I’ve never been to a Poutine Festival before, so I was pretty pumped to check out Ottawa PoutineFest with Byron last Friday. It was a little after 6 when we arrived at the PoutineFest grounds in front of City Hall and while it was busy it wasn’t quite as nuts as I thought it would be, which actually wasn’t a bad thing. I have been to various food festivals before where I have spent more time waiting in line than anything else and that can really take the fun out of it.
We did a lap of all of the food trucks to see what our options were before making any decisions and it was quite impressive to see all of the different types of poutine at the event. It was hard to make a decision but the first poutine we opted for was the Bacon Double Cheeseburger Poutine from Fat Les’s Chip Stand; in part because it sounded really good, but also because there was a sign telling me it was award-winning poutine and then also because there was a little pig on the truck that I thought was kind of cute.
It was a fairly hefty portion of poutine, which I think is appropriate considering it carried a $12 price tag. The poutine was tasty, I really liked the bacon, cheddar cheese and burger meat. Those are all things that work really well with fries, cheese curds and gravy, so you can’t really go wrong.
For our second poutine we decided to try something a little more unique, so we opted for The Helder Poutine, which is goat simmered in a Caribbean curry, from the Caribbean Cruiser. This time we had the option to choose a smaller portion for $10, which we gladly did.
The curry itself was quite delicious; it was wonderfully spicy and had a very unique flavour. We thought that the curry worked pretty well as a poutine, but unfortunately the fries didn’t seem to be fully cooked or properly seasoned. So while the curry was tasty, if you don’t have the proper foundation of really good, crispy French fries then it just throws the whole thing off.
We had gone into PoutineFest wanting to try 3 different poutines, however after finishing our second one, we were both pretty full. We agreed that we would have liked some sort of fresh fruit or vegetable option at that point, but not surprisingly that didn’t seem to be an option at PoutineFest.
We also thought that it would be nice if all of the vendors sold smaller poutines with a cheaper price tag. That way you could try a greater variety of poutines. If I was there by myself I certainly would have only been able to try one poutine before tapping out. Even with the 2 of us, 2 was all we could manage, as poutine is just so rich and filling.
Overall I had a lovely time at my first PoutineFest; it was a beautiful evening in Ottawa and a fun way to indulge in some delicious eats.