As some of you may know, I’m half French Canadian – so when I’m feeling like I need some comfort food, I’ll either rush for the beef chow fun, or I’ll have a hankering for poutine. I’d say that with that pedigree, plus the fact that I lived for the first 20 years of my life in Ottawa, I’ve got a pretty refined poutine palate!
Now, my gold-standard is Lou Patate chip stand in Ottawa. Je suis très embarrassed about how often I ate lunch there when working summers at the government! I find that Vancouver is definitely better than Edmonton for offering traditional poutine in many places (uhg – I can’t believe how often grated mozzarella or cheddar on fries is offered up as poutine in Edmonton – dégueulasse!!) so I thought it would be interesting to see how La Belle Patate, a purported Montreal transplant, fared in this fine city!
Now, it had been several months since I’ve wanted to try this place – in fact, Mijune, who I saw earlier that day at the Cupcake Challenge had given me a coupon when we first met at Irish Heather back in January! (And – oui – I did have a day full of cupcakes and now poutine – occupe toi de tes oignons et laissez moi tranquille! 🙂 )
I ordered just a small traditional poutine for $5.50. Compared to my Ottawa prices, I found this un petit peu expensive. Eh bien! It was fresh prepared for me, and presented in a takeout tin that was crazy-hot thanks to freshly fried patates frites and steaming gravy.
Ooh la la! First thing I have to note is the big, soft, creamy cheese curds. These looked and tasted great, but because they were so uniform, I missed the thrill of finding a giant grain de fromage! I was also surprised that despite the hot fries and crazy-hot gravy, the cheese didn’t melt at all… strange… I thought I’d take another picture towards the end in case some kind of time-sensitive thermal transfer was required to help faire fondre the cheese.
Bien non! Qu’est-ce que c’est!? So, after about 6 blocks of walking & eating, and slowly digging down into this otherwise very yummy poutine, I still found cheese curds that were completely un-melted! I also found that there was a lot of gravy left over, and that the fries, while quite nicely fried and firm earlier, had gotten quite soft thanks to the amount of liquid. Malheureusement I have not found my west-coast equivalent to Lou Patate yet… At least I can’t count on the hunt to be franchement délicieux!