Montreal to Gaspesie - what not to miss
I'll be doing a camping road-trip around the Gaspe region, with, of course the intention of finding the good eats in the region. I've got the Gaspesie Gourmande guide-magazine in front of me, but would love to hear some first-hand accounts from Chowhounders of anything particularly special. Thank-you!
In Perce, a traditional must has always been Chez Gargantua, a traditional french restaurant serving huge meals (with the must-have bigorneaux appetizer among other things). I don't know if it's still open, as the owner who has been there for decades must be either ancient or deceased by now.
On the whole you might find that restaurants around Gaspesie are generally fairly dreadful, or just unremarkable - even though the seafood is plentiful, the know-how to prepare it well apparently isn't. I haven't been there in over 5 years, so hopefully things might have changed.
the gite du mont albert offers very good dining and breakfasts- we had a good experience while staying at the ft prevel hotel too - the last was several years ago, however.
Little places seem to come and go around the Gaspesie coast - there is little population to sustain them - they do exist, however, serving pie, cod tongues, etc.
The restaurant at the botanic gardens at Metis is rather good and inexpensive - a little outside your zone but surely on the way there or back. The gardens are very much worth visiting.
Out of Gaspesie, but if you are camping definitely approach Gaspe on north shore of St. Laurence - Parc Mt. St. Anne, Saguenay national Park and the Grand Jardin, not to mention - is is Jacques Cartier directly N or Quebec? - are all very worthy camping and touring destinations and the eating/touring in Charlevoix can be very enjoyable.
If driving down the south shore, I'd recommend stopping for great gelatti at Alibaba in Cacouna, just when you get off highway 20 where it merges with the 132. About 45 mins east, you'll come accross a village named Le Bic. There's a gorgeous provincial park where you can camp and while you're there, you could have a great, yet afordable, dinner at Auberge du Mange-Grenouille. Between both places, just before getting into Trois-Pistoles, you'll see, on your right, Fromagerie les Basques which makes good cheddar and a variety of curds.
Still going east, make a stop in Ste-Luce for the boardwoalk along the St-Lawrence river and many little restos and cafes. If you're into seafood, which is probably the case since you're visiting Gaspésie, don't overlook Capitaine Homard in Ste-Flavie, less than 10 minutes east of Ste-Luce. It doesn't look like much, there's a cheap campground next to it but this is one of the best place for seafood in the region.
That's for my neck of the woods since I'm originally from Rimouski. Hope this helps a little.
The Auberge du Grand Fleuve in Métis is wonderful - great food, local products and it's right on the river. The Auberge du Mange-Grenouille in Bic is also a knockout and generally gets reviews (and has prices!) reflected that. These are both in the Bas Saint-Laurent region going out to Gaspésie. Further out to the end of the peninsula is a little place called the Hotel de l'Étoile du nord (I think) in Cloridorme where the owner has his own smoke house and serves up very good food, again in a nice room right on the ocean.
Funny, you mention it, I am just back from le Bas-du-Fleuve, the Rimouski region you go through going to Gaspésie.
If you stay for lunch or supper, Chez St-Pierre in le Bic is a must stop. French chef, local, unusual and organic products. Reasonable prices. Reservations HIGHLY recommended. If you plan to stay the night the Auberge du Mange Grenouille is also recommended. Fo a quick pit-stop (still in Le Bic), try Le Restaurant du Pecheur by the 132 highway at the top of the hill near the golf. The Fish and/or seafood soups and chowders are to die for.
Also in Le Bic, you can pick up amazing bread at the Folle Farines bakery.
On the way between Riviere-Du-Loup and Rimouski you'll find some fishing shops with many different smoked fish. I tried Les 3 Fumoirs to great success. Eel, Sole, Turbot are delicious.
Fromagerie des Basques has interesting smoker cheddars (I am told their fresh curd cheese is very good, although I am not a fan in general).
From a previous trip, once you are in Gaspé, make sure you visit La Ferme Chimo for their great Sheep cheese and yogurt, the Feta is particularily good.
I would not recommend Le Mange-Grenouille. It's all flash and very little substance. They're just trying way too hard. The cuisine is as confused as the dining room which looks like 19th century Europe had a fit and threw up all over the place. It's a hodge-podge of ingredients and techniques that falls flat. Don't waste your money... Or the calories.
Go to Alibaba, though. Their ice creams are delicious.
The cafe at Jardin de Metis is okay, but it's not worth going there just for the food.
Thanks to everyone for the recomendations. I'll be going back to the Bas-Du-Fleuve in August and will definitely check out some of those places.