Tag Archives: poutine

Poutine and Simple Joys

As someone has dutifully reminded me, I have never fully reported upon my recent trip to Whistler. As I’ve been a tad more political in my posts of late, today seems like as good of a day as any to let you know how the trip went, and bring a bit of simple foodie pleasure back to this site.

First and foremost, I need to acknowledge the picture up above. It’s poutine, which I’ve talked about before on this site. Poutine is one of those meals that if you’re concerned about your health, you should only eat once or twice a year. It’s basically French Fries, covered with cheese curds, with a healthy dose of gravy. Consider this dish the Canadian equivalent of cheese on a stick — Except that it tastes better.

I have now decided that I will look up a plate of the stuff every time I head to Canada, which, thankfully for my heart, is only once or twice a year.

I realize I may get some grief for enjoying a meal that is essentially enjoyed by folks after they’ve imbibed more than an adequate amount of beer, but it’s a bullet I’m ready to take. Eating this outdoors, when it’s a brisk 55 degrees F out, is a wonderful simple pleasure. Why oh why hasn’t poutine caught on below the 48th Parallel?

Dinners at Whistler are okay. I had a decent seafood chowder, and a nice German meal. But generally I find the restaurants overpriced for the food that one gets. Alas, this is what happens when you go to a tourist attraction for people with a fair amount of disposable income.

I will say that I enjoy the lunches up there far more than the dinners. Reasonably priced and quite good. Especially the Lamb Burger I had. Lesson learned here? Bean sprouts go remarkably well on a burger.

That’s pretty much all there was to the trip. I was up there for three days, had some decent meals, watched some mountain bikers, took some really decent pictures, and walked a whole lot. This is my idea of what a vacation should entail — with less mountain bikers.

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Poutine and the Ski Resort

I found true, honest-to-goodness, Canadian Cuisine. No, it’s not Tim Horton’s, but rather a dish that sticks to the ribs of the Quebecois and others across the Great White North.

I’m talking about poutine (pronounced poo-TEEN, which is critical, as if you mispronounce it, you end up accidentally calling someone a whore). It is a mixture of French fries with fresh cheddar cheese curds, covered with hot gravy. Of course, I had to get to the top of Whistler Mountain to get this dish.

I’ve never had poutine before, as I am nothing more than a ignorant american. The only thing we yanks put on fries is ketchup…or chili and cheese. But I do know this about poutine. If you make it with shredded cheese or cheese slices, you have blasphemed the tradition that is poutine. Cheddar Cheese curd and gravy. Anything else is to be considered faux poutine.

The food here at the ski village is exactly what you would expect…several pub houses, your basic fast food chains for the ski rats who have little money, and upper class joints that can run you up to $100 (Canadian) for two. Very little in the way of small businesses aimed at those who have little money.

Lynn and I ended up (between movies) at a place called “Kypriaki Norte”, a mediterranean place chock full of greek goodness. We decided to do it Tapas-style, focusing on the appetizers.

Tamara Tarama, Tuna Carpaccio, Beef Carpaccio, Dolmades, and Baked Brie with Garlic all crossed our plates. It was the type of meal that makes one want to shake with joy and bliss. If you think about this food too much, you simply start crying. Of course, this reaction may be due to the several martinis (or in my case, the Black Magic Martini) that we had imbibed.

And to finish it off? Creme Caramel with an orange citrus glaze. Lynn did the Caramel dance, to the amusement of the wait staff.

When in Whistler, don’t expect “authentic” anything. It’s a ski resort after all, whose clientele basically consists of wealthy folks looking to kill off a weekend. So no authentic Sushi, no authentic Greek, no authentic italian…but possibly authentic poutine.