Calgary’s 2nd Annual Poutine Crawl was last Saturday.
I had heard about it last year but missed out, and just managed to grab a ticket this year, because someone cancelled.
The crawl consists of: 1 party bus, 50 people, 6 restaurants, 6 sampler sized portions of poutine – which in fact = 3 pounds of poutine.
That’s a lot of cheese. And gravy. And fries.
The crawl started at Brava Bistro on 17th Avenue. I didn’t want to pay for parking, so I parked for free on the street but it meant that I ran to Brava. In heels. But it was probably a good thing as I was about to ingest 3 pounds of poutine.
This year’s crawl partnered with Yelp Calgary. This is Wendy. She is the Community Manager at Yelp. I didn’t get a picture of her shoes, but they were chunky sparkly heels. Everyone kept looking at us as we passed by (though I’m fairly certain the party bus at 2 in the afternoon was a little odd as well)
So if you had a smart phone (not me!) you could check in to places on Yelp and be entered to win a couple of really sweet prizes. Which doesn’t arm me with a desire to get a smart phone, but I’d acknowledge that it would probably come in handy. My bus buddy (as per our twitter conversation) was John Smiley (otherwise known as Mr YYC), so this poutine crawl was otherwise known as an afternoon of getting to know John. A key quote that kept me laughing? “I had a bypass when I was young and they removed my ability to feel shame.” He decided that he was also going to find out what alcoholic drink went best with poutine. He did white wine, red wine, dark and light beer and then shots. I’m not sure which one went best with poutine. (Nor was I willing to find out)
First stop: Brava Bistro. They had a lobster poutine. No gravy, lots of butter. And lobster.
How can you go wrong?
Lobster poutine is on Brava’s menu and is really good. Not something I would eat all the time… but you can’t count calories on a poutine crawl. Brava was also really nice to cover people’s drinks. (Also, the official winner of this year’s crawl)
Next up, was Notable. They don’t actually serve poutine, but they made one to be part of the crawl. Their poutine was covered in pulled pork and shredded cheese. It was good, but not my favourite. Though I do love Notable. Their chicken is really good. (This photo is actually John’s dish, as mine was already mostly empty)
We then headed to District, one of my favourite places downtown for food. They have a bucket of bacon (though I’ve never tried it). I brought my roommates there a while back because they hadn’t been. District used smoked pork andouille sausage especially for their poutine. Along with house cut fries, District is a great choice for poutine (or anything else on their menu. I love that they are local)
We then headed to Bistro 2210, last year’s winner of the poutine crawl. It’s duck confit poutine, so if you weren’t a duck fan this wasn’t the poutine for you. This was probably the most traditional of poutines, with cheese curds from Quebec and gravy. This was my pick for best poutine though Brava was a close second. Julie stopped by here, straight from feeding famous people at the Comicon. This is also where CTV stopped by to get footage of the crawl.
Up the crazy Edmonton Trail hill to Diner Deluxe for a breakfast poutine. Potato and sweet potato hashbrowns smothered in hollandaise sauce. It was good, but not poutine really. Diner Deluxe is a great place for breakfast though. Though the line is usually forty five minutes long on Sunday mornings.
Our last stop was the Ship and Anchor. Complete with Mike Morrison (Mike’s Bloggity Blog) on the patio (I’m sure he was just waiting for us). Ship and Anchor gave us free Wild Rose beer tickets and poutine that was dowsed in peppercorn gravy and topped with tenderloin. I wasn’t a fan of the peppercorn gravy, but this isn’t the Ship’s regular poutine either. (Light provided by Reg Tianga, as my flashed over-exposed the photo)
Okay, so here is the vital part of this post. (Mostly for my friends who were like, why didn’t you let me know??) The crawl is organized by Karen Richards and I found out about it by Twitter. (Karen is @socialgrrrl on Twitter). There is also a Facebook Group. And that’s it. That’s all the warning you get. So maybe next year I’ll see you there?
Also… I’ve been eating mostly salad this week.