Montreal’s 1st Poutine Week and Giveaway!

January 28, 2013 · 29 comments

in Food Media

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.

Follow Poutine Week on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #PoutineWeekMTL

 

Hey everyone! Contest is over. The winner has been announced on my Facebook page. Enjoy your poutines!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael P. January 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

The best poutine I’ve probably had is Chuck’s Lobster Poutine at le Garde Manger. Plenty of lobster meat and a great lobster-stock based gravy made for a wonderful experience.

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Arman Afkhami January 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

As boring and standard as it sounds, my favorite poutine in Montreal still remains La Banquise poutine… The squeeky cheese, perfectly crispy fries and awesome sauce make it for a killer poutine everytime. I just wish they’d open a second location on the west coast (NDG).

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Olivier D January 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

The foie gras poutine at APDC. Fatty deliciousness covered in more fatty deliciousness.

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Une parisienne à Montréal January 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Une des meilleures poutines que j’ai mangé était au Sparrow. Les frites maison me rappelaient mon enfance et le fromage était d’une qualité indéniable! À l’époque, le restaurant syrien Damas en faisait une divine aussi…

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Ronny P. January 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

My current favourite is Poutineville’s Braised Beef and Red Wine Sauce. It had tender morsels of beef topped with a very flavourful red wine sauce. Yummy!

However, my all-time favourite remains Mondo Fritz’s poutine with black peppercorn sauce. The fries were freshly cut and the pepper enhanced a great gravy. I still blame the never-ending construction on Saint-Laurent Blvd. for its closing!

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Alain B. January 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm

One of the best poutine I’ve had has to be Burger de Ville’s, wether at the original location on Westminster in NDG or at the other restaurant they now have on St-Laurent near St-Viateur. No fancy toppings here but the fries are great, the original cheese curds are plentiful and tasty, and it comes smothered in their very own veal stock based sauce which is to die for!

Another really good one (I know you only asked for one, but I’ve had their’s so many times I couldn’t pass it up) is Paulo and Suzanne’s on Gouin West, right across from Sacre-Coeur hospital. Great home fries, a huge heaping of curds and a great sauce to top it off. I usually squeeze on some extra ketchup and a sprinkling of black pepper and cayenne to spice it up. They also serve other varieties which just as good. And they are ALWAYS open!

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Fabienne January 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm

My fav poutine is from Pizzarella in RDP…thry add something similar to a breakfast sausage to their poutine….so delicious….

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Rachel January 29, 2013 at 12:10 am

My favourite poutine is definitely the lobster poutine at Garde Manger, I truly dream of this poutine and when I’m going to have it again. The cheese, the lobster, the gravy, everything is perfect down to the most flawlessly crisp fries.

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Under covah poutine lovah January 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

I heart poutine. I am always on the look-out for the best poutine of life. I recently went to Quebec City and literally studied reviews (props to the Poutine Pundit) for 2 days (true story, ask the bf) in search of the best fry, sauce and freshly made squeeky cheese combo. Hands down, Chez Gaston had the best, plumpest and sqeeek-all-the-way-to-my-ears cheese, EVER. I believe I eve said I had too much at one point (is that even possible?!), unfortunately the artificial tasting gravy ruined it.

Agreed, the lobster poutine entrée at Garde Manger is pretty pretty pretty good but always leaves me wanting more, sadly, my wallet doesn’t allow me to do so.

The braised pork in the Charlevoix poutine at Méchant Boeuf makes it pretty fantastical, although it’s not the prettiest in the bunch,. Regrettably, the home cooked fries are too soft while the gravy that coats them is tasty but the three types of cheese kinda ruins it; I don’t think there should ever be stringy cheese in a poutine, I’m not eating lasagna.

The peppercorn poutine at La Banquise leaves my tummy satisfied but my pallet screaming for chunkier and squeakier cheese.

Thus………the best poutine I ever had would have to be at Planète Poutine. I had the Shepherds Pie poutine (sans maïs) the first time and the second time I said I would try either the filet mignon, duck confit or general tao poutine but I couldn’t bring myself to do it since the memory spilled over me as I walked in and the thought of it made my mouth water instantaneously. Not a big fan of corn so I left that out both times knowing the hamburger meat, caramelized onions and homemade spicy gravy would still dance well together. This poutine had the right amount of cheese, good balance of chunks and smaller pieces, super squeeky and all around a great fresh taste. The sauce with veal undertones was so good I could drink it! I couldn’t though because it remained in a flawlessly thick consistency all the way to the bottom of my cute (empty) red bowl. The meat, not too little, not too much, was cooked perfectly and the sweetness from the caramelized onions was a great balance to the spiciness of the sauce. Freakin’ amazing.

Okay, I’m done 😉

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Kristen January 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

My favourite poutine right now is the Patati Patata poutine. Good fries, good curds, good sauce…it’s all you really need. (and a bonus olive)

Can’t wait for poutine week to begin!

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Angela Auclair January 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Alright…my favourite poutines are hockey arena poutines. Not fancy, just poutine. Preferably with St. Albert cheese curd and under 5$. But I am happy to try any and all:).

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Christina ElQueisi January 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Lobster Poutine at Garde Manger!!

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laure January 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I am going to eat so much poutine. I am going to have too-full-stomach drowsiness for a week after that, but idgaf. First stop: burger bar on Friday!

