All the talk of poutine at the CHG Top Chef competition on Saturday got Mack and I thinking about finally going to try La Poutine across the river (in an area apparently now referred to as “The Bridge District”). And on a beautiful evening after such a long, hard winter, we couldn’t really justify any mode of transportation besides our own two feet.
The mosquitoes were pests to be reckoned with, but they were worth tackling in order to be reminded of how beautiful our city really is. We always mean to trek across the High Level Bridge, but it’s not something we do that often – but we should.
Coke slushees – my guilty summer pleasure
Follow the trail
We arrived at La Poutine just before a long lined flowed out the door – the attendant indicated that it had been busy since they opened that afternoon. With their prime location near the University, residential towers and the Whyte Avenue bar scene, it’s not hard to think their focus on poutine would be a sure thing.
Offering over fifteen varieties in two different sizes, La Poutine joins places like Battista’s Calzones and Soul Soup that have chosen to specialize in just one item. So their success, in addition to location, also hinges on how well their poutine is executed.
We opted to try their traditional poutine with the beef-based sauce ($5.95), as well as the Quebecois poutine featuring Montreal smoked meat with the traditional sauce ($7.50).
There are a few bar-style seats in the tiny storefront, but we opted for roadside seating. We appreciated their use of paper-based containers (instead of styrofoam), but we wondered why they didn’t continue the environmentally-friendly theme with corn or other plant-based cutlery.
The cheese curds were authentically squeaky, and the gravy actually hot enough to partially melt through them. Between the two gravies, we preferred the rich beef version; we found the traditional was too salty.
Though both of us were hesitant about the Montreal smoked meat addition, it was a bit of a revelation for us. Paired with the mustard, it added an extra layer of flavour that elevated the poutine to a gourmet level.
Mack and I agreed that the Cheese Factory was more generous when it came to portion sizes and doling out of curds, but in terms of accessibility of location and hours, La Poutine can’t be beat. As Twyla indicated, walking off the poutine is highly recommended. And when the view is spectacular, all the better.
At the Legislature grounds
Bridges (Mack’s money shot!)
8720 109 Street
Monday-Wednesday 11am-10pm, Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am, Sunday, 11am-8pm