Here’s what our writers tried at this year’s edition of Poutine Week
This year, Poutine Week had over 50 participating restaurants. They created some of the craziest poutine flavours and combinations. From poutines loaded with mac and cheese to poutines in the shape of a burger, there is something to suit everyone’s taste buds. Our writers taste-tested five of them.
Dirty Dogs: The Mac Attack
Dirty Dogs took their popular mac and cheese hot dog and reinvented it for this year’s edition of Poutine Week. Owner Billy Kontos said that instead of using two cheeses as in the original recipe, four cheeses were used for the poutine—you can taste the richness and the different types. He added that they also used smoked bacon instead of their regular kind. The poutine consists of the shop’s house fries, topped with gravy and cheese curds. On top of that, it’s covered with the four-cheese mac and cheese, chives and the proverbial cherry on top: smoked bacon. The meal is enormous, filling a cardboard container nearly the size of a letter size paper. The texture is so rich, it melts in your mouth. The combination of flavours is not overbearing, but the dish is quite heavy. This is a poutine that requires a partner in crime to finish it or several solo attempts. Call your doctor, because this poutine will put you in the loveliest food coma you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in.
By Andrej Ivanov
Brit & Chips: Fish n’ Chips Poutine
From the get-go, I was really excited to try out this poutine because the idea of having fried sole and poutine in one bite sounded delicious. When the waitress brought over the meal, however, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. It looked nothing like the picture—it was basically a deep-fried sole dipped in gravy sauce with cheese curds and French fries on the side. Generally, the meal was good but the biggest flaw was the taste of the deep-fried sole, which was the main part of the poutine. I felt as if I was eating some type of overly greasy fast-food fish. The actual fish meat, under all the grease, tasted pretty decent. My favourite portion of this meal was the fries and cheese because it reminded me the most of actual poutine. Overall, I feel as if my experience was anti-climactic since I had high expectations and I was let down. I don’t think I would try this again. I would prefer standard fish and chips or simply a regular poutine.
By Mina Mazumder
Dunn’s: Buffalo Chicken Poutine
Buttery, deep fried, and filled with tangy flavour, Dunn’s Buffalo Chicken Poutine is definitely not a traditional concoction. A regular poutine base is spiced up with a few pieces of chicken and a tangy buffalo chicken sauce. While it may not look too appetizing once it is mixed around a bit, the flavours are not quite as overpowering. The tangy sauce adds a nice level of heat to an already well-made poutine. The fries stay crispy, and the gravy is nice and rich, although not a great option for vegetarians or vegans as it has a beef base. The only complaint may be the slight lack of cheese and the number of chicken pieces. A large portion size, this poutine is great for sharing, and the $12 price tag makes it even nicer to split. Dunn’s even delivers, so there’s no need to brave the Canadian winter while searching for your daily student meal.
By Jess Kinnari
Le Smoking BBQ: Ribs Poutine
Le Smoking BBQ is a southwestern style restaurant on Ste-Catherine Street that opened up a few weeks ago. Their food trucks have been around for a while at events in Montreal such as Poutine Fest where they’ve raked in several awards. The Ribs Poutine had the perfect balance of fries, gravy and cheese. There were about three ribs cut into small pieces laid on top, which gave a taste of them without dominating the poutine. They were covered in a sweet and tangy barbeque sauce that complimented the gravy very well—each bite was full of flavour. The fries were skinny but still crunchy and didn’t really get soggy over the course of the meal. While the portion didn’t seem big to begin with, this poutine can definitely be shared as it fills you up incredibly fast. The only downside was that I caught a few small bones as I was eating the ribs, but that’s to be expected with ribs in general. Overall, if you’re willing to take your poutine to the next level, this one’s a great way to go—just make sure you come in on an empty stomach.
By Cristina Sanza
BoFinger Parc: Poutine Burger
Bofinger Parc, a popular barbecue restaurant, treated its veggie-inclined fans with a mushroom-based alternative for their featured dish, the Poutine Burger. As the words ‘poutine burger’ roll off your tongue, the enticing syllables don’t even come close to doing the dish justice: the Poutine Burger was hands down phenomenal. Burger buns were replaced with french fries, somehow magically sticking together into little circular shapes and the patty was a delicious portobello mushroom. Topped with cheese curds, how could the Poutine Burger get any better? As the aesthetically pleasing platters were set down, our server came by to make our dreams come true with a hot gravy boat, poured onto your burger right in front of your eyes. Be warned though, the Poutine Burger isn’t made to be eaten with your hands. A knife and fork are totally necessary to get this puppy down, unless you want your paws soaked in gravy—well, even that wouldn’t be so bad since Bofinger’s black pepper gravy is to die for. The only downside to the $10 Poutine Burger was the excessive popularity it caught over the week. We stood in line for over 45 minutes.
By Ocean DeRouchie