After a disappointing dinner at much-touted and chi-chi restaurant Toast! in Quebec City (pricey and, except for the Lobster Risotto, underwhelming), it was wonderful to wind up having breakfast seated on a stool at the counter of Buffet de L’Antiquaire : a charming, authentic diner on the edge of the old city close to the river.
Bought a few years ago by short-order cook Gilles Boulet, this 40-year-old establishment was bustling when we arrived just before noon. Ruddy-faced Boulet was multi-tasking as he juggled eggs, bacon, sausages, ham, burgers and fish on the open grill while adorable Florence Feugere, age 80 and a longtime cook here, niftily garnished each plate with salad and other fixin’s.
I was in need of tourtiere that day and chowed down on a side order before my eggs and bacon arrived. The filling was perfect: chopped cooked pork aromatically seasoned and mixed with creamy mashed potatoes. The pastry was crisp and excellent once it revived after what I suspect was a stint in the microwave – the only flaw in our entire meal.
Eggs, bacon, home fries and toast were all commendable but the piece de resistance was luscious not-too-sweet homemade strawberry jam that tasted of pure berries.
This wonderful place is a must for breakfast in Quebec City and would probably be terrific for lunch or an early dinner. The warm welcome by friendly staff is a bonus.