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Sep 4, 2009 09:29 AM

Festival de la poutine de Drummondville

I thought it my duty to mention that the Festival de la poutine de Drummondville is on today and Saturday, September 4 & 5.

I would love to hear about this two-day ode to poutine if anyone makes it out there.

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  1. Didn't this event also happen back in the beginning of August?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Andria

      no, it happened for the first time last year.

    2. I attended last year -- they did a good job for a first year festival, but clearly had MANY more people than they expected. The lines for poutine on the night I went were about an hour long. The bands -- and it's really a music festival, around a poutine theme -- were great. The poutines they served all came from the same tents -- so they had the same fries, same curds; they just had about 5-6 different sauces from different Eastern Township eateries, which you could choose between.

      I have an opinion about eastern townships poutine: unlike what you find in Montreal, they tend to use an aurora sauce, which has a bit of tomato paste in it. I don't think that sauce makes poutine its best -- too sweet, and the tomato taste doesn't work very well with the curds. Nonetheless, this is the poutine sauce in its original incarnation, so it's fun to eat for its historical interest.

      1. My husband and I made a side trip on our road trip to Montreal to attend the Festival de la Poutine. We got there early on Friday when the gates opened at 4pm and there were zero line ups for poutine (more people arrived later for the concerts but there were still no crowds when we left around 6:30). Six different restaurants participated this year, all were local except La Banquise (Montreal) and Auguste restaurant in Sherbrooke (80 miles southeast from Drummondville) featuring official guest chef, Dany St-Pierre from who introduced his 'reversed poutine', basically breaded potato croquettes with a cheesy/gravy filling (photo attached). Reversed poutine was fun to try, but I still prefer the original fries with curds and gravy. Each restaurant had a separate stand and yes, we tried ALL six! Cheese curds were all super fresh and squeaky, especially the cheese from Fromagerie LeMaire. As poutineguy mentioned in his comment, the poutine gravy in the Drummondville area tends to have a tomato base and is slightly sweet, some even had an reddish/orange hue and tasted slightly like barbeque sauce, particularly the poutines from Chez Louis and Horace Poutine. Our favorite at the festival was probably Fromage Lemaire - best fries overall (really crispy and almost tasted beefy although they use a vegetable oil), fabulous cheese curds (they make their own cheese curds daily). solid gravy (carrot-y but not too sweet, almost a mirapoix flavor, a bit salty at first but I couldn't stop eating it). A close second was Restaurant Du Boulevard, sweet tomato-y sauce with carrot pieces, fresh cheese curds, but the fries weren't as good as Fromagerie Lemaire. Was a little disappointed with La Banquise from Montreal as I'd heard that they were really good, the cheese curds were skimpy and not as squeaky compared to the other restaurants, but I'd rank them 3rd place overall - we enjoyed the Montreal style savory gravy (no tomato) and the fries were pretty good - dark and crispy. Le Roy Jucep, who claims to be the inventor of poutine, did not participate in the festival this year so we stopped by the restaurant before the festival to try their famous poutine and it did not disappoint - crispy fries, generous fresh cheese curds, and the perfect amount of gravy (slightly sweet, and surprisingly brownish in color despite the tomato base but it had a nostalgic cream of tomato taste which was great with the fries and cheese). It was our favorite poutine of the 7 we tasted that day. Other photos - poutines from Fromagerie Lemaire (check out the generous cheese curds), Restaurant Du Boulevard (you can see how reddish the sauce is from this picture), and the 'original' from Le Roy Jucep. I'll have a more complete report and more photos on my blog later this week (still recovering from our road trip - 12 poutines in 4 days!)

        7 Replies
        1. re: now_me_hungry

          Kudos! Kudos! An eating tour de force!

          I agree that squeakiness of the cheese curd is a really important element to a good poutine...

          1. re: moh

            Hi moh :)
            I've been doing these eating 'tour de forces' a little too often lately! Your posts on the chowhound boards are awesome - they came in really handy when planning all of our Montreal eating adventures!

            1. re: now_me_hungry

              You are very kind! I hope you have been enjoying your Montreal trip... And look forward to any further reports. I really enjoyed your poutine report!

              1. re: moh

                Excellent poutine report and I love the photos. Looking forward to seeing it on your blog which I'm happy to discover too.

              2. re: now_me_hungry

                Nice report, but I must admit that I'm a bit distressed that for your winner you chose a place that serves frozen fries. To me that's grounds for disqualification.

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  @SnackHappy, no distress intended! French fries are probably my favorite food and I don't ever discriminate against frozen fries as long as they are crispy/tasty although my hubby sometimes does. I enjoyed the fries from Fromagerie Lemaire that day, but that's just my opinion. All in good fun :)

                  Full post on my blog if anyone's interested: