Friday, August 14, 2009

Bringing Home The Bacon

Be still my beating heart. Brooklyn Brewery is coming out with a Bacon Beer. Here is a blurb from, an interesting site I follow:

Holy mother. On Diner’s Journal, Pete Wells hears incredible news from Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver. Dude is currently working on a beer that (1) takes barleywine made from malt that’s smoked in the same room as Allan Benton’s bacon and (2) combines it with brown ale that’s been infused, via “fat washing” (mixing a melted fat with alcohol, then chilling the mixture into a solid and skimming it off), with the taste of Benton’s bacon fat. As much as we roll our eyes at gimmicks like bacon vodka, we’re also fans of the brewery's Sorachi Ace (served at Brooklyn Bowl), and we’d be lying if hearing about this new bacon beer doesn’t make our heart flutter, our pulse quicken ... It's like we just drank the stuff! Final word from Oliver: “Either this will be the most amazingly disgusting thing you’ve ever tasted in your life. Or I shall rule the earth.”

Knowing Garrett, I am betting on him ruling the earth.

As an aside, I had several pints of Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace at Pete's Waterfront Ale House and it is a very tasty brew.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Grande Finale

On Tuesday the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I took a stroll along the Plains of Abraham, site of a defining battle between the French and the British (the British won) and visited an art museum. Most of the exhibits were free, so it was an inexpensive way to spend the afternoon.

The Museum

Despite the modern looking entrance, it is combined with a former prison that was opened in 1867. This gives it kind of an interesting ambience. They still have some of the original cells and, believe me, you wouldn't want to spend much time in them.

Not Too Comfy Looking

The museum had a very nice restaurant, and that is where we decided to have lunch. It looks out on an open deck where a lot of people were eating, but it was a bit too warm out there so we opted for the air-conditioned dining room.

The Outside Deck

Air Conditioned Comfort

On the way home from the museum we stopped at that same cafe where we bought the coffee. This time I got a shot of the exterior.

Best Coffee In Town

As we continued our way home we passed by this sculpture which reminded me of my days growing up in Minnesota, going to school in the harshest of blizzards, uphill both ways, being chased by wolves.

Ah, The Memories

Yesterday we headed back down to the market and the Mysterious Chinese Woman wanted to visit a large 'flea market' next door.

First though we decided to have breakfast at a marina across the way.

That's It In The Distance

A Closer Look

And Here Is The View Looking Back

We had a nice little breakfast and posed for our picture by the bay, or inlet, or dredged marina.

Ooh, So Cute

We headed back to the 'flea market' which was anything but. Mostly high-end items, lot's of jewelry, clothes, and stuff like that. Even the souveniers were really expensive. I actually wanted to buy a belt but couldn't find anything decent for under $45 Canadian or about $40 U.S. I think will wait until I get to Mexico, if my pants stay up that long.

The Un-Flea Market

The other day I saw a cruise ship in the harbor and I would bet my bottom dollar that a lot of people shopping in that market came from the ship. They just had that look about them, similar to what you see in the over-priced jewelry stores in Puerto Vallarta.

After buying some supplies in the market, cheese curds, pate, dried fish, sausage, we headed on home via that little Ecolobus. It has a stop right in front of the market and another right across the street from our hotel. Kind of convenient and it sure beats walking up the hills. In fact the last two times we were down by the river I actually sprung for the $1.75 to take the furnicular back up. Bar Man is gettng old. But, before you laugh, you try climbing those hills and steps for a week.

I decided to just spend the afternoon reading a book so I stopped at a nearby deli and bought a couple of interesting beers.

Route des epices

This was a peppercorn rye beer, or so the label said. It was a mild 5% and did have a distinct aftertaste. Kind of like you had just taken a bite of a spicy sausage. Not bad at all.

I followed that up with a India Pale Ale.

Corne du diable

This was a more robust 6.5% and so dry it pulled my cheeks in. Not sour or bitter though, just exceptionally dry. And the hops, surprisingly, were not overpowering.

Both of these beers were very good and were $2.09 Canadian or just a bit under $2.00 U.S. each. I would buy them again but, not unlike New York, the delis here tend to stock a wide variety of beers so I will probably try something different next time.

A Typical Selection

Later, after making sandwiches, we headed out for the Grande Finale of the fireworks.

Canada won the competition, but I think the fix was in. Both the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I thought that Spain had the best display. They may have judged just individual displays set to a given piece of music, though, because they re-did the Canadian display set to 'Diamonds Are Forever.'

Today I think we are just going to buy a couple of all day bus passes and see where the buses take us. Kind of a fun way to explore the city and get to spots that are too far to walk. We just have to make sure we don't get on one of those express buses that take you way out of town.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Fun Day, And A Sad One

Another day of exploring, and we were once again able to score a free ride on the Ecolobus. Not as easy as you might think. The maps that they have in the bus are not completely accurate, but we are starting to get the hang of it.

On The Road Again

Who says disco is dead? Certainly not in Quebec City.

Waiting For The Village People

Right across the street from the world's largest disco ball was a little pizza place and it was getting to be about that time.

Street-side Dining

I wasn't sure if I wanted pizza, but the Mysterious Chinese Woman saw that they were doing a fashion shoot outside and I think she was hoping to be discovered.

Maybe It Was For A Deodorant

Are They Looking, Are They?

Sadly, she remained undiscovered. Possibly because she kept her armpits hidden away.

I Just Ignored The Whole Thing

As we continued our walk I got a new appreciation for the term 'pissing like a racehorse.'

