to learn that it was the first microbrasserie (microbrewery) in Québec City.

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Rob was hoping to find beers other than Belgians {of which he is not a fan and are very common in Québec}. To his surprise, he found a nice IPA. This is also when I learned a few more new vocabulary words! Like houblons, which are hops. One thing I like about Québec is that you can either order a verre (glass) or a pinte (pint). I could just get a small beer when I so desired. {Beer at lunch makes me sleepy!}

I took a look around at the décor and smiled at these prints:

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You’ve got some legends up there… Jimi Hendricks, Paul McCartney and … Jean Leloup.

“Legends? Who is Jean Leloup?” you ask? Well, the only reason I knew was that I read the Québecois book The Girl Who Was Saturday Night before I left for this trip. The book is set in the 90s and at one point, Leloup was mentioned. I had no idea what they were talking about, so I looked him up:

Jean Leloup is a Québécois singer-songwriter and author from Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada.

He is known for his colourful personality and unique musical style in the francophone rock community.

I immediately looked him up on Pandora and played his and similar artists’ songs! I would say a lot of what I heard was somewhat more folk than rock; but I was also in the midst of reading that book where the father is a (fictional) Québecois folk singer. So maybe that is influencing my memory.

Back to L’Inox.

Although there was no way we could eat another bite, we took a look at their small menu.

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Our bartender recommended the hot-dog. After seeing one delivered to a guy down the bar, we knew we’d be back. And smoked meat? Yeah, that was mentioned in nearly every Québecois book I read. We were saving that for Montréal.

Later, we stumbled upon a wine bar that I learned was also on my list!

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We pulled up a seat to the bar at this classy looking place. This is the type of ambiance I crave in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul! We settled in for a nice glass of red.

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But somehow, ordering some wine meant you got some snacks to accompany it:

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At first we thought it was a mistake, but the bartender explained to us that it was complimentary. Yes, that is burrata in there! The olives were just divine, too.

I decided to peruse the extensive wine menu a bit further to see if I could find any Canadian wines. I knew that they are particularly know for their ice wines, where the grapes are harvested when they are frozen.

Instead, I found this:

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Cidre de Glace – Ice Cider! Yup, I knew what I was having for dessert.

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So good…

Where do you like to start when you arrive in a new city?

Cheers~
Carrie