So many poutines, so little time.
Some 21 different styles of poutine – the classic Quebecois dish of fries, cheese curds and gravy – are competing for the title of Vancouver’s best this month as part of the 2nd annual Poutine Challenge. And you’re the judge.
Organized by foodie website Vancouver Foodster, the Poutine Challenge is a kind of people’s choice awards for the classic comfort food. You go to as many of the participating restaurants as you can during the month of February, sample their poutines and then vote online for your favourites from Feb. 26-March 2.
According to the contest rules, poutine should be judged by “originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.”
And judging from the lineup, there’s some stiff competition out there. Here are just a few of this year’s standout poutines.
- Stop by downtown’s New Orlean’s style Vancouver FanClub for their Pulled Pork Poutine, featuring pulled pork in a smoky bourbon barbecue sauce and cheese curds in chicken gravy, all garnished with mozzarella and chopped parsley.
- Neigbourhood pub Darby’s in Kitsilano is offering an upscale Duck Poutine: Kennebec fries are topped with duck confit, cambozola cheese and caramelized onions and drizzled with a red wine demi.
- Downtown sports bar Red Card offers an Italian take with its Poutine Italiano – triple-cooked fries topped with a ragout of Angus beef and slow-cooked Fraser Valley pork, San Marzano tomatoes and Grana Padano cheese.
- 131 Water Kitchen & Bar in Gastown serves up a Southern fried poutine, with breaded fried chicken smothered in white pepper gravy, hand-cut fries and Belgian waffles.
- Hipster social club Electric Owl on Main Street offers its futuristic, fusion Poutine Tron Limited Edition: hand-cut Kennebec potatoes fried in duck fat, Quebec cheese curds, teriyaki gravy, braised beef, maple bacon, nori and Japanese mayo.
The Poutine Challenge runs through Feb. 28. Check out Vancouver Foodster for a complete list of participating restaurants. Follow the contest on Twitter with the hashtag #PoutineChallenge.
What’s your favourite poutine in Vancouver? Let us know below.