Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Goober goes international...or "my first poutine"


We were all set. Goober had his passport. A little back story first. Goober is really from Norway. My friend Nella won him for me from the good folks at JarlsbergUSA Cheese. He is now a part of our family so he became an American citizen. Hence the passport (I love saying things like "hence" that is why I wrote that sentence).


One of our first stops was in Vermont. We stopped at the Maple Museum. Goober was very excited.


I couldn't get a picture of him AND the sign because he is too small. Goober did beg us to buy him this Maple tap so that we can tap our maple tree and see the sap come out.


He begged to have his picture taken with this sculpture.


Next stop was Burlington Vermont. Little did we know that it was orientation day at the university. Hotels were packed. We ended up in a hotel that Goober hated. Ok, I might have hated it too. It was right off the freeway for gods sake.


Goober stood on the ledge and pretended like he would jump if Dr. Food ever dragged her I mean him to a crappy hotel off of the freeway again.


Goober liked jumping on the bed.


Thank god we got up the next morning and got to move on.

Before long we were on the road again. We stopped more along the way but I didn't get pictures. We stopped at an amazing antique store where the woman was psychic and had a photographic memory (the memory we saw for ourselves, the psychic...um, well who knows).

(picture borrowed from wikipedia)

We stopped in Montreal for lunch at a dive. It was so late already that we didn't really want to eat lunch so we shared a dish of Poutine. It was my first taste of it. First few bites were amazing and then it wasn't. I did love the cheese curds though.

Screen shot 2011-08-02 at 10.34.29 AM

We drove for miles and miles while Goober slept. We finally arrived in Quebec City. We were staying at the hotel Pur Really ultra modern and cool hotel.


Goobs loved the art.


He loved the bed.


He thought the lighting was cool.


He really went wild over the candy they left on his pillow at night.

So the next morning we woke up ready to go visit Isle d'Orleans where there are wineries and artisanal food stuff. I especially wanted to visit the Vinegar making place. We found that poor Goober had a case of the "Travelers Two Step". He was in the bathroom all night and opted to stay back at the hotel while we went out to explore the island.


We went to a Goose and Duck farm which had amazing rillettes and pates. The owner/chef explained to us his passion for an artisanal approach with all things duck and goose. We planned on coming back for dinner for a 12 course tasting menu.


Later that night we did go back. I have to say that dinner was amazing. We got there at 6:30 and there were only 2 other groups that were being served that night. One was a party of 5 and the other was another couple having the tasting menu as we were.

I didn't get pictures on my camera of the meal because I thought that was a bit uncouth in such a small setting. However, Dr. Food did chronicle each course on his cell phone camera (will post another time). I will just say that the chef used no seasonings other than a bit of salt on his food. It was pure poultry and vegetables from his garden. We had a wonderful time, but by 11:00 we were a bit burnt out from sitting there. Yes, we were there for 5 hours. It was only chef and his wife doing everything. Great meal but a one time only sorta thing.


When we got back to the room poor little Goober was awake. He assured us that he felt better.


We did have to stop him from racking up a huge bill off of the mini-bar. He couldn't believe that they left all these goodies in the room for us.


He was getting rambunctious so I knew he was feeling better.

We walked into the old section of Quebec.


While walking I saw this phone pole. It was all leather strips. One of the reason I love walking is because you get to see stuff like this (but don't be fooled, I complained the whole time that we didn't take the car. It was HOT).


We went into Maison Jean-Alfred Moisan. The oldest grocery store in North America. It was beautiful. Here Goober is checking out the spices.


We were ready for lunch and Goober thought that maybe he would find a girlfriend at this restaurant. It was called "Hobbit" and it was really good. Poor Goober has been trying to find a girlfriend for a long time to no avail. If you think of someone to set him up with his number is 000-124-5678.


He was ok hanging with Dr. Food though. The food was really great at this restaurant. Goobers stomach was still a bit "off" so he stuck with the bread.


After lunch we watched a street show that was really funny. These two were hysterical. Goober laughed and laughed.



Goober found this stuffed animal in a shop and begged for me to buy it but I didn't give in.


Lots of pretty things but in this neighborhood things were touristy and expensive. I liked the neighborhood we were staying much better.


Of course Goober got a kick out of these.


