Foodie heaven in the Petite Nation
The Petite Nation’s Gourmet Tour Route has 52 epicurean stops. Here are two food-themed getaways to delight the most discriminating palates.
To start with, an overview of the various pick-your-own orchards. In the Petite Nation, farms and orchards offering pick-your-own produce are legion, from organic table grapes at Grappes et Délices to apples at the Verger Croque-Pomme. Plan a visit to the vineyard and strawberry farm at Domaine Mont-Vézeau or to the Vignoble Ste-Angélique.
How to taste everything in one place? Visit the Ripon farmers’ market, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until mid-October, or the brand new Papineauville farmers’ market in Henri-Bourassa Park, Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Local chocolate, beer and cheese: two gourmet destinations
First stop, the Fromagerie les Folies Bergères in Saint-Sixte for goat or feta cheese. Don’t leave without some tzatziki made with sheep’s milk cream cheese!
Pick up some microbrewery beers at the Brasse-Camarade and fill your picnic basket with sausages, terrines, cheeses, marinades, chocolate and coffee. Drop by La Ferme HLF du Lac Simon to stock up on local vegetables. Then, head for the Iroquois Trail, a section of the Quebec National Trail, to stretch your legs and admire the magnificent scenery.
On the way back, take a well-deserved break at La Toquade restaurant and tuck into a plate of its house-made smoked salmon and one of its deluxe burgers, or at the Café du Bistrot for its signature wood-fired pizza.
Les Brasseurs de Montebello invite you to discover their dozen craft beers—and you can pair your samples with a food order!
If you’ve never set foot in the old Montebello train station, now is the time. The master chocolatiers at ChocoMotive, the only Chocolate Economuseum in Quebec, offer fair-trade chocolate bars and fine chocolates—ideal for giving (and eating)! Why not sign up for a private introductory lesson in fine chocolate making (for 1 or 2 people)?
For meals, the choice is yours! The tasty wood-fired pizza at Le Bistro is tempting, but it’s hard to resist the inspiring menu of fresh and seasonal products at Aux Chantignoles. Perhaps you’ll go for the Italian fare at Le Napoléon or the ribs at Resto pub Le Zouk … Luckily, we eat three times a day!
Next up is a hike in the Parc des Montagnes Noires, where you can climb the observation tower at the lookout, 426 metres above sea level. You can also go mountain biking or fat biking in the park.
On the drive home, will you be able to resist the Fromagerie Montebello’s cheese, made fresh daily?
Want to know more about the Petite Nation? Explore the region’s five rustic tour routes.
Good to know: Before you head out, it’s a good idea to check the websites of the farms and orchards and make reservations at the restaurants you intend to visit.