The week of February 2 marked the inaugural Poutine Week in Montréal! 30 Montréal restaurants rose to the challenge of creating their own variation of Quebec’s emblematic dish. Poutine is Québec’s famous fast food dish that is rapidly becoming its most trendy culinary export. Simple enough, poutine consists of French fries smothered in gravy and sprinkled with special cheese curds. This melting, hyper-caloric and delicious mixture has long been an all-around favourite, especially for the late-night party crowd.
Poutine Week Montréal is the brain child of Montréal’s well known food blogger Na’eem Adam, a.k.a “Le Méchant Mangeur” (méchantmangeur.com), who is also a founding member of Food Week Montreal Inc., which sponsors various gastronomic events around the city throughout the year. For Adam and his partners, the goal was simple – celebrate poutine and ask diners to select their favorite variation. The carefully selected participating restaurants ranged from popular poutine joints (Poutineville and Planète Poutine) to upscale restaurants like BEVO and Macaroni Bar. Each was asked to offer a new and improved version of traditional poutine. From breakfast poutine to healthy poutine and adaptions from around the world, no variation was left unexplored.
At the end of the week, votes and comments were compiled. Crowd favorites included Fabergé’s breakfast poutine and La Bêtise’s General Tao chicken poutine. The most intriguing concoction was definitely Tazah’s Syrian-inspired poutine, which was topped with roasted lamb and pomegranate.
Montréal isn’t the only city where poutine is stealing the spotlight. It has been featured on menus around the world, and now it’s Chicago’s turn to celebrate this improbable dish with its first ever “Poutinefest.” (poutinefest.com) Popular Chicago restaurants like El Idea, The Boarding House and Leopold were recruited to present their own poutine at the sold out event on February 24. If you’re like many and weren’t able to get tickets, there are plenty of great options in Chicago: Bad Happy, The Bad Apple, The Barrelhouse Flat, Del Seoul, Boarding House, Léopold, The Gage, Pleasant House Bakery, Red Door, Little Market Brasserie.