La Poutine Week was a week-long festival that ran from Feb. 1 until Feb. 7 where participating restaurants created an original poutine for people to try.
“We wanted to take a staple dish and bring it up a notch around Quebec and Canada. It sounded delicious and fun,” said Na’eem Adam, co-founder of La Poutine Week.
The second edition went well, with the extension to three cities: Québec city, Ottawa/Gatineau and Toronto. It also garnered ten times more visibility with Adam appearing on numerous television shows and with the buzz created on online media.
Adam and his team are thinking of extending the festival across Canada and eventually into the States.
“We want to make La Poutine Week and Le Burger Week perfect and strong, then we might start with pop-up festivals around things like dessert, pizza, cocktails and maybe even salad.”
Adam and his team tried all the poutines months before the festival to qualify them.
“They were all amazing, but I love it when people do something crazy like Imadake or Chez Boris,” said Adam.
Montreal had 32 restaurants participating this year. There were poutines for every taste from refined poutines to heavier ones. Some highlights include: Régine Café, which offered a breakfast poutine that featured scotch eggs. Fabergé produced an Italian poutine called La Famiglia that consisted of fries, cheese curds, italian sausage, veal meatballs and marinara sauce from Drogheria Fine. Royal Phoenix Bar had a pulled pork with green apple coleslaw poutine and Au Cinquième Péché offered a seal poutine which was made up of gnocchi, cheese curds, seal merguez, brussel sprouts and full-bodied juice. Lola Rosa Park’s poutine Lola was a combination of sweet potato fries with black beans and mushroom sauce.
Other than food, the locale also was a factor in the poutine eating experience. Poutine Centrale is a serious contender to other famous poutine places such as la Banquise and Poutineville. A rustic atmosphere reigns in the Saint-Laurent restaurant. There are large tables and small individual benches made of wood. Large sacks with the Poutine Centrale logo of 50 pounds of potatoes decorate the place. Natural light comes from the front. In the back, you can see graffiti on a wall outside through the doors that lead to a terrace.
Poutine Centrale, with two locations in the city, offered a butter chicken poutine. You can get a small one for $7.99 or a big one for $10.99. The poutine is a mix of French fries, cheese curds, butter chicken, Indian spices and cilantro. The chicken tastes creamy and buttery. The mix with the fries and poutine was interesting. Who knew an Indian poutine could exist? If you are not a fan of spices or Indian food, you will not enjoy this one. A piece of naan on the side would have been an interesting touch. Butter chicken and naan are the best combination.
La Poutine Week was an intense time for poutine lovers. I have tried ten different poutines over a week. I tried one to two per day and reviewed them. You can read my complete reviews on my blog: favetastes.wordpress.com.