Gravy, cheese curds and frites together aka as Poutine is pretty much mainstream these days considering you can find it at McD's, Burger King and KFC. However, to get the real deal, it is not as simple. There are some good choices such as La Belle Patate, Fritz and Belgian Fries in Vancouver, but how about the burbs? Well, roughly a year ago, I found that place in the Spud Shack Fry Co. located on the New West Skytrain Platform. Yup, that's right, you get a great view of each arriving and departing train from the restaurant.
I recently received a tweet from Dan (the owner), who is passionate about his business and his customers. He wanted me to do a re-visit and try some items I did not get a chance to eat the last time. We started with a couple cones of Frites with 3 dips including malt vinegar, Andalusia and roasted garlic. Made with Kennebec potatoes, fried in canola oil and tossed in Italian sea salt, these frites were fantastic. Lightly crisp with fluffy potato on the inside, the flavourful dips only served to make them even better. I was particularly surprised with the malt vinegar as they did not skimp on the vinegar. Of course we had to try a poutine and we ended up with the Bacon Poutine with real cheese curds, meaty bacon pieces, sour cream and scallions. Since it was comprised of frites (not fries), they held up to the wet ingredients. As for the gravy, it had a nice consistency and was mild in flavour. As with any good poutine, the squeaky curds were mostly intact with only the slightest of melting.
Offering some more items other than frites and poutine, they serve one Burger on the menu. Aptly named the Effing Good Burger, it consisted of smoked onion mayo, BBQ sauce, tomato jam, bacon, lettuce, pickle & Monterey Jack cheese. Not an overly complicated burger, but well-executed nonetheless. I thought the house-made patty to be moist with a really nice char on the outside which afforded a smoky flavour. The sweet and zippy hits of the sauces helped balance the flavours while the onion mayo really came through. Personally, I would've liked to see something other than a sesame bun, but that didn't make or break the burger. Lastly, we sampled the Grilled Sweet Italian Sandwich made of pork sausage, brie, apple and arugula on toasted ciabatta. Naturally, the classic combination of ingredients married nicely with the sweet fennel-spiked sausage. Nothing incredibly ground-breaking, but a solid sandwich nonetheless. Ignoring my comments about the food for a moment, the most important thing was that my kids loved the food, which means much more than I ever have to say.
*Note - this was an invited dinner where all food was comped
- Solid frites with equally good dips
- Poutine is legit
- An owner that cares about the food and customers
- Due to its location, it isn't the biggest of places
- It's an accessible location due to Skytrain and the parking lot, but could be hard to find the first time