After dropping the boys off for yet another of their top secret training, Suanne and I decided to go to Commercial Drive. We hardly ever go to Commercial Drive at all. Not sure why though, especially knowing that there are a lot of good eating places here.
While checking out the restaurants along Commercial Drive, we came across Belgian Fries. I remember reading a well researched Foodospohy’s review just a few days earlier. Although the review came out negative from Foodosopher, we went nevertheless. We are not picky eaters and we can’t imagine how bad french fries could get.
I remember reading a lot of other reviews of Belgian Fries and each of them talks about having Poutine. I thought it was kind of funny, odd too, that the Quebec version of french fries is the thing to have in a place called Belgian Fries. On the awning in front, just beside their Belgian Fries banner is the tagline that says “CBC Montreal: Best Poutine in BC”. Perhaps they should name this place the Montreal Poutine or something like that … No? Yes? No?
Anyway, Belgian Fries is located on Commercial Drive at East 3rd Ave.
The interior is bright and spacious. The music is loud. It is definitely a youngster hangout. We felt old in there. We could smell the deep frying from the edge of the restaurant where we park ourselves. One thing that irks me is that the floor is so sticky like they had never mopped this for ages.
They used to be half the size you see in the picture above. I am not sure when they had expanded but looking at this old picture of Belgian Fries, you can just imagine that business must have been very good.
To order, you pay at the counter and they will give you a number. They will call your number once it is ready. This means that they make the fries only on order — which is good.
We got the Montreal Smoked Beef Poutine to share. The large one costs $8.50.
It sure looked unhealthy and I mean very, very unhealthy. It also looked very delicious and I mean very, very mouth watering.
We had a way to eat this. You really need a strategy because it could get very messy. We started off by … picking up the peripheral ones by hand and dip it in ketchup. We then eat the layer of smoke beef before finally digging in to the wet sticky glob at the bottom with a fork.
I can’t remember where I read it but it was just recently that a Vancouver area blogger asked if there is a Canadian cuisine. Oh yeah, there is … it is Poutine, believe it or not. Poutine is considered as a national dish of Canada and is known to have been invented in Quebec just over 50 years ago. So this is a pretty recent invention.
What makes poutine poutine is the stuff above … cheese curd. And the gravy too but the cheese curd is what makes it Canadian.
I had never had the cheese curds fresh before. I read that the perfect cheese curd must be eaten hours after it is made and is squeaky to the bite. I had never had fresh ones before and would die to try it. I saw that the cheese curds that Belgian Fries uses are individually packed in plastic and just assumed that it is not freshly made.
The cheese cuuuuurd!
The reason why poutine is served with very hot gravy is to melt the cheese curd. The cheese curds has a mild taste with a texture that is rubbery.
Was the poutine good? Yes it was. We like it. But it was also very salty from the Montreal Smoked Beef. On hindsight, we should have just ordered plain poutine without the beef.
Here are some random trivia about fries.
What makes Belgian fries different from most fries. Two things … they are thick cut and they are deep fried twice. When I toured Belgium two years ago, I went to this fries outlet where they made a lot, and I mean A LOT, of fries. There are two stations. They deep fry a huge batch on one station, let it sit for some time before they deep fried it again in higher temperature that gives it that golden yellow crust.
As popular as Belgian Fries (or even French Fries) is in Europe and particularly the US, potatoes are NOT native to Europe. Potatoes are from South America. It was the discovery of the new world by Christopher Columbus that introduces potatoes to Europe. Today, Europe consumes the most potatoes than anywhere else in the world that you would think that potatoes had always been available there.
We also had dessert … Deep Fried Pecan Ice Cream. This is $5.
We were not planning on it but it sounded so intriguing.
This is just simply awesome. We enjoyed this a lot … knowing also that this is equally as unhealthy (not that we are very concerned to tell the truth).
There is even a film of frying oil from the deep fryer. The crust is crunchy and the vanilla ice cream smooth. Yeah, this is the type of dessert that will draw “mmmm” with each spoonful.
You must save room for dessert here.
Belgian Fries has a lot of types of poutine. There are at least ten I counted in their menu below. Check it out but clicking on the image below.