Part of the reason why I created this blog and why I truly enjoy interacting with my readers is to inform them of great places to eat. Food is engrained in our city and makes our joie de vivre distinct. As much as I like dining out at some of the great restaurants in Montreal, sometimes there’s nothing more that I want than a good poutine. Whether it’s to warm up after a game of shinny in the winter, at 4:00 am on the weekend, or anytime really. I’ve learned after eating many varieties, poutine is always a good idea.
This past September, one of my fellow food bloggers, Na’eem Adam, organized Montreal’s 1st ever Burger Week. It was a huge success, judging from the reactions of enthusiasts all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Now that the burger page has turned, it’s time for poutine’s story to be written in the form of another week dedicated to the Quebec favorite, and once again, Na’eem, and his partners Thierry Rassam and Jason Mainella, have made it happen. When I asked Na’eem why he created Poutine Week, he responded with, “To celebrate something we love so much. We all really like poutine and we all have our favorite places. This is a cool opportunity for chefs to show how much they like it through their variations. Also it will get people out of the box and try something completely different and celebrate poutine. It was also a natural progression from burger week”.
Here how it’s going to work this time around. Poutine Week will run from February 1st to the 7th. Most poutines are priced at $10, some are in sample format for just $5, and there’s one that’s a little more expensive, which I’ll explain soon. Those who taste the poutines will have an opportunity to rate it, thumbs up or thumbs down, on the Poutine Week mobile site. Also, people will be able to engage, share opinions and thoughts, since it is very objective. The mobile site will be launched on Monday, January 28th and all the restaurants are already listed on the full site along with each place’s poutine they’ll be making during this special week. Just like Burger Week, a portion of Poutine Week’s sales will go towards the Montreal Canadiens Children Foundation, so you can feel great all over when you eat one.
I was fortunate enough to preview a rather large taste of the only poutine that’s not part of the $10/$5 pricing structure. I went back to Restaurant Biarritz, where I had the only burger I ate during burger week, to sample their poutine, if you can even call it that. They are offering a whopping $50 poutine for two. This monstrous meal will leave you craving for a warm bed only to dream of it again. This poutine is made up of an enormously juicy 26-ounce steak, topped with oyster mushrooms, and the poutine itself. The gravy is silky and meaty, the fries are big an crispy, and the cheese is traditional cheese curds. The steak is cooked to a perfect rare and in some places medium-rare. I love how the poutine is almost like a garnish. My only advice to anyone who decides to tackle this: pace yourself, and savor every bite.
I love everything about poutine. It’s fatty, rich, cheesy, and starchy. Not to gloat, but I’m quite an aficionado. I have my favorites, but now I want to see what yours is. Leave a comment in the section below, telling me where you had the best poutine and what you liked about it. What you can win: a complimentary $50 poutine (pictured above) at Restaurant Biarritz and 2 Poutine Week tuques! Good luck and happy eating! One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on February 1st, who will be chosen at random.
Hey everyone! Contest is over. The winner has been announced on my Facebook page. Enjoy your poutines!