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Dec 13, 1999 12:34 PM

Quebec/NB Challenge

  • j

Don't ask me why, but a buddy and I are driving up the Trans-Canada, from Montreal to Fredericton, for Y2K. It's not a survivalist thing, honest -- we just decided to do something different for New Year's.

Anyway, here's a challenge for all the 'Hounds out there: I want any and all tips for good eats along the way. Some of the cities/towns we'll be passing through:

Quebec: Drummondville, Quebec City (I've already seen a couple of postings on it), Trois Rivieres, Riviere du Loup

New Brunswick: Grand Falls, Hartland, Fredericton

I'm sure the route will be lousy with poutine joints -- which will be our default breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we don't get tips. I'll report back.

Of course, we'll be straddling the Maine border all the way along, so if anyone has any Northern Maine tips, please share.

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  1. Yorks in Andover NB is definitely recommended in this area (but check to see if it is open in winter - a lot of this area simply closes up til the spring thaw). Its along the St. Johns River, between Grand Falls and Hartland. Fast before you go to Yorks - Quirky service, quite good, traditional cooking, multitudes of blue hairs with amazing appetites,huge quantity.

    Check at Grand Falls to see if the falls are turned on - it must be a pretty impressive sight when they let the water pass over.

    In the same general region as Yorks, there is a German restaurant, at John Gyles MOtor Inn near Woodstock NB that is well regarded but pricier (I think it is listed in What to Eat in Canada, which as I recall also has some listings on the s bank of the St. Lawrence up from QC).

    Also,just across the border from there in Houghton Maine there is a old fashioned diner cafe that I have seen mentioned somewhere or other (on US1a heading east from I-95).

    Fredericton is a really nice town without much going on - check out the steeply slanted roofs on the old houses and the warnings against falling ice.

    Now about Yorks - it is an old fashined dining room offering a fixed price multicourse meal, with the option of expanding any course. For example, if you finish your steak, they will ask if you want another main course, and if you do, bring you lobster for example (I saw a fragile, seeming nonagenarian eat the salmon after her lobster - meanwhile my teenagers couldn't even finish their steaks). If one piece of pie isn't enough, ask for another. Here is some of what we were served - soup, salad breads (freshly baked banana bread, then a baseball-sized, delicious corn fritter for each of us drowned in maple syrup (we were asked if we wanted seconds!) then our main courses with accompanying potatoes and vegetables - I think there was a choice of type, then of course the desserts, mainly pies - pretty good ones and a huge variety. I really liked my trout - it was very fresh - and the lobster and salmon were popular and also likely very fresh. I think they have smoked pork too. My husband's roast duck was nothing to write home about - not the right choice, hardly distinguishable from my daughters turkey. This is not fancy cooking, just good.

    Hope to hear about what you found!

    3 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      I was referring to the Elm Tree Diner in Houlton, ME, not Houghton. Never been there though.
      Have you checked out, in addition to Where to Eat in Canada (BTY the 99/00 edition is out), the little books put out by Quebec province on each of the tourisic regions you are going through? We've gotten good restaurant ideas from those in the past for local places. Also I've mentioned before the pamphlet put out by the Quebec liquor authority and available through the TI - it list good restaurants in the smaller provincial towns as well as the larger cities. Check it out. US published guides are pretty much worthless on Quebec and NB provinces.

      1. re: Jen Kalb
        Jake Klisivitch

        Actually, I don't much trust the author (Anne Hardy) and the publisher (Oberon) of WHERE TO EAT IN CANADA. I've never really been impressed with Hardy's recommendations and Oberon is one of the sleazier outifts out there.

        That said, I will be sure to visit a Tourist Bureau when I'm in Mtl for Xmas.

        Just discovered where poutine was (supposedly) invented -- at a little restaurant in Warwick, which is on out way. Will report back!

        1. re: Jake Klisivitch

          So Jake, did you take your trip east - and if so what did you find??

          I stand my my recco for the Where to Eat book - Im sure its author/contributors are not infallible, but it has never led us astray in Quebec province and NB, and the publisher was very helpful in mailing the book directly to me.

    2. The original comment has been removed