By: Gabriella Dunn
Six poutines, three restaurants, two people, one week. Did my partner and I take the fact I was writing a poutine review a little too seriously? Maybe. Was it still fun sharing six poutines in one week? That answer is also not direct.
Finding a poutine in Edmonton is like trying to find a donair, because most of the time, they’re served at the same place. With almost every city corner available for my review, I began searching for possible restaurants that looked intriguing. I wanted to try restaurants with different vibes, price ranges, and flavours. I settled on La Poutine, Tastii, and Mike’s Famous.
(8720 109 St NW)
La Poutine is a classic poutine restaurant located in the heart of Edmonton. The restaurant has a cute interior design made to look like a cabin. It is decorated with the Alberta French Flag and with local awards. The menu offers a wide selection of poutines that can be accommodated to almost any dietary restriction, including vegan, vegetarian, dairy and gluten-free.
While there, my partner and I settled on the Meat Lovers and Traditional poutine and went back to their apartment to watch cartoons. The total came to around $28.
We both collectively rated the Meat Lovers poutine the worst poutine we tried. This does not mean the poutine itself was that bad; we just had better poutines later on. We both thought the fries and gravy were good, but the cheese curds didn’t really melt, and the meat flavour was a little overpowering (ironic, I’m aware).
To elaborate on the meat flavour, it was extremely salty, and each bite tasted like the smell of iron. Overall the Meat Lovers poutine was edible, but not something I would recommend getting.
We both thought Traditional Poutine was a lot better than the first. Nothing about this poutine mainly stuck out, but it was definitely a great classic poutine. The amount of cheese, gravy, and fries were all proportional, and it is definitely a dish I would order again. Overall, I would describe this poutine as a good, safe choice.
Tastii Donair & Pizza
9520 163 St NW
Tastii Donair & Pizza is a small, family-owned donair, pizza, and poutine restaurant located on 163rd street.
As it was only a block away from my old high school, I was surprised I had never heard of this place. I would describe the aesthetic similar to a local diner, with many tables and arcade games that would be perfect for customers post COVID-19. The atmosphere was welcoming, and their menu consisted of a wide variety of options for whatever craving you have.
Their poutine menu offers vegetarian and halal options for those with dietary restrictions. The price range was around the same as La Poutine, coming in at about $28 for the two of us. A notable menu item that we didn’t end up trying was the dessert poutine, made with funnel fries and icing sugar.
We decided on the Donair and Butter Chicken poutine and continued our routine of watching cartoons as we ate.
We both thought the Donair poutine was the best poutine we tried. The donair sauce and meat were terrific. The fries, gravy, and cheese ratio were proportionate. The only critique we had about this particular dish was the use of crinkle fries, as they were not as good as the ones at La Poutines or Mike’s Famous. Overall, this restaurant has a lovely atmosphere with fantastic food. I definitely recommend this restaurant if you’re in the West Edmonton area.
I would describe the Butter Chicken poutine as ok. Not too bad, but not that great. There weren’t many flaws to it, but I think butter chicken is not that great as poutine. The butter chicken itself was pretty good; it just did not pair well with cheese curds and crinkle fries.
I should’ve known this would be a weary choice, as the owners were genuinely surprised someone was ordering this poutine!
10526 82 Ave NW
Mike’s Famous is a reasonably big restaurant located on Whyte Ave. With the store open till 4am, the place gives off an ‘I had a couple beers, it’s 1am, and I need a poutine’ vibe. The menu offers a wide variety of donairs, poutines, and burgers but has no accommodations for those with dietary restrictions.
The total price for our poutines was around $16 each, making Mike’s Famous the most expensive restaurant we visited.
We chose the Onion Ring and Sweet Potato poutine and once again went back to their place to watch cartoons.
Our thoughts on the Onion Ring poutine are highly positive. This poutine was a close tie was Tastii’s Donair poutine, flavorful with a good balance of cheese and gravy. The cheese was for sure melted by the time we started eating it because they used grated cheese along with cheese curds. You can never go wrong with mixing two extremely unhealthy foods in a dish together. Next time I’m near Whyte, I will definitely consider having this poutine again.
I personally found the Sweet Potato poutine to be pretty bland, as the flavours kind of blended together. It wasn’t the worst poutine we had, but I definitely would not order it again. The sweet potato fries paired with the mass amounts of salt and cheese were not the best combination. This poutine was yet another dish I would rate as edible but would not recommend.
Over the course of a week, my partner and I enjoyed many poutines from a wide range of restaurants around the city. To rank the poutines in order of preference: the Donair poutine would be the best, then the Onion Ring, Traditional, Butter Chicken, Sweet Potato, and finally the Meat Lovers poutine coming in at dead last.
My favourite restaurant we visited was Tastii: Donair and Pizza. If you’re ever in West Edmonton, I definitely recommend giving this restaurant a try.