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Jun 1, 2007 10:59 PM

Smoked meat and poutine in Victoria?

Thanks to everyone for the recomendations for our trip to Victoria. In my perusal of the Canadian boards there seem to be two regional dishes I need to enjoy - Poutine (sp?) and a smoked meat sandwich. Does anyone have any good recomendations on where to get these delicacies in Victoria or the surrounding communities? Any other regional dish I should have?


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  1. Dave:

    Being a former Montrealer and having spent some time in the Lac Ste Jean area of northern Quebec where "squeaky" cheese curds are consumed in huge quantities by "les bleuets" I do not usually seek out smoked meat nor poutine during visits to Victoria.

    However, although I have not eaten there myself, I have heard good things about the Quebecois food at Cafe Vieux Montreal downtown on Government Street. I know they serve smoked meat and expect that if they do, it is quite likely that poutine will be on their menu as well.

    Another spot, at least for the smoked meat might be the Village Cafe and Deli in the Estevan Village near Oak Bay.

    I think the Estevan Village also houses Paprika restaurant which has been recommended to us but we have yet to try it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mac

      Cafe Vieux is great, but also worth a stop is the exceptional Choux Choux which does their own smoked meats.

      1. re: Gobstopper

        LOL...ah yes Gobstopper...however there are smoked meats and then there is Montreal smoked meat....[LOL]

        Choux, Choux is definitely worth a visit...we walked up and down Fort Street a couple of times missing it amidst the furniture and antique shops

        1. re: Bob Mac

          Choux Choux is great, and they have a good $10ish "Plat de Jour", often featuring duck or chicken confit. (or game hen).

          However, it does not sell Montreal style smoked meat. For that, you must go to Cafe Vieux Montreal. Make sure you don't miss the condiments such as grainy mustard that they have on the counter across from the till; they serve their meat completely plain, on dryish rye, which is honestly a pretty dry eat unless you add the mustard. They do serve Kosher pickles with their meat, however!

          Another good little lunch spot (hole-in-the-wall) in Victoria is "Pig" which serves $5 sandwiches...beef brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken. It is on View Street near Blanshard, next to a parkade. You can't go wrong for $ can also supplement your meal with an excellent Kosher pickle on a stick (pretty funny that a place called "Pig" featuring pulled pork serves Kosher anything), tangy coleslaw made with a vinegar-based dressing, cornbread in a thyme-honey sauce, or really tangy, tasty baked beans. The sides are $1.50 each, and are a lot of fun. My only advice is not to go right at lunch hour...there are only about 5 seats in the place, and it is always full during the lunch hour. My sweetie and I like to go around 2 pm.

    2. Though you're best to try Poutine in Quebec, it is on the menu in Victoria at Canoe where the chef is French Canadian. It's a dining room and brewpub and has a great patio when the sun is shining. Canoe is tucked away on the waterfront near Chinatown. Walk to the end of Swift Street from Store/Wharf and you'll see it there.

      I concur with the comments for Cafe Vieux Montreal on Government Street and Choux Choux Charcuterie on Fort Street. There is a wonderful shop also on Fort Street called Plenty. Trevor stocks all sorts of great BC and Canadian products.

      1. Smoked meat is a Quebec deli specialty similar to pastrami. You can get a surprisingly good version at Sav-On foods supermarket in Vic, and I think have a complete sandwich menu too, although I'm not sure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BobtheBigPig

          You cannot find authentic poutine in Victoria. It simply does not exist. Real poutine is made with fresh cheese curds that have not been refridgerated. This product is simply unavailable in Victoria, unless you happen to know a dairy farmer on the outskirts of town.

        2. I assume you already realise that smoked meat sandwiches and poutine are not regional to Victoria and are therefor not common or necessarily the same quality as found in Quebec.

          For Victoria, the regional dish would be fresh salmon, crab, halibut, prawns. Or scones with tea and clotted cream (a throw-back to English colonialism).