La Malbaie: The Return of Pizzaghetti!

(Cap-à-l’Aigle, Québec, Canada)

History has a way of repeating in the most unexpected places.  After arriving in the Charlevoix tourist hub of La Malbaie (our auberge is located in the nearby village of Cap-à-l’Aigle), we set out in search of some comfort food.  We were inexplicably drawn to the “Pizzeria du Poste”, although we weren’t sure exactly why.  Perhaps it was a desire for some comfort food, after the difficult drive from Lac Delage?

A typically steep street in Cap-à-l’Aigle, about to plunge towards the St. Lawrence River

We looked quickly at the menu posted outside the door, still not sure what we would actually order.  Even once we were handed menus inside, I was still having trouble deciding between pizza and lasagna.  And then, at the very bottom of the lengthy pizza list, the choice became clear:  pizzaghetti!

Our auberge in Cap-à-l’Aigle

I first encountered pizzaghetti many years ago when visiting a friend in Montréal.  That version featured a normal pizza topped by a sauce-drenched helping of spaghetti.  It was ridiculously filling but I quite liked how the spaghetti sauce soaked the pizza:  no more dry crust!  I thought this was the definitive version and often spoke fondly of this unusual dish, seemingly available only in the province of Québec.

The geological hike at Cap-à-l’Aigle, with a huge freighter in the background

Years passed and pizzaghetti gradually disappeared from my radar.  I thought it was one of those fads that quietly passed in the night, never to be seen again.  Until now!  Even better:  it now appeared in a startling new variation!   This time, the spaghetti (and sauce) appeared below the cheese and toppings.  If you look at the large close-up photo at the top of this post, you can clearly see the spaghetti below the cheese.

The geological hike continues near Cap-à-l’Aigle

However, there is more to La Malbaie than pizzaghetti.  The next day, I went on a guided geological hike for a few hours.  This took me to otherwise inaccessible parts of the coast around Cap-à-l’Aigle and partly restored some long-lost high school geography lessons.  The hike was also a good way to connect with some fellow travellers.  I traded travel recommendations with an American who now lives in Ottawa…it’s always great to hear about hidden gems from somebody who shares a similar “travel ideology”.  I now know of a great destination in Iowa!

The Manoir Richelieu at La Malbaie

That evening, we were supposed to go to an astronomy “clinic” and visit the high-powered observatory in La Malbaie.  Alas, the observatory staff was decimated by illness and the evening session was cancelled.  While we weren’t able to get up close and personal with Saturn, we did get a chance to visit the renowned Manoir Richelieu hotel at nearby Pointe-au-Pic.

The 5th hole at the “Club de Golf Le Manoir Richelieu” at La Malbaie

The Manoir Richelieu is one of the former CP hotels that now forms part of the Fairmont chain of luxury hotels.  As there is a casino nearby, it is possible to see the hotel without being a guest.  The skies were cloudy but it was still nice to see this legendary hotel (and its golf course) up close.  Maybe we would be able to stay at one of these properties soon?  Stay tuned to find out!