Student Life

Raise a fork for Poutine Week 2015

We pack on the pounds to give you a round-up of this week’s best

The healthy vegan poutine – Copper Branch – 9/10
by Johanna Pellus

If you think poutine and healthy food are mutually exclusive, Copper Branch will prove you very wrong.

The 100 per cent vegan supermarket, cafe and eatery opened in September. Gamel Gray is part of the original team and said the vegan poutine has been one of the best sellers in their five months of business. Poutine Week is an opportunity to spread the news of this healthy alternative to your favourite comfort food.

“Our fries are air-baked so it is a lot more healthy than most of the poutines, and our sauce is a mushroom base, so overall our poutine is very healthy,” Gray said. “We also use Daiya cheese, so there is not dairy in it.”

The chefs spent a lot of time perfecting the sauce, which is made with portobello and cremini mushrooms, organic carrot juice, organic miso, and spices.

Thanks to this original sauce, the Copper Branch poutine is one of the best I have tried in the city. The sauce is unbelievably tasty, creamy and spicy. The vegan cheese does not make the typical “couic couic” of the cheese curds, but nicely melts in the mouth. This poutine created a perfect sensation of comfort food.

So, if you want to know how a poutine can be dairy-free, fat-free, vegan and tasty, try it! It is just a five-minute walk from Concordia’s downtown campus and costs $5.75. There is a $1.50 discount during Poutine Week, until Feb. 7.

Copper Branch is located at 1245 Bishop St. and 1500 Atwater Ave.


The Boss Poutine – Dirty Dogs – 8/10
by Sara Baron-Goodman

Most people would view “dirty” as a pejorative term, especially unwelcome when it comes to food. I feel the opposite. When it comes to good, clog-your-arteries-worthy grub, I say the more disgusting, the better.

Dirty Dogs’ Poutine Week offering, The Boss, takes your classic double-fried french fries and piles them high with their special Dr. Pepper chilli, duck gravy, cheese curds, red cabbage and onion slaw, and their house mustard. It was like all your favourite ballgame/barbecue season snacks packed into one heart-stopping blob: the quintessential hotdog, sans hotdog, if you will.

The slaw gave a nice zesty crunch to the meal, and was definitely the standout component.

The meat chilli was hearty and slightly sweet, though there could have been more of it, in my opinion.

One downside? Not enough gravy left the poor poutine without that extra layer of insulation, and it got cold almost as soon as it was served, catastrophically preventing the cheese from melting as it should.

The large size, which could easily feed two people, costs $12.

Dirty Dogs is located at 25 Mount Royal Ave. E.


The Caveman Meat Poutine – ART:BRGR – 9/10
by Nicole Yeba

The Caveman Meat Poutine is one of the craziest poutines available. The poutine is served in a large phyllo dough bowl, which confirmed my feelings that food should always be served in edible dough if possible. It’s crispy and tastes like a pita. Inside, the fries are topped with minced meat, merguez sausage, and ham, which is covered with cheese, peppers and a sunny side up egg. You have to break the egg so the liquid runs through the poutine and you can enjoy the mix of flavours. It’s very hot and spicy, but the bread helps and you can order a drink to soothe the heat. A vegetarian option is also available, which tastes just as good, and even spicier. The portion is extremely generous and the $15 pricetag is well worth it.

ART:BRGR is located at 408 Gilford Street

The Poutine Monsieur C. Verde – Monsieur Resto + Bar – 8/10
by Nicole Yeba

The Poutine Monsier C. Verde is without a doubt the prettiest poutine, if one could ever really call poutine pretty. The fries are a mix of Yukon and sweet potato with organic and local cheese curds and grated mozzarella. Crispy chorizo, sautéed wild mushrooms, and kale are added before being topped with greens and edible flowers. The mix of flavours is as tasteful as the poutine is colourful. The mix of sweet, salty and spicy is divine. The portion is perfect and will not leave you bloated, as other poutines might. This elegant poutine, which comes in at $14, is certainly befitting to the fancy restaurant bar where you can enjoy a drink with friends.

Monsieur Resto + Bar is located at 1102 De Bleury.

The Vladimir Végétarienovich Poutine – Chez Boris – 10/10
by Nicole Yeba

The Vladimir Végétarienovich Poutine is a vegetarian poutine with sweet french fries made from doughnut dough. This poutine is a Russian, Quebecor and Mexican mix of beet, three-bean, and smoky chipotle pepper chili served over the doughnut fries and cheese curds. It’s topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with shallots, and the mix of sweet, spicy and sour is heavenly. It almost feels like you are eating a dessert with the doughnut dough fries, which are reason enough in and of themselves to try this poutine—I mean, come on. Doughnut. Fries. Chez Boris is a nice café in the Mile-End where you can otherwise enjoy doughnuts and coffee or tea while studying. The portion is generous and at a reasonable low price of $10, perfect for students.

Chez Boris is located at 5151 Parc Ave.

Student Life

Highlights from La Poutine Week

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.

Photo by Nicole Yeba

“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:

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