Thursday, October 1, 2015

NY China Buffet in Lake Buena Vista, FL

I ate lunch at NY China Buffet in Lake Buena Vista on 535. Buffets in this area could be scary tourist rip offs, so I was surprised to see lunch was just under $8.
Plate #1: Chicken with broccoli, mixed vegetables in a white sauce, egg roll, steamed dumplings, red bean filled sesame balls, and lo mein. The mixed vegetables were the tastiest food on this plate.
Plate #2: Stir fried bean curd, fried dumplings, fried rice, mei fun, and crab rangoon. The standout here was the bean curd. This stuff was delicious. 
Plate #3: Dessert. Pineapple, glazed fried wonton chip, cheesecake, and butterfly cookies. Apparently they like the cheesecake here. I saw an employee eating a plate of six slices of the cake. 
NY China Buffet had a good selection of food. Some of it was not the typical Chinese buffet foods, which was a good thing. There were enough people eating here for a decent turnover and everything was edible. Not bad for a buffet across from Disney...

New York China Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joe Smoked Meat in Quebec City, QC

Smoked meats seem to be another food that's popular in Quebec. I passed several restaurants specializing in smoked meat, so I figured I'd try one. I ended up at Joe Smoked Meat in downtown Quebec City. Looking at their website now, it looks like they are a chain. Didn't know that at the time.
They had smoked meats served various ways. Someone I ate here with had smoked meat poutine. I decided to go with a sandwich instead and ordered the Assiette Garnie. Out of all the menus in Quebec City, I had the most trouble translating/understanding this one. Because of this, I picked my sandwich mostly because there was a picture of the Assiette Garnie on the menu. The sandwich reminded me of something found in a Kosher style NY Deli. Sliced meat was piled upon rye bread with spicy mustard. Fries, coleslaw, and a pickle were served on the side. I never confirmed for sure what sort of animal the smoked meat was from, but I'm assuming beef. The smoked meat in the sandwich was tasty, but I had the same complaint which I have in the Kosher delis. There was too much meat and not much else going on in the sandwich. Some other flavors would have been nice.

Joe Smoked Meat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, September 28, 2015

D'Orsay in Quebec City, QC

I found that Quebec City seems to shut down pretty early. I was looking for dinner one evening around 9:30, and almost everywhere in the Old City was closed or closing for the night. D'Orsay was one of the few restaurants which was still open, so that's where I ate.
Because I was in a French speaking province, I felt the need to order French Onion Soup for some reason. The soup here was a bit overpriced. Still, the tasty bowl was filled with salty broth, soggy bread, and topped with lots of cheese. Can't go wrong.
I ordered a lamb sandwich for my meal. The sandwich was served on fig bread (according to the menu- I detected no figs). There was a huge mound of thinly sliced, tender lamb between the bread, with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. A mixed green salad and fries were served alongside the sandwich. Everything was tasty and the sandwich exceeded my expectations!
For the limited choices of this evening's meal, D'Orsay was a very nice choice!

Pub le D'Orsay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quebec Boulangeries

While in Quebec, I had breakfast almost every day at a different bakery. Quebec City has some excellent bakeries and they are all over the city. My first bakery experience was actually in the Montreal Airport while I was waiting for a connecting flight to Quebec City.

Second Cup (Montreal Airport)
The restaurant was called Second Cup. It was a coffee shop which sold assorted pastries and sandwiches. I was initially going to get a sandwich, but even in Canadian dollars, the sandwich prices here were insane for something pre-made. The pastries were much more reasonable and I ordered an almond croissant. The croissant was filled with almond paste and topped with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. It was good for airport food, but much better croissants were coming in Quebec City.

La Boite a Pain (Limoilou)
In Quebec City's Limoilou neighborhood. This was my first experience in Quebec where I felt lost with not being fluent in French. Nobody in here instantly switched to English with my first word of bad French, and I was lost once entire sentences of words I didn't recognize were spoken to me. Turned out nobody working in here spoke English (Yay! It actually felt like International travel!), but I was able to get the point across that I wanted an almond croissant. It was much better than the almond croissant from the airport.
La Boîte à Pain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Fournee Bio Boulangerie Artisanale (Limoilou)

I think I would say La Fournee Bio Boulangerie is my personal favorite restaurant that I found in Quebec City. The bakery items here were amazing. There were pastries, breads, sandwiches, and all sorts of other baked goods. The shelves of deliciousness were perfectly laid out, all looking beautiful. This was another place where very little English was spoken. The employee's very broken English and my very limited French allowed me to order here. Multiple times. I think I ended up here at least four times during six days in Quebec City.
Ham and cheese croissant.
Almond Crossant
Turkey sandwich. This was my least favorite thing here. Stick with the baked goods rather than a pre made sandwich.

