As you may know, I'm in the midst of generally trying to eat better (with small indulgences here and there of course). However, the one gluttonous delicacy I will never permanently shake? Poutines. Thankfully, they aren't commonly sold around these parts, so it's easy to forget about them. But if I were in Toronto this week - from February 1st to the 7th - you better damn well know I'd be trying a least a few of these babies listed below.
La Poutine Week is a seven-day, city-wide food fest created by Montreal foodies Na’eem Adam and Thierry Rassam. Twenty-five restaurants across the city will be serving poutines, each for $10 or less. The fest is also a contest and diners can vote for their favourite dishes online, and at week’s end one Toronto poutine will be crowned the city’s best.
Here’s a list of participating restaurants, plus short descriptions of their innovative takes on the Canadian dish:
Boots ‘n’ Bourbon: The Honky Tonk
Pulled beef brisket, Quebec cheese curds, Cajun-spiced fries, gravy, horseradish mayo and scallions. $10.
725 Queen St. E., 647-348-0880
Caplansky’s Delicatessen: The Jew-Tine
Smoked-meat poutine topped with crispy onion straws. $10.
356 College St., 416-500-3852
Duke’s Refresher: Breakfast Poutine
Crispy fries, sausage, bacon, pulled pork, gravy, cheese curds, two eggs and special sauce. $10.
382 Yonge St., 416-979-8529
Fancy Franks: Fancy Schmancy Poutine
Fries, beef ribs, cheese curds, grilled onions, gravy, fried egg and scallions. $10.
326 College St., 416-920-3647
GameDay on College: Buffalo Chicken Poutine
Fries, Cajun panko-crusted chicken tenders, Quebec cheese curds and Buffalo-infused brown gravy. $10.
614 College St., 647-349-9464
Great Burger Kitchen: Bawk-Bawk Suey Poutine
Fries, Ontario cheese curds and chicken braised with soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar and chillies. $10.
1056 Gerrard St. E., 416-778-0111
Hogtown Smoke: Quadruple Pig-Pass
Fries, pulled pork, deep-fried pork-belly cubes, candied bacon, one pork back rib, Quebec curds and bone-marrow gravy. $10.
1959 Queen St. E., 416-691-9009
Holy Chuck: Love the Bone
Fries, braised and pulled veal cheek, veal cheek gravy, brie cheese, roasted and confit cipollini onions in wild blueberry juice, and roasted bone marrow. $10.
1450 Yonge St., 416-962-4825
La Société: P’ink
Fries, ham hock, tarragon, manchego cheese and squid ink aioli. $10.
131 Bloor St. W., 416-551-9929
Lisa Marie: Pad Thai Fries
Fries, secret sauce, bean sprouts, lime and cilantro. $10.
638 Queen St. W., 416-999-6822
Lou Dawgs BBQ: The Mighty Loutine
Fries, homemade gravy, Quebec cheese curds and slow-smoked pulled pork. $8.
589 King St. W., 647-347-3294
MerryBerry Café and Bistro: The Drunken Shroom
Seasoned potato wedges, French beans, mushroom–white wine sauce, goat cheese and walnuts. $10.
559 Parliament St., 647-348-0411
Rock Lobster Ossington: Lobster Poutine
Fries, Quebec cheese curds, Nova Scotia Lobster and lobster-bisque gravy. $10.
110 Ossington Ave., 416-533-1800
Slab Burgers: Poutine Double Down
Fries, house-ground beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, Quebec cheese curds, house gravy and peppers. $10.
47 Charles St. W., 647-350-5883
The Indie Alehouse: The Oxen-ator
Fries, IPA-braised oxtail, cheese curds and beef gravy on rosemary pizza crust. $10.
2876 Dundas St. W., 416-760-9691
The Lakeview: Disco Fries
Fries, melted cheddar and havarti, beef or mushroom gravy. $10.
1132 Dundas St. W., 416-850-8886
The Saint: St. Poutine
Fries, cheddar cheese curds, grilled thick-cut bacon, sour cream and bacon gravy. $10.
227 Ossington Ave., 647-350-2100
The Thompson Diner: Braised Beef Poutine
Poutine topped with ancho-braised beef short ribs. $10.
550 Wellington St. W., 416-601-3533
Toma Burger Addiction: Toma Poutine
Fries, truffle olive oil, double-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, fresh cheese curds and homemade gravy. $8.
712 Queen St. W., 416-901-1027
Triple A Bar: Texas Smoked Brisket Poutine
Fries, cheese curds, gravy and Texas-style smoked brisket
138 Adelaide St. E., 416-850-2726
Yakitori Bar: Beef Tongue Kimchi Poutine
Fries, caramelized kimchi, beef tongue and Japanese mayo. $10.
1 Baldwin St., 647-748-0083