No Racehorse, But I Got The Picture

Just A Picture Of A Scenic Street

I did manage to get some souvenier shopping done, and also picked up a tee-shirt for myself. And no, it doesn't say 'Baby Aboard.' The Mysterious Chinese Woman thinks 'Repellent All The Time.'

Stubborn And Rebellious, I Think

On Monday evening we headed down to the river area again for our rabbit and duck dinner. We stopped for a pre-dinner cocktail on the way down what I think they call the Breakneck Stairway.

An Apricot Brandy And Something

A Stinger For Bar Man, An Old Favorite

We got the same table we had the last time in the restaurant and the Mysterious Chinese Woman decided to take some 'artistic' shots.

Bar Man Preening For The Camera

We started out with what the waiter said was 'A little gift from the chef.' Kind of a black olive thing with pieces of toast.

The Chef's Gift

It went well with a beer, though. But, then, what doesn't.

Everything Goes Better With Beer

And then we had our mighty meal. Rabbit sausage, rabbit confit, shredded rabbit, duck confit, smoked duck tongue, duck pate, a nice mixture of greens and condiments, a most excellent selection. Accompanied by a nice bottle of Canadian red wine, you couldn't have asked for much more.

More Than Satisfying

Yesterday we visited a museum and tonight is the Grand Finale of the Fireworks Competition. I should be able to get caught up on my posts tomorrow. I think we are also going to go to the big market to pick up sandwich fixings for tonight and there is also a flea market there to check out. And we want to check on getting tickets for Cirque du Soleil. So much to see and do and only a few days left. It will be nice to get back to Brooklyn, though. Lot's to see there as well.

On a sadder note, a very good friend of mine and the Mysterious Chinese Woman, Fred Stabbert, passed away the other day. You may remember him if you have been following my blog. He and Shirley are the ones who live up in Callicoon. We have spent many an enjoyable day at their get-togethers and I have posted about many of them. We will miss him terribly. He was 81 and lived a very full life. I am sure he left many happy memories behind.

Here is Fred, to the right, with his good friend Art and his daughter Kathy at Fred and Shirley's Doll House Bar, number 675 on my trek towards 1000.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To The Aquarium, And Stuff

We decided to visit the aquarium on Saturday. There is a free shuttle bus that takes you there and to a nearby shopping mall. We passed on the mall, however.

Right across from where we caught the shuttle bus, about a block from our hotel, was another trompe l'oeil facade. The building is right across the street from a hospital so it depicts a medical building of some kind or another. Again, being from New York, the lack of grafitti defacing this was somewhat amazing.

Nary A Moustache

Our Free Shuttle Bus

It was a nice sunny day so, as you might expect, the aquarium was pretty crowded.

And Here We Are

It was a pretty small aquarium, all things considered. But then I may be a bit spoiled by the one in Coney Island. They did have nice landscaping though.

Pretty Flowers

A Nice Waterfall

After a few hours we headed back to town and were happy to see that Quebec City was being overrun by the indigenous peoples.

No Cause For Alarm, Just Move Along

We stopped in a nice little restaurant for our lunch.

La Cavour

I was not overly hungry so I settled for some pate and a bowl of French onion soup. Both very good.

A Plate Of Pate

Supping On Soup

The Mysterious Chinese Woman was feeling a bit more peckish so she had the Coq au Vin.

A Mighty Meal

We shared a nice desert, a kind of an apple muffin topped with a caramel sauce.

A Fitting End

And then it was off to the fireworks. This was the Canadian display and the theme was diamonds with all of the appropriate music: Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Shine On You Crazy Diamond... Well, you get the picture.

I may be a bit biased, but I would have to say that the Fourth Of July fireworks in New York that are put on by the Grucci family of Long Island are better. That is not to say that the ones here are not good, but just not quite as good. In my humble opinioin.

On Sunday we walked to another little neighborhood full of restaurants and shops. The Mysterious Chinese Woman had to go in and see this chocolate shop and kind of a museum.

How Sweet

Chocolate Serving Things

A Chocolate Statue

This neat looking little house was actually a place that sold stuff for making beer and wine. Unfortunately it was closed. Not that I was planning on hauling around a sack of barley or anything, though.

Teach A Man To Make A Beer...

We found a nice restaurant with a porch out front set up for dining, so this is where we decided to have our Sunday dinner.

How Romantic

Sausage And Sauerkraut For The Little Lady

Duck Confit For Me

We shared, though, swapping plates when we were half done.

I had an after dinner coffee and it was far and away the best I have had since I have been here. Not that the coffee tends to be bad, it was just that this was most excellent. I was told that they were known for their coffee and they also sold sold it, ground or whole beans.

I Had To Buy A Bag

Right across the street was an Irish Pub, so that was a good place to stop for a post-dinner beer.

Well, It Was Right There

Looking Pleased With Myself

I am guessing that St. Patricks Day is pretty big here.

Just A Guess

It was a long walk back to the hotel, so one last beer was in order at another of my favorite little places.

Easy To Settle In

I bought the New York Times and thought it was awfully thin for a Sunday paper. I should have looked more closely, it was the Friday edition. Oh well, nothing seems to be happening anyway.

At Least I Look Well Informed

And that was about all for the day except to stop in at Lostradamus and say goodnight to my now good friend Bernard.

Bernard The Bartender

That is it for now. Last night we went back to the rabbit restaurant, so I will post about that tomorrow. I think the Mysterious Chinese Woman has plans to go to some kind of a museum today but it might rain, so we shall see.