Brulerie Limoilou
Brulerie Limoilou was more of a coffee shop than bakery, but they did sell baked goods. I stopped in here upon somebody's recommendation for a snack.
I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Nothing was wrong with it, but it was pretty forgettable in the big scheme of deliciousness which was eaten on my trip. It was a bit pricy as well for what ended up being half of a full grilled cheese. 
Brûlerie Limoilou Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


I had breakfast at Paillard one morning in Quebec's Old City. I couldn't really figure out if this restaurant was a chain or not, but I definitely got that vibe. The restaurant was doing a huge amount of tourist business. There were very few open tables and they had a constant line. I ordered one of their breakfast combos, which included a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant, fruit, and a coffee. The buttery croissant and bacon resulted in a very greasy sandwich. Still, it was much better than the Tim Hortons bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.

Paillard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cafe du Monde in Quebec City, QC

Quebec City likes the circus. All throughout the summer of 2015, the city showed a free circus called Crépuscule in a city park. Crepuscule rivaled, if not surpassed some Cirque du Soleil shows I've seen. As I was watching the show, I couldn't help but notice there was a sign on a nearby building to the left of the stage for Cafe Du Monde. I visited New Orleans earlier this year and sampled the famous beignets at the Cafe du Monde there. I was with someone who had never had a Cafe du Monde beignet, so we decided to see if this was another location of the New Orleans version of the restaurant. It was not.
This Cafe du Monde was a fancy restaurant overlooking Quebec City's cruise terminal. It wasn't beignets we were initially thinking about, but a nice dinner sounded good as well. After we were seated, it took me a few moments to realize I wasn't having to translate the menu. I suppose it's a sign that Cafe du Monde was a touristy restaurant if they handed the English menus to the Americans horribly attempting to speak broken French. Out of all the meals I ate on the trip, this is the only restaurant which this occurred.

I ordered the Smoked Salmon Gougere. The menu described this as 2 chou-pastry puff with smoked salmon, dill cream cheese, capers, and onions. Smoked salmon seemed to be a fairly popular food in Quebec. I was noticing restaurant after restaurant had smoked/cured salmon of some form on their menu. This was my opportunity to have some of the salmon in the city.
French fries were also served on the side. I found it interesting that in almost all restaurants, mayonnaise was offered before ketchup as a topping for fries. I've always preferred mayo opposed to ketchup for fries anyway. Perhaps I've been channeling a French Canadian for my fry condiment choices.
We decided to get dessert. Our waitress was very insistent that fried ice cream was ordered. According to her, fried ice cream is a dessert found only in Cafe du Monde. I've seen fried ice cream on menus plenty of other places, including on other menus in Quebec City. Much to her disappointment, I ordered Rice Pudding instead. The rice pudding came served in a huge glass which was probably a foot and a half tall. The server then portioned it out into a smaller bowl with a small pitcher of maple syrup topping.
I enjoyed my meal at Cafe du Monde. It was the most expensive meal I had while in Quebec and it wasn't beignets, but everything was good!

Café du Monde Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tim Hortons in Quebec City, QC

Tim Hortons is a fast food restaurant that had locations all over Quebec. I was told they were the Canadian equivalent of Dunkin Donuts. Because this chain was so prevalent, I decided to see what they were all about. I stopped into a Tim Hortons attached to a gas station in Quebec's Limoilou neighborhood.
The menu here was very similar to a Dunkin Donuts. They had a selection of doughnuts and pastries available, along with a menu of breakfast sandwiches and drinks. I tried their Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich. It was what I would expect from a fast food breakfast sandwich. Microwaved eggs, processed cheese, and a couple slices of bacon. Interestingly enough, I didn't come across Canadian bacon anywhere in Canada. Turns out they don't call it Canadian bacon in Canada...
I also tried a Maple Glazed Boston Creme Doughnut. It was tasty, with a really strong maple syrup flavor.

