Having been away for the past 4 weekends, we decided that the family needed a break from travelling but not from doing the food thing. We decided to try out some local restaurants that I’ve had on my list.
The Smoque Shack
We decided to go here on the hottest day of the weekend. It is another restaurant in a converted house on York Street. The air conditioning was certainly limping on this day. It definitely could not keep up. This restaurant has 2 rooms. You enter into the bar area and then up a few stairs into the main dining area. It is not a large place; able to fit about 50 people.
On to the menu. You can choose your BBQ meat by the 1/4 lb, 1/2lb and 1lb increments. Each BBQ meat comes with a homemade bun. Sides are separate. Oh the beer menu is very extensive; a large selection of local microbewery beer (Mill St., Kitchissipi, Beau’s).
For the vegetarian, they have the usual salad selection and tofu!!
There is a choice of pork back ribs;pork st Louis ribs; brisket; pulled pork; jerk pork; BBQ chicken; Jerk chicken;Beef ribs. The sides come in 2 sizes; individual or sharing. Sides are real mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, poutine, collard greens,corn bread,fries, mash potatoes…I’m sure there was more.
The analysis…the Jerk pork is very jerky and spicy with the pork a bit fatty. The smoked chicken was tasty and fall off the bone with a sweet tomato based BBQ sauce. I assume it is their signature sauce as the brisket which was melt in your mouth was also topped with the BBQ sauce. The St Louis ribs were small and dry. The beef rib was nothing to write home about. The mac and cheese was baked with extra cheese melted on top. The sharing portion is very large as my son was only able to eat half of it. The poutine used mozzarella cheese and the fries were dusted with a spicy spice mixture; there was nothing exceptional about this dish…something I would not order again.
All in all the food was ok but nothing special that couldn’t be done in a backyard smoker. If you were looking a different taste this is not the place. Definitely not like a southern BBQ place like Annie and Clydes on Bank Street.
It was time to try a new breakfast place. I was tired of the couple places we usual frequent. I had noticed a review about Cafe Cognac while browsing on the internet looking for local restaurant for our kidless week.
Cafe Cognac is in Gatineau on corner of St Joseph and Montcalm. When we drove up on Sunday morning I was initially worried that it wasn’t open as there were very few cars parked on the street. Well was I wrong…I place was packed. Apparently, there is a parking lot behind the restaurant. We only waited a few minutes before being seated. This place is quite large with patio seating out back.
I was very impressed with the service and the food. What grabbed my attention on the menu was that there were 5 kinds of Eggs Benedict. My son is an eggs benedict lover. You can order a 1 egg or 1 egg eggs benedict. My son had the eggs benedict with black forest ham and gruyere cheese. My other half had the pacific eggs benedict (smoked salmon). I had the normal 2 egg breakfast (poached) with crispy bacon.
I have to say the hollandaise sauce was to die for. The richness and flavour was better than mine (probably had a higher ratio of butter to eggs than what I make!). It was the best I’ve had to date. All 6 poached eggs were done to perfection; runny without being too runny.
Along with the eggs was a half a plate of home fries; crispy deep fried cubes of potatoes without being greasy. Each plate came with 2 pieces of fruit for garnish.
I had a Higgins Earl Grey tea (which she didn’t charge me an extra premium as coffee came with my breakfast). She made a special chocolate milk for my son…chocolate milk with whipped cream. Rick had a cappicinno and a coffee. He described the coffee as pretty decent…he didn’t need to put cream in it.
Definitely a place to come back.