Monday, January 24, 2011

La Belle Patate

Address: 1215 Esquimalt Road
Phone: 250-220-8427
Price: $5-15
Notes: Good old fashioned hangover food that is not open on Sundays.

La Belle Patate

I've been hearing that La Belle Patate is "the best poutine in town" for a few months now. In the name of RESEARCH I was compelled to check it out. I do like poutine, although usually I feel guilty for eating it because there's absolutely nothing healthy about it, not even a little. But, Belle Patate does have a few poutines served with vegetables which clearly balances things out. Ha!

I have to say, I was quite disappointed with my first try, but it was a Saturday, they were slammed and I got the impression that the staff were new so I'm curious to go back during the week and try again. Seems like they might be a victim of their own success a little bit...the seating and space use was far too small to accommodate the number of diners and take out orders they had. So I'm holding off agreeing with the "best poutine" designation for now.

I think this is actually a chain, as a quick google discovered a very similar place in Vancouver. For the record, they not only have Poutine but smoked meat sandwiches, spruce beer, steamie hot dogs and burgers.

Also, apparently it's pronounced "poo-tin" not "poo-teen." Learn something new every day!

As I said, it was Saturday, and they were more than a bit busy. Still - it took a good 15 minutes to get my order which seems a bit weird since you basically take fries, add cheese and gravy and serve. I think perhaps they could use some work flow analysis ala mcdonalds to streamline things a little bit, but that's probably the organization nerd in me talking.

Enh. I'm sad to say it, but it was kind of meh. Firstly, I tried the spruce beer. I anticipated it would be like  Boylan's Birch Beer which is like a tasty rootbeer. When I saw it was $3.50 a bottle, I got really excited because that's freaking expensive for a can of pop so it must be REALLY good.  Except it wasn't. It was basically green cream soda in a teeny-tiny bottle. So sad! However, if you like cream soda and/or were from Quebec it might be worth it.

The poutine was okay, but the cheese wasn't melted at all. That is such a fundamental element of poutine for me... perhaps I just ate it too fast and it just didn't have time to soften. I opted for the Charlie Special poutine which had ground beef, and fresh jalapenos on top. The jalapenos were good, but I'm not sure about the beef mixed in. Next time I would try just the plain, or perhaps the house special which I think has bacon (and if it doesn't, it should!).


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