There are some moments in history for which I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. Like when the first person decided to ride a horse! Was he drunk or just gutsy? Or when they first lit the flame on the Calgary Tower, as the tallest tower in Western Canada. Or when those brilliant folks in Quebec decided to put cheese curds on top of fries and melt it all down with gravy. I, like many other Canadians, are happy those folks did that because we just can’t get enough of it. The world calls it ‘exotic’; we call it poutine. Summer is rapidly approaching Calgary, and what better way to celebrate the upcoming bathing suit season than with an entire week dedicated to the cheesy goodness that is this Canadian classic.
To start off my week right, I went to Flipp’n Burgers with my dad. We ordered their poutine week special, the chilli poutine. It was $9.75 and the least expensive dish on the poutine week website. It was delicious. A classic poutine— fries, swiss cheese, gravy, and with chilli as an extra. Plus jalapeños and sour cream. I sat there, eating poutine with my pops, drinking our hipster colas from glass bottles and listening to the sweet sounds of the Breakfast Club soundtrack.
I figured poutine number two should be completely different, so Chris and I went to the Coup on 17th Ave. I may be a proud animal byproduct eater and lifelong bacon lover, but I am absolutely not closed-minded. Our server was a little pretentious and not as friendly as we hoped, but we were pleasantly surprised by the poutine. The potato wedges were giant and smothered in mushroom gravy and the smoked tofu “bacon” bits almost tricked me, lover of bacon.
I decided poutine three would be from the other side of the spectrum. I rallied up my four favourite poutine people and we headed to Cleaver on 17th Ave. Cleaver with their house made cheese curds, their treacle gravy, and their whiskey duck. The only problem with this dish was that it had to end. You think you’ve felt heartbreak? Try seeing the bottom of your plate through the duck fat fries. Accompanied by incredible service, and a total adventure of a cocktail list, this was my favourite poutine experience so far.
The week is young! Poutine Week goes until April 23. Go find your fave poutine and indulge in a guilt free snack, for this is more than just a celebration of a delicious dish. In fact, every poutine sold during Poutine Week in any of the participating restaurants provides a free meal to someone in need, thanks to local non-profit Mealshare. “Poutine with purpose.”
Check out the participating restaurants and their menus here: http://www.calgarypoutine.com and let’s talk about it! #PoutineWeekYYC