After all that rich December food you might've thought that January's Restaurant Roundup would be Canada's best salads. Maybe... but that just seemed a bit dull and really, what you want in January is some good old comfort food. So let's check out a Canadian staple this month with our intrepid Restaurant Roundup Crew, who each chose their best pick for poutine in their city. Let's get to it:
Canada's Best Poutine
We're going West to East this month. Does Quebec really do it best or do we have a contender in Vancouver?
Vancouver's Best Poutine
Sean Neild sends us to La Belle Patate in Vancouver for a little poutine.
Vancouver is known for its healthy cuisine but one thing we do love here is poutine. If you looking to experience an authentic taste of Québécois cuisine you need to stop in to La Belle Patate. What makes these guys my favorite is the squeaky cheese curds that are flown in from Montreal on a weekly basis, the Montreal Smoked Meat Poutine is a must try and my personal favorite.
Calgary's Best Poutine
Next stop is Calgary and Dan Clapson's pick at Bistro 2210
I don't want to say I'm 'over' poutine, because any self-respecting Canadian will have a place in their heart for this rich dish, but it's definitely been used and abused on menus these past couple years. I'm not into the 'Let's throw 1000 ingredients on top of fries and a call it a poutine; movement. Keep it simple and keep it good. Here in Calgary, Bistro 2210 does a beautiful Duck Confit Poutine with a rich, silky gravy, just enough cheese curds and a healthy dose of tender duck meat. Poutine has never looked so sexy.
Winnipeg's Best Poutine
In Winnipeg, Kathryne Grism chose Promenade Cafe and Wine
And what did she have to say about it?
Love - that is all.
Doesn't get much better than that! Read Kathryne's full review of Promenade's Poutine
Toronto's Best Poutine
We're moving further east now, closer to those amazing cheese curds... let's check in with Stella Yu at Poutini's in Toronto
With a short and straight forward menu, Poutini's House of Poutine does it best by keeping their poutine simple. There is no fuss, no frills. Poutini's Traditional Poutine manages to knock my socks off every, single time. Even Anthony Boudain paid Poutini's a visit in his recent episode of The Layover. 'Nuff said!'
Waterloo's Best Poutine
Time to meet the newest member of our Restaurant Roundup Crew - Andrew Coppolino from Waterloo Region Eats. He's introducing us to The Crazy Canuck.
Rare is the person who doesn’t like poutine: it is, I think, nearly impossible to not give in to the lure of hot fries, dripping salty gravy, and squidgy cheese curds. In Waterloo Region, poutine has a decidedly firm grip—from chains and diners to finer restaurants who recognize the potential palette it represents to your palate. Waterloo’s The Crazy Canuck—a “You Gotta Eat Here” alumnus, incidentally—is one such venue that understands poutine’s earthy, workmanlike station but who are not afraid to challenge the dish and we who eat it. It an innovative touch they have, but a controlled one in terms of flavours and technique. And ultimately it is also a fun touch: and that Prime Minister Poutine is what this dish is all about.
Read the rest of Andrew's review of the Crazy Canuck
National Capital Region's Best Poutine
Well, some say Ottawa's poutine rivals anything you'll find in Quebec - let's check in with Don Chow at Vite Vite Patates Frites
Poutine was invented somewhere in Quebec. Specifically "where" is still debated. "What" is poutine, however, has been defined, at least in La Belle Province: "a heap of crispy French fries topped by a handful of cheddar (cheese) curds, and a chicken (sometimes veal) based sauce."
So, we chose to include Vite Vite Patates Frites's (61 Rue Wellington) poutine-take on chili cheese fries. It has all of the characteristics and a tomato-based ground meat chili ($6.50). This is a poutine that eats like a meal.
Quebec City's Best Poutine
Time to move into Poutine's homeland - Quebec. Choosing Chez Ashton must have been a tough decision for Marie Asselin.
The Québecois love to fight about who makes the best poutine and I have come to realize that one’s favorite is often the poutine he or she grew up with. In my case, it’s Chez Ashton’s. Although it’s a restaurant chain, it sets itself apart by making everything to order and sourcing ingredients locally, making their poutine the favorite of nine out of ten Quebec City natives. Many restaurants around the city offer fancier variations of the dish, but because Chez Ashton makes an excellent traditional version with fresh and homemade ingredients, I think it’s the ideal place to sample this quintessential Québécois dish.
Montreal's Best Poutine
Now let's join Jason Lee and his contending pick for Quebec's best poutine in Montreal - Poutineville
Poutine is as synonymous with Montreal as Celine Dion, smoked meat and 24 Stanley cups. When in Montreal the go-to spot for poutine is Poutineville (3 locations) - where you can build your own custom made poutine from a list of toppings and ingredients. Mathematical breakdown of Poutineville; by chosing one of four types of potatoes, one of three types of sauces and a mix and match of 33 toppings. 4 * 3 * (2^33) = 103,079,215,104 different poutine possibilities!
So? Will you be trying out your city's top pick for Poutine this weekend? I think I might just be!
Big thanks to our entire Restaurant Roundup Crew for sharing their favourite Canadian poutine spots. They’ll all be back next month with their top spots for a little Valentine's Day action and their city's most romantic restaurant! You might want to take notes if you haven't booked a table yet.
Don’t see your city listed here? Do you review restaurants on your blog and are you and FBC Member? Then let us know! We’re still looking for folks in Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Fredericton, St. John’s and Charlottetown. You can reach out to us through our Contact page.
***all images are courtesy of our Restaurant Roundup Crew.