For the last couple days of my stay in Canada, I used some rewards points for a free hotel room in the neighboring town of Levis. Getting back to Quebec City involved a 6 km walk and a ferry ride. On one of these walks, we got hungry and ended up stopping in another Tim Hortons. This location was stand alone and had a much larger menu than the gas station Tim Hortons.
I had a Chicken Salad Sandwich, served on a croissant with lettuce and tomato. Again, it was about what I would expect from a fast food restaurant. The chicken salad had a strong mayonnaise flavor, and  the croissant seemed very mass produced.
I can now say I've tried a Tim Hortons. Being that the chain was bought out by Burger King not too long ago, I wonder if we will see some Tim Hortons locations start popping up in Florida any time soon?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Quebec City Shish-Taouk (Fistons and Mechoui Marrakech)

While poutine is perhaps the most famous must-eat food in Quebec, another food that I had read about before visiting and came across over and over again in the city was shish-taouk. Shish-taouk seems to be the French Canadian version of chicken shawarma. There were restaurants that specialized exclusively in shish-taouk, and I ended up sampling the dish twice while in Quebec.

Fistons (Limoilou)
My first shish-taouk experience was at a restaurant in Quebec's Limoilou neighborhood. They specialized in pizza and shish taouk. Since shish-taouk was on their sign, I decided I must try the Sandwich Shish Taouk. The shish-taouk here was served inside a pita. Accompanying the chicken was lettuce, tomato, pickled turnips, and some sort of creamy sauce. I was a little disappointed with this sandwich. For a food that Quebec is apparently famous for, this chicken was very bland. There wasn't much flavor besides the taste of chicken. The turnips inside the pita were a nice touch, but they didn't make up for the lack of other flavors in the sandwich. Cubed, home fries style potatoes were served on the side. Again, not much flavor on these either. Salt and mayonnaise improved both the sandwich and potatoes.
While I wasn't a huge fan of my dish here, the person I ate here with ordered the Poutine à la Joue de Boeuf. Fistons' poutine topped with beef cheeks was awesome. It used sweet potato fries rather than normal potatoes. The beef cheeks were melt in your mouth tender and were bursting with flavor.
Click to add a blog post for Les Fistons on Zomato

Restaurant Mechoui Marrakech Cusine Marocaine (Downtown Quebec City)

This Moroccan restaurant was located in Downtown Quebec. According to Wikipedia's article on shish-taouk, the dish is more of a Lebanese origin, but this Moroccan restaurant served it as well.

Rather than just trying the shish-taouk, I ordered the combo dinner. This was a sampling of shish-taouk, kefta, merguez, and gyro. The meats were served over rice with sides of taboule, garlic sauce, and salad.

The shish-taouk tasted like very flavorful chicken, much better than my previous shish-taouk experience. The kefta was a little bland, basically tasting like ground beef. The merguez was new to me. I had never had a sausage from a middle eastern restaurant in the past. The rice and taboule were nice and flavorful, and the garlic sauce was wonderful. The pickled turnips on the salad were also a nice touch.

The shish-taouk was good, but the combination of everything else made this one of my favorite meals of my trip.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quebec City Poutine (Casse-croute Pierrot, Pub du Parvis, Pizzeria Stratos, and Chez AshTon)

I spent a week in Quebec City. Since this was Canada, I had to indulge in one of the foods that Canada is known for that rivals maple syrup and Kraft macaroni. I sampled far too much poutine during my week in Quebec. I was apprehensive at first. The combination of French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds didn't exactly sound super appetizing. Once I started tasting the various poutines around the city, I suddenly saw while almost all but one restaurant I visited didn't have poutine on the menu. It's because the dish is delicious!

Casse-croute Pierrot (Limoilou)

My first poutine tasting happened at a 24 hour restaurant in Quebec City's Limoilou neighborhood. They were called Casse-Croute Pierrot and specialized in poutine, pizza, sandwiches, and other foods. It was basically a 24 hour diner, but I kept on hearing it referred to as "The Poutine Place" during the duration of the nearby event that I was in the city for. I decided to try the Poutine Special Pierrot. It was topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and onions in addition to the mandatory gravy and cheese curds. I had ordered the smaller 7" plate of poutine, and it ended up being a humongous mound of deliciousness. I couldn't see a single person eating a 9" plate from this restaurant. The pepperoni on here was interesting. I'm wondering if pepperoni in French actually translates to another type of sausage. This pepperoni was less spicy, was more pick than red, and seemed to resemble a type of salami as opposed to the typical pepperoni that Americans are used to. If I knew that champignons translated to mushrooms, I might have requested that they hold them, but my lack of French made me eat foods hat were slightly out of my comfort zone and it was delicious!

