Recently, I was trying to sell my old car, as I had replaced it with a slightly newer and much lower mileage model. This is not a metaphor. The new car will do me many years of service, as had the lovely British Racing Green one. But for some reason the rest of the world hadn't understood how simple awesome my old car was. One of my best friends offered to re-write my Used Victoria ad, in return for poutine when the car sold.
Well, it finally sold at the end of February, to a car enthusiast whose very happy to race around in it and give the extra love and care it needs. And my friend got her poutine dinner.
In Victoria, the Daddy of Poutine is La Belle Patate in Esquimalt. It's been described as the best poutine west of Montreal by one emigrant from Montreal. It's grungy, it's out of the way, but serves piping hot tubs of gravy laden cheese curds and fries that warm your belly and make you feel alive. I highly recommend taking it out to eat at Saxe Point at watching the cruise ships go by, and realizing that life is damn wonderful.
But, I'd seen somewhere a link to Poutine 66 in Quadra village, and convinced my friend to try somewhere new. We took the short drive there from down town (in the new wheels) and dove into the store before anything bad could happen. I don't know why, but Quadra village has this reputation for being sketchy. I've lived in London... it's possibly less sketchy than most of that city, but for Victoria, I suppose it's just a little worn. Or real, as you could define it.
I digress. Food. You can get Poutine. Or poutine with extras. I got the Montreal Smoked poutine, in regular size for under $10. Big fries, lashing of gravy, chunky cubes of salty beef and big fat peas, with a bit of friend onion chucked in for good measure. All with that all important handful of cheese curds. Melting into a gooey mess around the potatoes and merging into the gravy. It's not for your diet. It's central heating and comfort food. It was bloody great, except that certain 'squeak' of the curds just was not quite there.
My friend had the original recipe. Gravy, curds, fries. Same fantastic flavour and consistency, less salty and also missing the 'squeak'. If it wasn't for that little detail, this would be 10/10 and mean a trip to Esquimalt was less necessary for poutine. Instead, for quantity and value, it is one mark shy of perfect. Seriously will consider it again when I need to comfort food pig out (and I'm out of baked beans on toast at home), but not quite enough to tell people 'you HAVE to go there'.