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Louise January 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

My favourite poutine is from Chez Claudette, on Laurier, it’s where I take all my visitors to Montreal. The poutine is always fresh, and most importantly the gravy super flavoursome, and not too salty (La Banquise’s downfall, in my opinion)

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virtualDavis January 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

The best poutine? The closest available! Unfortunately for those of us living in the Adirondacks, the closest poutine is usually an hour drive away. Imagine our pain! My wife always scolds me when the first thing I order north of the border is poutine. “Are you kidding? Poutine is what you’re craving? It’s a hear attack on a plate!” Perhaps its our poutine-less North Country is in fact a top secret conspiracy on the part of my wife to keep me alive… Conspiracy theory or not, I suffer. When you ask for a poutine in most Adirondack dining establishments the server stares like a deer in the headlights. “A what?” “A poutine.” “Oh, you mean a put-in to launch your boat? We call those boatlaunches here…” “Here? I’m from here! And I don’t want to launch my boat. I want a plate of fries with cheese curd and gravy. Preferably with a smile.” “Cheese curd?” Can you feel my pain? Hope to make it north for poutine week.

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xDominion January 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Personally, I prefer quantity over quality, as long as the taste is somewhat decent. I like La Belle Province’s Family size poutine (about 10$ + tx); it leaves me quite satisfied after.

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Andrew M January 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I wouldn’t say I’m an aficionado. In fact (poutine lovers block your ears), I actually don’t like curd cheese. However, my fiancee loves poutines and has brought me along for many of them. My favorite poutines are those that you can either pick a different cheese, or they come ready-made with a different cheese. The tops: T-Rex from Banquise (tolerated the curd cheese for that one); what my buddies and I call “The Baller Poutine” from Suite 701 which had duck, foie gras, blue cheese and a red wine reduction gravy; and recently Poutineville’s custom made philly cheese steak poutine, with sweet potato fries and mozzarella cheese.

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Natasha January 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm

The best original poutine i’ve ever had was back in the days at Dawson College. I think the secret was in the crispy fries. A fantastic balance of cheese curds and gravy. Nothing fancy. Just an original, fantasticaly fantastic poutine.

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Stephanie January 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I had my first poutine at La Belle Province with friends, and I loved it. I haven’t had a chance to try different ones, so I’m interested. I’ve had the one at Patati Patata, and it’s true that they have great fries. Good fries are key.

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Jason A January 30, 2013 at 10:42 pm

the T-Rex poutine at restaurant La Banquise; perfectly cooked fries topped with thinly sliced beef, pepperoni, bacon, sliced hotdog, covered in their luscious house gravy. The perfect 4:00am post-debauchery meal!

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Derrek N January 31, 2013 at 2:25 am

Au Pied de Cochon, hands down wins my vote. After one bite i was unable to put my fork down. Foie gras can excessive, but i must say nothing about this poutine was excessive, except its AMAZING TASTE.

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jack great January 31, 2013 at 6:43 am

I love potatoes! They are my favourite.

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Chuck Bartleman January 31, 2013 at 11:37 am

What up @foodguymontreal. The only reason to go to Verdun (just kidding Verduners, put away your pitchforks) is Poutine Lafleur on Wellington. Although they have a few varieties like hamburger, smoked meat and chicken poutine, their classic poutine is just that: classic. Delicious crispy fries, big squeaky curds, and hot tasty gravy make for an amazing poutine, and at $5 for a small and $6 for a large, the price is right as well. Highly recommended!

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Nick January 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m an old school guy that strongly believes that poutine shouldn’t be messed around with. Just give me good fries, gravy and great curds. Personally, nothing beats Paulo & Suzanne on Gouin..the best poutine in the city, the best Jerry, the best!

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Matthew January 31, 2013 at 12:08 pm

The best poutine I ever had was probably the first one I ever made for myself at age 7 or 8. Sure the sauce was from a packet-but hey I mixed in water with a whisk–fancy! Sure the fries were McCain’s but hey, I got to use the oven! The best part was I used an entire pack of curds that were fresh from a little place near owl’s head–where the monks make the cheese, can’t remember the name. Any way, the best poutine is the one you make yourself as a kid and remember for a lifetime. That or any poutine from Ti-Jean or Ti-guy hot dog on the side of a two lane highway when riding your motorcycle.

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Michael January 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

The best poutine I’ve ever had was actually just a simple, cheese and gravy poutine. It was a cold winter day, my first time in Montreal. I just arrived in Canada and was exploring the city. The smell of fries attracted me to the food truck and there I read “Best poutine in town!” Intrigued I asked what a poutine was. The vendor, instead of describing it, just gave me one on the house. Upon receiving it, I saw one of the most beautiful sights a foodie can hope for; piping hot gravy upon white delicious chunks of cheese curds on perfectly cooked, crispy fries. I took a plastic fork and dig right into it. The saltiness and savory taste of gravy mixed with the melting texture of the cheese immediately hit my palette. The crunchy fries soon followed. This was truly love at first bite!

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D Boy January 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm

One of my favorite poutine used to be at Pierre Patate in Verdun. It was classic tasty curds, gravy and fries. No frills. None of this “gourmet” nonsense. A lot like Decarie Hotdog’s. Too bad they closed down years ago. Looking forward to trying Black Strap’s burnt ends poutine this week.

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Marie-Michèle Lajoie February 1, 2013 at 11:38 am

Best poutine in Mtl, Paul Patates in Pointe St-Charles. The fries are amazing, cheese is fresh and the gravy sticks to the fries, wich I love. Nothing fancy, but Hey, who needs fancy, we’re talking about poutine here!

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Natalie February 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Oh those pics look delicious!

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