Eating-up Stratford
Bite by Byte

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Stratford Canada Day Poutine Pageant (With Special Guest Star Steven Page!)

Some of my loyal readers may have noticed a slight trend in my postings towards... poutine. It has been described as Canada's national dish, and I have done my share to support that distinction since I picked-up the habit in Quebec many years ago. In April, my wife and I delighted in the Monforte Dairy cheddar and porcini jus poutine at Down the Street. In May, I predicted poutine to be Justin Bieber's go-to order at Madelyn's Diner, which according to the Bieber-iffic map of Stratford is his family's favourite restaurant. Now, alas, the month of June has passed with no poutine to speak of... But no worries! Canada Day is here, so I went to check-out the action at the Stratford City Centre's 10th Annual Canada Day Celebration this afternoon, and treated myself to the best poutine in town!
Downtown Stratford was a sea of red and white today, as festive citizens congregated to enjoy some face-painting, music... and food! As a rare treat, the Stratford Farmers Market returned to its historic site at Market Square, and market volunteers continued to serve back bacon on a bun throughout the day. The Rotarians had a popular barbeque, where partygoers loaded up on burgers and dogs in true holiday style.
 Other Canadian party staples included authentic Kettle Corn...
...and Peanut Brittle!
The folks from Simple Dreams were selling ice cream to raise funds for their "To Russia With Love" project, which sees these impressive Canadians traveling to Russia to provide Christmas dinners for impoverished children.

The highlight of the day, however, was admittedly not the food but rather the performance by Steven Page. This founding member of the Barenaked Ladies took to the stage with an acoustic guitar accompanied by a cellist. His set was awesome, and included a little rap about the new 'Bard' of Stratford, Ontario:

To commemorate Canada Day in my own special way, I decided to head over to Stratford's Poutine Palace, otherwise known as Boomers Gourmet Fries (located on Erie Street just off Ontario). 
Boomers is the spot where you can choose from a whole menu dedicated to creative interpretions of Canada's national dish, whether it's the Hickory Stick Poutine with smoked gouda, or the Italian Poutine with marinara sauce.
As any poutine afficionado will tell you though, the authentic deal should have hand-cut fries and thin but flavourful gravy, but most of all needs to have actual cheese curds. Boomers' Original Poutine has all of the above, so I ordered one to keep it real. Then I ordered a goat cheese poutine just to be fancy. The pesto and creamy melted goat cheese was astonishingly rich and truly worthy of Canada's birthday celebration. But nothing compares to biting in to the squeaky curds of a real poutine, which was what I was looking for today!
My Canada = Boomers' Poutine + Steven Page + Stratford City Centre + July 1!


  1. The veggie chili fries are really awesome too!

  2. My favourite thing on the menu is the "black n' blue" burger: blackened burger with blue cheese...of course, I have to order it with hot peppers on top!! Oh! and with sweet potato fries!