I love eating in restaurants so the first place I visited when I arrived in Ouje-Bougpumou this spring was the spanking new 12-room Capisissit Lodge.
It’s always a delight when a new business starts in one of the communities. The 50-seat teepee-esque restaurant has a beautiful, almost 360-degree panoramic view of Lake Opemiska. Like Waskaganish’s Kanio-Kashee Lodge, it also has a fireplace in the centre which, unfortunately, doesn’t work. Somebody out there must know something about fireplaces. If you do, give them a hand. On the other hand, maybe they could do what they do in Turkey. Hang meat on the ceiling, smoke it and slice off pieces for sandwiches. You’ve heard of Montreal smoked meat? How about Cree smoked meat?
After one meal I commented on the quality of the food to one of the locals. Actually, complained is a better word. His explanation was that the cook was on vacation and the trainees were the ones whipping up the less-than-perfect dishes. One evening I ordered one of their desserts to go with my coffee. I think it was the blueberry glazed cake ($2.00). The taste was disagreeable so I ate it politely. I’m sure things will get better when the cook gets back.
The staff is friendly but shy if you don’t speak the language, so make it a point to learn a few Cree phrases to help you when ordering. Listed below are a few that might be useful.
Mass-i-mex – trout
Gawh-bee – coffee
Dee – tea
Buy – pie
Bedats or bedets – potatoes
Bah-kah-gon – chicken
Jujushnabuee – milk
Gooh goosh – pork or ham
Woh – eggs
The other items on their menu are impossible for me to translate. For more information consult the Cree Lexicon of Eastern James Bay Dialects—available, I think, at fine Cree bookstores everywhere.
The menu is like any other you would find in any restaurant down south. So I’ll repeat what I said about the Auberge Kanio-Kashee Lodge. Get some native food on the menu!
Capissisit in Cree means “the small one.” The lodge is small but, like everywhere up north, your bill won’t be. Accommodations for one night are $60 for singles and $80 for doubles, pretty reasonable considering the view. Lunch and dinner will cost you anywhere between $3.50 to $18.50. The lodge is open from 7 a m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. For reservations call (418) 745-3050.
NOTE: Due to a memory lapse caused by, among other things, a failure to take “more detailed notes, ” I have committed the unforgivable crime of what we in professional Journalism call “a big boo-boo. ” The Escargot bourgignon at the Kanio-Kashee Lodge (see Restos, last issue) is not $18.00 but only $4.50. To make it up to the Lodge, I promise to buy the manager and chef $18.00 worth of Escargot Bourgignon next time I’m in Waskaganish.