Here is Goober in a fountain in front of Chateau Frontenac. We walked around a bit more than headed back to the hotel. No more pictures from that point. So, that was it. The time went too fast. The next morning we blasted back home without stopping much. Goober was exhausted and so was I. I was happy to find that I had cucumbers that had grown while I was gone.


Goober was excited to try out the new Vinegar urn to make our own vinegar that we bought.


He was also very happy to be back in his spot in our kitchen


By Rebecca Franklin, About.com Guide


4 large potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for frying
1 cup cheese curds
1 1/3 cups beef gravy, heated

Cut the potatoes lengthwise into thin strips, about 1/3-inch in width. Soak the potatoes in ice-cold water for 1 hour, drain, and pat completely dry. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet to 325F and fry the potatoes, in batches, for 3 minutes, until they turn dark white-yellow, but not brown. Drain the fries on fresh paper towels and allow them to rest for a few minutes.

Bring the oil back to 325F and fry the potatoes again, in batches, for 4 to 5 minutes, until they turn crisp and medium golden brown. Drain the fries on fresh paper towels, salt them, and divide them onto 4 serving plates or bowls.

Add 1/4 cup of the cheese curds and 1/3 cup of the hot beef gravy on each serving of fries. Serve hot.

This poutine recipe makes 4 servings.


  1. I love that you called it a "freeway" I guess some habits die hard. I'm glad Goober had such a nice trip.

  2. Go, Goober!!!

  3. I'm so happy that Goober had a wonderful trip. Here's the deal with Poutine, it's actually super important where you get it. If you get it from a place that's known for it, it's easy to plow through a whole plate. It all depends. (Can you tell I love poutine).

    We make a lot of trips to Montreal, but still haven't hit Quebec City yet, it's on the list!

  4. Poor Goober getting sick in the midst of that fantastic vacation! I'm glad he's home and feeling better. Welcome home! Next time head south, ok? Bring Goober. Dudette would love to meet him.

  5. what a fun time! Goober must be so tired after all that traveling! :)

  6. How funny and how cute is little Goober!   I want you to know, I was the one who brought him back from Norway.  We also stayed at a Comfort Inn, in Bergen, but it was much nicer and far away from the highway.  I'm happy to know Goober is in very good hands.  And what a wonderful time y'all had in Quebec.  I'm worried about the angry monkey though...he looks a little jealous!  The Poutine, interesting stuff! 

  7. Thanks for bringing The Goobs back to the states. We love him.

  8. Goober is so well traveled. Looks like y'all had a great time in Quebec. I would love to visit sometime. Great photos. Poutine sounds interesting. I want to try it sometime.

  9. Goober is really an International Man of Mystery! Love catching up on his adventures and hope you'll keep us posted as his summer fun continues.


  10. Great post. Vermont is a beautiful state.... I grew up in Vermont. Love the photos.

  11. Wish i could travel with you guys and Goober . He looks like a fun date. Not feelin' the poutine though... I just can't picture my fries with gravy or just for the Belgianess of it mayonnaise . Loved the post though. I want to go on vacation too!

  12. OK, so I was going to jokingly ask what the CA transplant was doing writing about Poutine and then I saw the recipe you posted. Not your fault, About.com often is about a lot of things it really isn't. 

    Getting a good plate of Poutine can be hard even in Montreal, a place that is supposedly comes from. The best one we've had was closer to home in Manchester, NH at Chez Vachon.

    I remember a passable version at the old Montreal Expos stadium and a better version from Dundees on Crescent. I hear the best versions are the late night street cart ones, but it has to be late and the party has to have been good I guess...Classic French-Canadian Poutine uses a peppered chicken gravy, something we learned recently when we looked into a bit. The folks at Chez Vachon also offers beef gravy, pasta sauce and lots of other stuff people might wants on it like bacon, onions, veggies, etc. What they said though is that the classic the most popular.


  13. Jason,
    That is really interesting. Are you originally from Canada or just a Poutine lover? Thanks for the info.

  14. I am telling mom you are calling me names.

    So am I but what are you? (sticking out tongue)

  15. My wife and I have been going to Montreal since we were kids. Her uncle moved there more recently and we have been visiting as adults for over a decade. She has French-Canadian background so some of the food and history have been fun for us to explore. We were just there at the start of the week and had some Poutine at Ruebens. It was OK.

  16. The last time I was in Quebec City was when I was in high school as a "i can believe we're here" pain-in-the-ass teen. I would love to go back and visit as an "adult".