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I have been here once before, a few years back; when this poutinerie, imported from Montreal first opened its doors in BC. However after one visit, I found them good, but not having much more to bring me through the doors yet again. Especially given how the Vancouver food scene is speckled with poutine. Most places seem to offer their take on the traditional fries, cheese, and gravy; as well as clever interpretations all their own. From stand alone poutine shops to restaurants offering this popular Canadian classic their way. So with all there is to choose from, restaurants focusing on poutine really have their work cut out for them.

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Fast forward and I was back, and to my delight, much has changed. It was nice to see how they have made changes based off of the feedback from customers like me, and now offer a greater in depth menu. I was ready to try some of it, and to eat my words. They currently have a much more fulsome menu, with offerings able to give them their own spot on the market.

To read my original review and have a good comparison point between now and then, click the link.

Frites

My guest this evening was actually a former employee. With his behind the counter expertise, he easily navigated us towards what was a must try and why. They are now known of their international spins-off of the traditional poutine. You still have the fries, but everything else is new and different. The gravy is replaced with sauces, and the cheese a bevy of ingredients. There were falafel fries with a cucumber and tomato salsa, a Montreal smoked meat poutine, a Kalbi beef and kimchi poutine inspired by Korean cuisine, and for the pickle lovers a poutine with battered pickle pieces in a dill pickle sauce.

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My guest highly recommend the “Pad Thai frites”, as his favourite. Thicker cut fries are dressed in a spicy pad Thai sauce with bean sprouts, cilantro, lime, and peanuts. The end result is a taste and texture you wouldn’t expect to like, but do, and easily too. Sadly it was a little too spicy for me to enjoy fully but the juicy sprouts and the fragrant herbs did cut through a bit of that. But it was the tasty peanut sauce that had to coming back for more.

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And if you didn’t like any of their international poutines you can easily get a traditional one, where they don’t skimp on the cheese curds. This is the small, served in easy to take out box.

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But if you want an even easier way to eat gravy cheese and fries, they have a “deep fried poutine”. It is essentially a spring roll wrapper folded over fries, cheese, and bacon bits. Fried to order and served with gravy for dipping. This was carbs in carbs with a crispy bite from start to finish, and the addition of bacon also adds another layer to it. An interesting interpretation, but I must rather the original above.

And if you still can’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can simply customize your own poutine with over 15 different gourmet sauces to choose from. But instead, I turned my attention to their waffle sandwiches.

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Given the one man operation they were running, where you ordered behind the cash counter, speaking directly with the chef through his window; I was impressed with their freshly pressed waffles made into sandwich. You could hear the hinge of the press squeak and could smell the dough bubble and bake. And the end result was a delicious “Crispy chicken waffle sandwich”. Best eaten fresh when the dough is still crispy and the lettuce and tomato are still fresh. The fried chicken was no slouch either, a well fried crunchy and juicy piece of white meat, made tangy with a generous scoop of mayonnaise. A great lunch, or in my case a take out late night snack.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
First impressions are important, but I never miss an opportunity to reassess. If I had stayed away, I would have missed out of discovering their international fries. Some pretty interesting combinations for those like me, who love a lot of novelty for dinner. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

FRITES
1011 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, V6Z 1L5
60-559-0550
frieswithbenefits.com
Frites Granville Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato