As I am writing this, we are 40 minutes away from the end of the first ever Poutine Week MTL. The brain child of Na’eem Adam from the Mechant Mangeur and his team at Food Week Montreal Inc., this week long event is a continuation of the 1st ever Burger Week he organized this past fall. 30 restaurants stepped up and provided us with many wonderful plays on poutine to try out. My work schedule and location limited my opportunities but I managed to check out 4 different places over the course of the week.
First up, I felt it was my civic duty to visit Blackstrap BBQ to vote on my personal favorite poutine in the city even prior to this week. I have already sung the praises of this poutine before so I will keep this short. Just perfect combination of great fries, solid gravy and cheese with the added smokiness of the burnt ends. I could literally eat this poutine weekly…. Which is why I try to avoid visiting Verdun too often. If you haven’t visited Blackstrap BBQ yet, there are numerous reasons to check them out but this poutine ranks as one of the major ones.
Next stop was Burger Bar Crescent for their jack Daniels BBQ pulled pork poutine. This was a solid entry overall. The pulled pork was quite good with a nice sweetness in the sauce. The fries were very nice and the cheese had the right level of squeakiness. However, the gravy was pretty flat to me and my friends. It left us with a poutine that was good but not great.
Our third spot was on Super Bowl Sunday for a little brunch at Fabergé in Mile End. I had never heard of their breakfast poutine before but I most certainly do now. A creative play on a poutine with roasted potatoes, caramelized onions and peppers, cheese curds, hollandaise sauce, a egg and your choice of ham, sausage and/or bacon. All the elements mix together perfectly to create almost a breakfast hash. The key things to me were the sweetness of the caramelized onions and peppers as well as the relative lightness of the hollandaise sauce which did not overpower everything else. This was a monster of a meal – one that really set the tone for the Super Bowl Sunday feist that followed many hours later.
The final poutine was the Italian Sausage poutine over at BEVO pizzeria. In full disclosure, I won 2 free poutines from them through a contest on twitter so I invited some friends and used those poutines as starters in a group meal. Containing mild cheddar, confit onions, peppers and obviously an Italian sausage, this was a very good poutine. The onions were particularly enjoyable.
Poutine Week was a wonderful week in all areas except for the waistline. Congrats to the whole team who sets this up and to all the restaurants who let their creativity fly. I am certainly looking forward to next year and I hope those of you who missed out can join in the fun next time around!