Wednesday, January 27, 2010

La Belle Patate - Vancouver's Best (Authentic) Poutine on Davie

The Best Poutine on Davie Street Part 1 of 4


video


This is the first vlog for Follow Me Foodie. My quest for the best poutine on Davie Street started off at La Belle Patate. For the next episode please subscribe to the Follow Me Foodie youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/FollowMeFoodie or visit back for updates!


The Quest for the BEST POUTINE on Davie Street Part 2


To launch the 1st Follow Me Foodie video blog this review/post will be the post for Wednesday and Thursday. The following is the written review as well as more details about La Belle Patate that are not included in the video.


Restaurant: La Belle Patate

Cuisine: Canadian/French/Fast Food
Last visited: January 7, 2010
Area: Vancouver, BC (Downtown/West End)
1215 Davie Street
Price Range
: $10 or less


1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5.5 (Based on just the original poutine)
Service: n/a
(Due to this special review, I'm biased)

Ambiance: 4

Overall: 5

Additional comments:

  • Owner Pascal Cornier from Montreal, Quebec
  • Specializes in poutine
  • Very authentic
  • Recently opened
  • Original location in Victoria, BC
  • Offers 30 different kinds of poutine
  • Offers vegetarian poutine - Traditional poutine is vegetarian
  • Fresh, made upon order
  • Fast food
  • Take out/Dine in
  • Open daily 11am-late

**Recommendation: Traditional Poutine (only thing I've tried)


The Topic: Quest for Vancouver's BEST Poutine on Davie Street

The Contestants: La Belle Patate, La Brasserie, Fritz European Fry House


4 Poutines later, the results are in!


My quest for Vancouver's Best Poutine on Davie Street started off at La Belle Patate!


In terms of authentic French-Canadian poutine, I’d have to give 1st place to La Belle Patate. It’s pretty much the real deal in terms of authentic poutine. However this doesn’t necessarily mean it was the best tasting…for that you have to keep watching/following my video series!


I discovered La Belle Patate driving up Davie Street and from the outside it kind of looks like hole in the wall. I thought it was a take-out only kind of place, but I was really surprised with the inside. It’s actually very spacious and there’s actually a nice sitting area that makes it more of a “dine-in” kind of place rather than simply “eat-in”.


My expectations started to rise as I saw a Montreal Canadian flag hanging and I also heard the owner speaking French. I knew I was in for a very authentic poutine. The menu is extensive and they offer 30 kinds of poutine. There’s a lot of different styles of poutine and a lot of meat options, so I was very surprised to learn that their traditional poutine was actually vegetarian!


What is Poutine?


Using the most common definition a poutine is fries, cheese and gravy. However the real authentic definition of a poutine is fries, cheese curds (specifically fresh cheddar cheese curds), and poutine sauce or “gravy”. (Some people will object to the word “gravy” – but it’s supposed to be a chicken based sauce).


On the table:

This is not representable of what is actually ordered. I'm so embarrassed...I forgot to take my picture before I started eating it. I didn't follow my usual routine because this was for the video blog.


Traditional Poutine 5.5/6

  • Small $5.50 Medium $7.50 Large $9.50
  • The fries were hand cut, skin on, Red Potatoes and very fresh. They were a bit thicker cut with a crispy outside and very soft and fluffy inside.
  • The fries were completely covered in gravy and the bottom layer got a bit soggy, but that’s expected.
  • To my surprise, I was very surprised…the “gravy” or as they call it the “poutine sauce” is actually completely vegetarian. It wasn't obvious it was vegetarian unless you knew. It’s a wheat based sauce and it carries a shine, so it gives the illusion of being a bit oily or greasy. It is salty and it still has a meaty flavour so I was surprised to hear it was vegetarian. I'm pretty sure it's thickened with quite a bit of cornstarch because it's pretty thick and jelly-like or glutinous in texture.
  • They do offer meat “gravy” or meat “poutine sauce” and it’s under the name of “BBQ” – so anything with the words “BBQ” will be meat based. I actually want to try that and do another comparison.
  • I didn't get to try the "BBQ Poutine" at La Belle Patate. I wish I did because I actually feel like that version should have been the "Traditional Poutine".
  • Cheese curds
    • The cheese curds are the best cheese curds I’ve had in Vancouver so far. The cheese curds are definitely the highlight here. They’re very fresh and they squeak when you chew them. A sign of very fresh curds!
    • They’re really generous with them and there are big chunks of it and they don’t lose their texture or shape because they don’t melt. Yes they don’t melt, so don’t expect the ooey gooey stinginess you may be used to. An authentic poutine isn’t supposed to have cheese curds that melt because that would mean they are using mozzarella.
    • He gets them in from the Fraser Valley and it’s not even a mozzarella or a white cheddar cheese. It’s actually called “cheese curd” and it has the texture of very firm mozzarella so I thought it was a white cheddar cheese, but it’s not. The flavour is similar to mozzarella, but a bit deeper and it's so firm it breaks apart when you chew it.
    • I really love how they served them in foil to-go containers. It was perfect! It literally retained heat until my project was done...2 hours later!
  • A few things that bothered me…
    • I really think they should call the “Traditional Poutine” a vegetarian poutine and then the “BBQ Poutine” the traditional poutine…for me, a real traditional and authentic poutine should be meat based sauce.
    • The cheese curds are super squeaky and fresh, but from my research and knowledge an authentic poutine should have white cheddar cheese curds.

