Vancouver and beyond
I had the opportunity to participate in the second annual Vancouver Foodster Poutine Challenge media preview last week and the good news is the hysteria about a possible cheese curd shortage due to a recent fire in Ontario has not affected the B.C. supply — yet.
Not that it would have made a difference at Darby’s pub on West Fourth Avenue in Kits, where cheese curds, a staple of most poutine, aren’t included in its exotic offering. Instead, the Kennebec fries that form the base of Darby’s Duck Poutine are topped with cambozola cheese, caramelized onions and duck confit laden with a red wine demi glace. Poutine purists might not immediately embrace this recipe, but it is remarkably good.
The next stop on our poutine tour was 131 Water Kitchen & Bar in Gastown where they’ve put a southern spin on a Canadian classic by topping it with waffles, crispy-fried chicken, cheese curds and white pepper gravy. Our final offering was at Vancouver Fan Club on Granville Street, where for $6 you can enjoy fries topped with pulled pork — smoked in house — smoked bourbon BBQ sauce, cheese curds, chicken gravy and shredded mozzarella, which I’m sure must be a hit with the bar crowd. The Fan Club even smokes its own bourbon.
These are only three of the 21 poutine dishes served across the city and in the ‘burbs, including Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille in Ladner. The plan is to have the public vote on its favourite and name the best poutine around. For a complete list of participating restaurants, their poutine specials and to vote, visit vancouverfoodster.com. The challenge ends Feb. 28 with voting Feb. 26 to March 2.
Members of the Vancouver punk/garage rock community are gathering to raise money for Community of Care for Survivors of Torture, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting anyone who’s suffered torture and violence due to war and other forms of oppression. We Care a Lot features performances by the Hathaways, Liquor Kings and Orchard Pinkish as well as raffles and refreshments, March 1 at the WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac St. Tickets $8 at the door or online at survivorsoftorture.com. No minors.
The eighth annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Filmmakers Party with Johnny Gallant is March 8 from 9 to 11 p.m. at Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St. Tickets are $10 for non-members. For more information, visit womeninfilm.ca.