I was lucky enough to snatch one of the 400 tickets to the first annual Poutine Cup in Winnipeg. Fort Gibraltar, a historic site in the French quarter of the city, hosted, and the folks at Charcoal Collaborative were the brains behind the operation. Ten restaurants participated and came up with an equal number of mouthwatering poutine creations. From fries soaked in pickle brine, to house made cheese, all of the restaurants brought their “A” game. Half Pints, a local craft brewery, sponsored the event and offered samples of their St. James Pale Ale and Oktoberfest lager.
Diversity’s “The Definitely Not Vegan” paired with Half Pint’s Oktoberfest lager.
Ready to dig into the Cornerstone’s “Nacho Ordinary Fries”.
The evening couldn’t have been better, with a friendly, low-key atmosphere, ideal location, fantastic food and drinks, and an abundance of Bothwell cheese curds. I started off with great vigor and plowed through the first five vendors, but had to slow down and share the remaining dishes due to a looming food coma. The weather was also in everyone’s favour, providing a crisp fall-like breeze to aid digestion with only a trickle of rain midway through. Towards the end of the night, the Pink Socks got on stage while the ballots were being counted and the judges made their final decision.
Bernstein’s interpretation of a reuben – poutine style.
Aaron from Bernstein’s dishes out some delicious grainy mustard beef gravy.
The Grove’s decadent spin on poutine, featuring pulled duck confit and a sour cherry glaze.
In the end, MAW’s won the Judge’s choice with “The Schwartz”, and Marion Street Eatery’s “The Sweet n’ Salty” stole the hearts of the crowd, winning People’s choice. The event was a success and after all the poutine was eaten, the last drops of Oktoberfest were sipped, and goodbyes were said to familiar faces, I had to be rolled home. Needless to say, my poutine cravings have been put to rest for the time being, but I’ll be raring to go for next year’s cup and I can’t wait to see what else Charcoal Collaborative has up their sleeve.
Warming up by the fire enjoying Pizzeria Gusto’s beef osso buco gravy smothered poutine.
“The Gluten Free Vegan”
Miso gravy, tofu ‘feta’, pea shoots, and peas.
“The Definitely Not Vegan”
Smoked gravy, turkey skin seasoning, and house made cheese.
Promenade Café and Wine
Half Pints Stir Stick braised short rib, smoked cheese curds, and bone marrow gravy.
House corned beef, sauerkraut, grainy mustard beef gravy, and cheese curds.
“Nacho Ordinary Fries”
House chorizo, nacho cheese sauce, Bothwell cheese curds, diced tomatoes, scallions, and charred scallion aioli.
The Tallest Poppy
Chicken gravy, fried chicken bits, and cheese curds.
Marion Street Eatery
“The Sweet n’ Salty”
Bothwell cheese curds, apple onion relish, Jack Daniel’s gravy, goat cheese, and spicy bacon and candy almond crumble.
Beef osso buco gravy, fresh Bothwell squeakers, and gremolata.
“The Family Meal”
Chorizo, smoked hock gravy, and Bothwell cheese curds.
MAW’s Eatery & Bar
Dill pickle fries, caraway smoked cheese curds, mustard, and beef brisket gravy.
Magical truffled gravy, Bothwell white cheddar curds, pulled duck confit, sour cherry glaze, and duck crackling.