Next week is Toronto Poutine Week (no, really, it is!)
Poutine, the Celine Dion of greasy snack food, used to be a quirky French Canadian oddity. Now it’s a North American obsession, available at McDonald’s outlets countrywide—and on just about every trendy Toronto menu. The city’s poutine fascination hit a fever pitch last summer when foodie start-up Joylister launched a daylong poutine festival, which sold out in under two minutes and left hundreds of enthusiasts salivating on the sidelines. Lucky for them, Toronto now has an entire week devoted to meaty, cheesy, unconventional takes on gravy-slathered fries. La Poutine Week is a seven-day, city-wide food fest created by Montreal foodies Na’eem Adam and Thierry Rassam. From February 1st until the 7th, 25 hotspots across the city will be serving a motley mix of poutines, each for $10 or less. The fest is also a contest: 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 fries-curds-gravy equation.
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.
9 Church St., 416-504-8494
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