Poutine is a very Québécois dish that includes French fries slathered in cheese curds and stick-to-your-ribs brown gravy sauce. It is especially satisfying during the chilly winter months.
There are actually a few poutine establishments in Vancouver that offer this tasty snack. La Belle Patate (on Davie Street & Bute) is an authentic poutine restaurant that serves 30 different varieties poutine. You expect a restaurant to be good when they specialize in one dish. Another aspect that compliments its authenticity is they carry beer direct from Montreal.
At La Belle Patate, you place your order at the counter, then grab a seat and your poutine will be served to you.
Not quite sure what happened to our order, perhaps the cashier forgot to tell the cook, or maybe they gave our poutine away to someone else. But after approximately 15-20 minutes, and noticing other customers who had arrived after us, receiving their pouting before us, we thought we’d better mosey up to the counter to see what the deal was.
We were in no hurry and didn’t really mind either way, but the cashier responds to Gary in an accusatory way: “What? Are you sure you didn’t get your poutine yet?” Uh yes, why would we lie. “We’re sitting right over there” says Gary, as he points to me across the room with clearly nothing in front of me. “Well, then you should have asked sooner“, he says. Attempting to place blame on the customer for your mistake, is probably not the most professional reaction.
When our poutine finally arrived, it was pretty tasty – although the fries were a tad on the soggy side, and some were slightly raw. I prefer my fries nice and crispy, but that’s just me. The gravy was savory, thick and hearty. The cheese curds were very fresh and didn’t melt, which was expected. An authentic poutine isn’t supposed to have cheese curds that melt because that would mean they were using an nontraditional poutine cheese like mozzarella.
I assume the cashier felt badly about the situation because he later gave us a card for ‘free poutine’ and Pepsi. The gesture was much appreciated, however, we haven’t returned to redeem our poutine. Don’t let our experience stop you from trying the restaurant. Perhaps you might love La Belle Patate if you love authentic poutine.