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.
I'm reviving this thread because my GF and I are going to the Bas-Du-Fleuve this weekend. Can anyone reccomend good places for inexpensive or not too expensive lunch and dinner anywhere between Rivière-Du-Loup and Rimouski?
We would be particularly interested in fish and seafood places.
We like cantines and stuff like that too, so feel free to reccomend those as well.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks SO much for all the replies to my original post! As it turned out, half my travel companions were vegetarians, so I didn't get the opportunity to try out all the wonderfully recommended seafood and other chowhound destinations. That said, we did stop into some sweet little gems.
In Rivière-Du-Loup, just a few steps away from the main highway, is a little bakery called Boulangerie Bis La Boulange (59-B, Côte Saint-Jacques, Web: pages.videotron.com/bis). Their savoury brioche made with regional sea spinach is quite tasty.
Close to Bonaventure (south side of the pennisula), there is a fantastic poissonerie with a dining area. I can't remember the name of it anymore, but it was something like "Poissonerie du Pecheur". I will check tonight for the exact details. The food is very simple (the vegetable side dish that comes with your meal consisted of frozen mixed vegetables) but the turbot i had was so nice and fresh that it far over-shadowed the low-key preparation and dismal accompaniments. Plus, it's byow.
For my next trip out, I will bring a true chowhound to give more regional fare (versus campground meals) a shot.
Almost complete trip report at the beginning of the thread.
Also recommended by locals (and by the mayor of Rimouski no less!) in the casual group for seafood is restaurant du phare in pointe au pere on the north edge of Rimouski. http://www.placelemieux.com/ Seems touristy, but worth it it seems.
If you like cantines type of place, I'd say to make a stop in Rivière-du-Loup and head for D'Amour. When you get of the highway, make a right and go past the overpass, it'll be on your right. I hope it's still open as I haven't been there in years but the poutine and burgers were great back when I was young. As said before, Alibaba is not to be missed for genuine italian gelato as the owner has studied the art of making ice cream in Italy. It's on the 132 at the end of the 20, on your right. In Rimouski, Cantine de la gare is pretty good. On the corner of Cathédrale and St-Jean-Baptiste. If you're driving on the boulevard along the St-Laurent, turn south when you see the cathedral, the cantine will three lights up on your left.
For seafood, Scooby's recommandation is dead on, besides, Pointe-au-Père is where I grew up, you can't go wrong now, can you? Or you could drive 20 minutes more and head for Capitaine Homard in Ste-Flavie, it'll be on your right. It's a red and yellow building that doesn't look like much but seafood and yeas, lobster are great.
Between Cacouna and Rimouski, I really like stopping for fresh cheese at Fromagerie des Basques on the western edge of Trois-Pistoles, it's on the right side of the road when you're driving east. I'm also going to Rimouski this weekend and I'll make a stop for sure.
In Rimouski, I've heard good things about a fairly new restaurant called 360° http://www.le360degres.com/. It's on Cathédrale facing City Hall I thing and next to the old post office. Central Café on Évêché west of Cathédral used to be pretty good but I've heard it has slipped since new owners have taken over. I'n not sure about Nick's bar and grill. Avoid Greco as it's your regular greek place and Buffet Chinois Rimouski but you probably knew that.
For coffee, I'd suggest Brûlerie du quartier (I think), on St-Germain Ouest on the corner of St-Louis and right next to it is Café St-Louis where the specialty is Mussels and beer. They also frequently have live music. Enjoy your stay!
I have spent a lot of time in this region of late. On the way to Gaspesie in Rimouski I can say the restaurant 360 mentioned in a post here is overpriced, really overpriced. Having redone their menu to lesser priced offerings they still suffer from small quantities and a big check. Their wine list will win no prizes either. The owner is the orignal chef from Auberge du Mange Grenouille which is now not very good at all and lso top dollar.For seafood Captain Homard is still popular for crab and lobster but a small little gem is the Restaurant Saigon on Cathedrale street uptown. Founded by original south Vietnamese refugees, the daughter of the still runs this 20 seat place with great authentic cooking that rivals and surpasses what I found in Little Saigon in California or in most big cities. Also you can bring your own wine, a big plus! Usually only open Thurs-Satrday.