la belle patate
As far as I’m concerned, La Belle Patate is the reigning champ of poutine in Vancouver. I’ve mentioned it before in other posts featuring upstart poutines seeking to take La Belle’s crown, but none of them come close. Located on Davie Street, this small restaurant is a bit out of the way for me, but it’s worth it every time I’m in the area or decide to go.
La Belle Patate has many, many varieties of poutine on its menu, featuring roast beef, chicken, and that other specialty of la belle province, smoked meat. This one is a poutine in the traditional style, with fries, gravy, and cheese curds. I believe that La Belle uses vegetarian gravy for their poutines, so as long as they don’t order one with a meat topping, vegetarians can enjoy these delicious morsels with the rest of us!
So what makes La Belle’s poutine that much better than the other’s I’ve tried? In a word, the cheese. La Belle manages to keep its cheese curds squeaky every time. I hear they’re flown in from Quebec. That’s pretty unenvironmental, but it’s the kind of detail that keeps a restaurant on top of its game. The curd also don’t melt, despite being coated in hot gravy. I’m kind of disappointed when I order poutine, bite into a curd and it doesn’t squeak. Even more disappointing when the curds melt into a gooey mess like so many shreds of store-bought mozzarella. This particular visit, La Belle’s fryer was probably overdue for an oil swap, as the fries came out pretty dark, and not the overcooked dark either. But every other time the fries have been spot-on, so I’ll call it an anomaly.
If you’ve never tried poutine, I definitely suggest you go and try it, and try it here. However, as of late there have been new arrivals into Vancouver’s poutine scene (hey that rhymes), including Montreal import Dunn’s Famous and another chain from out east, Smoke’s Poutinerie. These could be legitimate competition, but I’ll have to visit and put them to the test. Until then, La Belle Patate can keep its crown.
La Belle Patate
1215 Davie Street