My Top 6 Poutine Picks for La Poutine Week

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.

  1. 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!).

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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Let me know what your favourite poutine is for La Poutine Week by tagging me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @downtownpeggy.

Happy poutine eating!

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The Tours are back in town!

With the warm weather coming in full force, I’m finally starting to feel the winter chill in my bones fade away. What this means for us Winnipeggers: a whole season of great outdoor activities! This week I thought I’d share something I’m most excited to take part in this summer.

The Downtown Tours, hosted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, are a super fun way to explore my favourite part of the city—downtown! This year there’s more restaurants, more dates, and more delicious tastes to discover!

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A Moveable Feast: BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike and cycle to various restaurants and coffee shops around downtown. Your $40 ticket price will get you coffee samplings and appetizers at five different restaurants in one night. New to the tours this year is The Planit, you can look forward to their board game nights on Wednesdays!

Tap In: If you like to end your day with a cold glass of beer, you’ll want to get in on this tour right away! For $30, you receive a different beer at each restaurant as well as appetizer samplings. Favourite tour stop Garbonzo’s Pizza Pub holds a trivia night every Wednesday if you’re looking to add a little competition to your after-work drinks.

Patio Crawl: Patio season is so short, which is why you need this tour. For $30, you get access to a plethora of patios plus one drink of your choosing and shared appetizers. The pizza at Carbone is so good, it’s life-changing! And I guarantee you’ll be doubling back for more zah this summer.

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Winnipeg Wine: This tour might be my favourite! At each stop, you’ll get to sample two different wines from the restaurant’s selection and try some small bites pairings. One of the stops is at The Loft Salon, so you may be able to get a little hairdo touch up while you enjoy your wine. Tickets start at $75 (for an individual) and for $285 you have the option of touring all four restaurants and spending a night’s stay for two at one of downtown’s luxury hotels.

The Breakfast Club: There’s no Molly Ringwald or Judd Nelson, but this tour is still one you won’t be forgetting any time soon! For $30, it’s the whole Sunday brunch experience plus a little added cardio as you walk from restaurant to restaurant trying different breakfast samplings at each stop. Whether you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal this is tour is a great stop!

Downtown Flashback: If you’re looking to get out of the office during your lunch break, this free tour is a great option to learn some interesting facts about our city’s architectural history. Tours start at 12pm at Air Canada Park and end around 12:45pm.

All of the tours (expect Downtown Flashback) can take up to 40 people, so get your group of friends together for a night, or morning, on the town. It’s always fun to find new places to eat, and these tours will let you to sample a variety of options so you know what to order next time! Book your tickets today–I know I will!