Just as we start saying ‘he ho!’ to the snow sculptures and all things Festival du Voyageur, the dreamers that co-founded Le Burger Week bring their latest celebration of comfort fare to our city. And it doesn’t get more Franco-Canadian than poutine! I’ve narrowed it down to my top 6 poutine picks, and I’m ready to tackle them all in the spirit of a hungry Voyageur. Winnipeg’s first La Poutine Week is on Feb. 1 -7.
- Pony Corral (444 St. Mary Ave.) – Montreal Smoked Meat Poutine
Offering different tasty creations literally sandwiched atop fries at each of its locations, Pony Corral is serving up a nod to poutine’s Quebecois roots at its downtown restaurant. And though Montreal smoked meat is somewhat of a classic poutine topping, Pony Corral isn’t stopping at the meat – placing the fully loaded sandwich, bread and all – atop a heap of fries (not even sparing the pickle topper!).
- Tavern United (345 Graham Ave.) – Manitoba Sociable Poutine
There’s hardly a more relatable local tradition than popping into The Tavern before a Jets game, except for maybe one – the Manitoba social. Tavern United is playing on both these classic Manitoban experiences with its Manitoba Sociable Poutine. See whose weddings come to mind while savouring a poutine dripping with nostalgia. The Tavern combines its famous English cut “chips” with the traditional social fare of Old Dutch ripples, plus Danny’s pulled pork, bacon, and red onion smothered with cheddar cheese sauce, squeaky cheese curds and Royal whiskey sauce.
- Rudy’s Eat & Drink (375 Graham Ave.) – The Dirty Donald
Savour the sophistication of Rudy’s The Dirty Donald, featuring heavenly duck confit mingled with Rudy’s crispy fries, a semi soft aged cheddar, a decadent roasted garlic sage jus – finished with sour cherry ketchup and crispy sage, sure to please even the most elevated of palates.
- La Roca (155 Smith Ave.) – Papas Locas Poutine
Who doesn’t love a Mexican take on the traditional Canadian fare, and who better to nail this than downtown’s premium Mexican lounge? The Papas Locas has crispy fries served in a skillet, baked with homemade mac and cheese sauce, queso cheese, bell peppers, and more common burrito fillings like carnitas (pulled pork), green onions, corn and fresh sliced jalapenos with La Roca’s own pico de gallo.
- Peg City Poutinerie (2nd floor, Cityplace) – Korean Steak Fajita Poutine
Maybe you’re already familiar with the Cityplace poutinerie’s charms, but its limited-edition Korean steak creation is sure to spice up your food court fiesta. Enjoy the usual suspects of Peg City’s perfected trio of fries, cheese curds and gravy – mixed with red and yellow peppers, caramelized onion and Korean steak drizzled with sesame seeds.
- White Star Diner (258 Kennedy St.) – Shepherd’s Pie Poutine
Just when I thought the homey fare couldn’t get any better, White Star Diner merged a couple of this Canuck’s favourite meals. With its famous meat loaf and sweet green peas paired with the squeakiest cheese smothered with real beef gravy, White Star somehow made two familiar comfort foods better.
Let me know what your favourite poutine is for La Poutine Week by tagging me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @downtownpeggy.
Happy poutine eating!