The first challenge we gave ourselves as wet-behind-the-ears bloggers was to determine FOR GOOD AND ALL who has the best poutine in Nanaimo. Poutine is a topic people have fierce opinions on so no doubt literally all of you will disagree with our conclusions. Comment below if you’ve got something to say on this!
For the first round of this challenge, we ate three poutines:
- Costco $4.69 (yes, before the food court closed due to Covid)
- Sip and Sliders Food Truck $8.00
- Landlubber Pub $8.50
Well what can we say? We’re not too good to try the poutine at a warehouse. Actually, we’ve been know to share one of these bad boys every once in a while after a grueling shopping visit. Like most menu items at the Costco food court, the price of the poutine is so low that even if it was lousy, it would still be a great deal. We liked the crispy coated fries and the generous portions of gravy and cheese curds.
It’s not a slam dunk though. It seems that Costco assembles these things with cheese curds from the fridge and then douses them in gravy from a pump. The gravy is kept warm but not hot (presumably to avoid burning litigious Karens) and so the cheese curds never really melt. As we ate our poutine, like so many times before, the cheese never really melted and some of the larger chunks were actually still cold inside. Blech. Still, great value at this price point. Maybe we just need to be more patient before digging in?
Sip and Sliders Food Truck
As we noted in our Sip and Sliders review, the poutine at this Departure Bay food truck was a little disappointing. While the cheese curds and the beef gravy were tasty, we found the fries to be overcooked to our liking and a little limp. Fries need some crispiness to stand up to being drowned in sauce. It was hardly inedible, and we ate all of it, but it felt like a missed opportunity. This is especially true considering it’s quite a large serving for the price – plenty for two people to share.
That said, if you can get this on a nice day, it’s a really pleasant experience to sit in the sand, at a picnic table, or even in the grass (as we did) to enjoy. YMMV with this one.
Landlubber has gone with a chicken gravy on their poutine which, while not traditional, is still very tasty. We might actually prefer it to the classic beef. They use cheese curds and serve the dish hot, which gives them the opportunity to get a little melty (looking at you Costco). Finally we have the fries which are nice crispy pub fries; an excellent vehicle for enjoying the cheesy, gravy goodness.
The price is steep — $8.50 — and it’s the smallest poutine we’ve yet tried. It was also the most complete of the three so some premium is acceptable, but this is just a little rich for our blood. On the upside, you can have Landlubber’s poutine with a big ol’ beer, so there’s that.
Well we argued about this one. We both agreed the Landlubber’s poutine was the most flavourful and was properly hot and melty. We also agreed that, despite its shortcomings, the Costco poutine represented undeniable value. As cheapo gourmands we ultimately had to give the edge to Costco this time. Congrats Costco!
We’re gonna get back out there and eat some more poutines for you. Let us know your favourites and we’ll be sure to hit them up!