Pub du Parvis (Downtown)
Another poutine experience happened at Pub du Parvis in Downtown Quebec. I tried their Octoberfest Poutine. Not being able to fully translate the menu, I was able to figure out this poutine's toppings included caramelized onions, beer somewhere in the dish (gravy maybe?), and the meat of the day. Our waitress didn't know the English word for the meat and the French word meant nothing to me. Regardless, I ordered this anyway wondering what the mystery meat might be. It turned out to be some sort of blood sausage and was delicious. I was told by someone visiting from Wisconsin that you can tell a good quality cheese curd based on whether or not it squeaks when you bite into it. The curds on this poutine did indeed squeak (Casse-Croute Pierrot's did not). I'd vote the poutine from Pub du Parvis my favorite poutine that I tried in the city.

Now this isn't poutine, but I did end up at Pub du Parvis a second time during my stay (was a block away from my hotel) and tried one of their pizzas. Since where on the subject of Pub du Parvis, I'm going to sneak their Greckoroman Pizza into this post about poutine. The pizza had a really thin, almost cracker-like crust. The only problem with this crust was that the pizza was a little hard to cut up (didn't come sliced). It was topped with feta, onions, kalamata olives, tomato, arugula, and yogurt. I've never seen yogurt on a pizza before, but it combined nicely with the feta. I preferred the poutine to the pizza, but Pub du Parvis still served a perfectly respectable pizza.
Click to add a blog post for Le Pub du Parvis on Zomato

Pizzeria Stratos (Limoilou)

I was attending an event in Quebec City and they bought everyone poutine from Pizzeria Stratos one afternoon. Pizzeria Stratos claims to be Le Roi de la Poutine, or the King of Poutine. Turned out that the Le Roi was my least favorite poutine from my trip. This poutine was essentially cheese fries with gravy. That said, the gravy was really tasty. It had a very nice peppery flavor, but everything else would have not made me see the appeal of poutine if this was my first experience with the food. I don't know if the cheese curds had melted while being delivered, but Stratos' poutine looked more like a heart attack in an aluminum tin as opposed to something gourmet and delicious.

Chez AshTon (Old City)

My last real poutine experience in Quebec was at a fast food restaurant called Chez AshTon. This was a chain (I saw another in the nearby town of Levis). From reading the menu, this looked like a French Canadian version of an Arbys, only better. They seemed to specialize in roast beef sandwiches and burgers, but of course had a selection of poutine to choose from. Quality wise, Chez AshTon seemed slightly better than American fast food chains with signs advertising the use of local beef from Quebec free from antibiotics and hormones. I was going to just try one of the poutines here, but then I saw the sign for Assiette Rosbif Ave Poutine. A roast beef sandwich with poutine seemed to be getting the best of both at Chez AshTon. I didn't have high expectations from a fast food chain, but I enjoyed this meal. The roast beef sandwich, fries, and cheese curds were placed on a plate alongside lettuce, tomato, and peas. Everything on the plate was then smothered in a pool of gravy. The poutine itself didn't have fancy toppings, but the cheese curds did squeak. The roast beef definitely seemed better than it's Arby's equivalent. It seemed more like meat rather than something highly processed. The gravy made it better, with the tasty sauce soaking into the bun. The bun was the weak spot of the meal. Almost all the bread I had in Quebec City was amazing, but this was a standard hamburger bun. The peas were unexpected but were a nice touch (again, made even better soaked in gravy). I'm glad I was pleased with fast food poutine!

Click to add a blog post for Chez AshTon on Zomato

Potato Chips

While talking about poutine, we can't forget the poutine flavored Ruffles sold in all the stores in Quebec. They were very salty, but did somewhat have a gravy flavor. Definitely not the same as actual poutine, but a local flavor nonetheless. I also tried a Canadian orange soda that I had never heard of the brand...


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