Added note: This review is a little different because it was for my video blog. Therefore the food at La Belle Patate was complimentary, (although I did offer to pay) but my opinions are still honest and as non-biased as I can be. The opinions and views expressed in "The Quest for Vancouver's Best Poutine on Davie Street" review and video are those of Follow Me Foodie/Mijune only. There is no paid advertising and as always I write for the benefit of the customers and not for the restaurants.


La Belle Patate on Urbanspoon

15 comments:

  1. Very good start, Mijune. I am impressed with your creativity. I am sure this series will be a hit!
    Ben

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  2. CONGRATS ON YOUR FIRST VLOG BABE!!! I'm so excited for you!! The vlog looks amazing! And that vegetarian poutine sounds really good, I'll def have try it one day. Looking forward to the meet+eat+greet later today - see you then! xo

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  3. Oh, the quest begins and I can't help but to say I love it. Congratulations!

    As for authenticity, I have two Quebeçois friends (one from Quebec and one from Montreal) and *both* endorse their final product. One of them have even brough his kids so they can experience what he believes is the real deal - of course, without having to leave BC!

    Now, me being a poutine noob myself (when I went there it was my third time), I found the fact the cheese did not melt worked better than my previous instances where it ended up being stringy. I found out that some people did not like that fact (i.e.., it did not melt) because they are used to the melting version found in some other local shops. Hey, I love that squeakiness!

    Whether you consider this to be the best at the end of the day (or not), one thing you can't deny: they are proud of their product - and you can almost taste it!

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  4. you just made me SO hungry! i love poutine. even ny fries or kfc poutine is good nuf for me! lol

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  5. Lol thanks guys!

    It's so good to hear all your comments and have your continuous support. I was nervous/excited to put this out there and now with this encouragement I am just excited.

    Thank you again.

    Kim - yes I like the squeakiness too and I'm glad to hear that your Montreal/Quebec friends agree that it is VERY authentic!! I would hate to hear if they said no...then I'd be like "oh crap" lol!

    Tia - I won't judge! KFC does there thing fine as well :) I'm so glad i made you hungry! That was my main point!!

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  6. Very cool. I have been on a poutine bender lately but I haven't tried this place yet. I will definitely have to check it out asap.

    Great idea for the video! I look forward to more.

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  7. Great job with the video! Looking forward to more footage in your reviews. I've only had poutine once and it was at Animal in LA (which I reviewed), and it was very good and rich. It was served with oxtail gravy and white cheddar, and toasted garlic bread for scooping up the gravy. The vegetarian one you tried looks impressive with those huge cheese curds. And I like how they packaged it in the foil container to make for easy reheating.

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  8. Thanks Darina! Yes! If you're craving poutine you'll be craving it for the next 3 weeks until the series is done :D....me on the other hand was not craving it after 4 poutines in 2 hours lol.

    Daniel - that sounds delish!! Actually I'm really surprised only one place serves it....it almost sounds more American than Canadian if you know what I mean lol

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  9. Let's see how many times you can say "poutine" in 48 seconds!

    Poutine is one of those weird things that is both entirely disgusting but just so delicious. Great video.

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  10. Lol!! I have never used that word so many times in my life!

    and yes you are right!! Now imagine eating 4 in 2 hours...I FELT DISGUSTING!! But...it was delicious!!!...at the moment...i felt it after though...

    Thanks for posting Ed!

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  11. im following you.. follow me back!

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  12. Mijune! Congrats, nice vlog! Wow, now you will have the most detailed, longest posts AND vlogs. Whats next? And you have caused me to crave poutine now - if this lasts, I will be blaming you. Jonathan

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  13. Hi Jonathan! Thanks so much!! hahah I love that the video makes people crave the food...I'm going to get close ups of the food next time :)

    Yeeeaahhh I don't know how I can say so much about fries...? I sometimes think I'm the only one that reads my blog lol

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  14. Wow... you just made me wanna go out and get a poutine. Now the debate is whether I should actually get one.. consider how unhealthy it can be :P

    Great Vblog, congradulations!

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  15. Thanks Jenny!! Your support means a lot!

    I had 4 poutines in 2 hours that day!!! Imagine how unhealthy I felt lol

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