Eating in the Townships, specifically Sherbrooke.
Over a year ago, I married a Canadian, moved from Atlanta to Sherbrooke and have been sadly disappointed with the dining scene, or lack thereof, here. Food being a very important part of my life, it saddens me that there doesn't seem to be any sort of awesome cargo cult around searching for good food in this area. We go to Montreal twice a month---where I can my fix of eating at equally posh and equally hole-in-the-wall---but until I can convince my better half to move to a proper city like Montreal, I have to make do with is around here. I've eaten at Restaurant Auguste---it was really fabulous, am in love with the craft beers at Siboire---their small plates aren't bad either, but can't find any feedback/information on anyplace else that might take my fancy. I've made a small list of places I've scouted around here to try, but I figure the best help might be you guys. Only upon doing searches in the archives, no one writes or comments much about Sherbrooke. Sure, it's provinicial and not terribly interesting as far places to eat, much less live, go, but anything at all would be appreciated!
Sherbrooke (Lennoxville to be precise) is in a way my second home and I couldn't agree more about the food scene (or lack thereof).
As far as restaurants go, it really is a bleak, bleak picture. I rarely eat out when I'm in the townships (Unless you consider all-day breakfast at Pizzaville eating out....). I have heard decent things about Le Sultan, which is a Lebanese restaurant ( I believe BYOB) on Dufferin near the bus station (Also where the big SAQ is). Also, the restos and cafes on Wellington opposite City Hall are reliable for coffee and lunch.
But as I say, I rarely eat out when I am there, mostly I cook at home, especially BBQ-ing in the summer. I'm not sure exactly whereabouts in Sherbrooke you are, but as I mentioned I'm in Lennoxville and we just had a very good butcher open up. His bavette is excellent, as is his chicken (both whole and seasoned). If you know Lennnox at all, it is on College, just west of Queen ( right off the main intersection in the town). Alas, it doesn't compare to the old butcher in Lennox., James, whose New York Strip was to die for.
Surprisingly enough, there is a decent Italian supermarket on King West, called Le Coin d'Italie. They have some nice imports as well as decent pastas and sauces available frozen.
There is also a place called Le Marche Vegetarien, which despite its name has meats. It is in my opinion a step up from the Provigos (whose Lennoxville branch is literally the worst supermarket I've ever encountered) and the IGAs.
Hope this helps to a degree.
@TheSnowpea, I haven't yet tried Le Bouchon. My husband ate there once for a business function and said it was pretty good. It is definitely on the list.
@berbatov, we live off of Galt, just around the corner from the University de Sherbrooke.
The Italian market is quite nice and I really like the small specialty shops inside the Marche de la Gare as well. Le Marche Vegetarian reminds me vaguely of a Whole Foods and I know folks here who agree with you wholeheartedly about the Provigo in Lennoxville. My husband had heard of the butcher you speak of but we haven't gotten a chance to try him out. (I am dying to find someone here who can cut short ribs properly; the butcher I went to gave me these monstrous things that did NOT like the braising route. Also country-style pork ribs would be a find, too.)
I think there is real potential for some nice food around here; Magog, though touristy, seems like it might have a couple of gems.
Thank you so much for your responses!
I hate to say it but I tend to agree. Latest place I went when I visited my folks is La Suite, which has gone BYOW since it opened.
Food was good, interesting (it's back in April so I forget what we had), but service was very inexperienced (server had no clue how the daily fish was prepared!). However, they went out of their way to satisfy a request for a special anniversary dessert for my parents. Crowd is younger than when they had a cellar, since this keeps the cost of the meal more reasonable in a university town.
We've also been to Le Bouchon, which I thought was not bad. It didn't blow me out of the water, but still, it was quality local cuisine.
Have you tried other of them?