Vancouver may not be as well known for poutine as Montreal, but places like Fritz European Fry House off Granville Street still know how to make a poutine. If you don’t know what poutine is, take some fries, gravy, and cheese and mix it together.
Where I live in California, poutine is the new and cool thing to eat. You can find it on the menu of almost every gastropub. Even with its popularity, I still never tried it. I’ve had all these delicious ingredients separately but never together. I just never understood what all the fuss was.
Being in Canada, the birthplace of poutine, I knew I finally had to give it a try.
Vancouver is filled with many poutineries (that’s a new word for me). Unsure which place to try, I decided to ask a few of the locals working at the Twisted Fork, a French bistro located just down the road on Granville Street. They recommended Fritz European Fry House as having one of the best poutines in Vancouver.
Fritz European Fry House is a no frills fry shop located just off Granville Street.
When I visited, there was only one lady working. She looked like she had her hands full but worked hard to take orders and prepare the food.
The inside is quite small but feels larger with tall ceilings and bright yellow walls. The interior has many wooden features which is common in places all across Vancouver. The wooden counter, seating, and ceilings along with hanging lanterns and menu made me feel like I was in some sort of European restaurant.
You will find no tables. If you wish to stay and eat, you will have to squeeze onto one of the narrow, choir style church benches. These seats can fill up quickly during the lunch rush and when the bars close. People usually eat pretty quickly, so you usually can snag a seat on one of the benches. If not, be prepared to stand and eat. If it’s a sunny day, just grab your food to go and find a nice place to sit outside.
Another great thing about the restaurant is that it stay open until 4 AM on the weekends, and even during the week they are open until 3 AM. No need to worry about being hungry after a long night of drinking in the city. Poutine and alcohol go hand and hand. It is the definition of drunk food.
The menu at Fritz European Fry House is quite simple. The main items are poutine (fries, gravy, cheese) and fritz (fries). They also offer hot dogs before midnight, but I didn’t see anyone ordering these.
Most people top their poutine with one of the delicious toppings. The toppings are chicken, chili, Montreal (MTL) smoked meat, pulled pork, crumbled real bacon, soy bacon bits, extra cheese, and extra gravy.
If that’s not enough, you can order one of 19 unique dipping sauces including sriracha, jalapeno mustard, chipotle mayo, Cajun ketchup, and wasabi aioli.
Drinks are limited to Cokes, water, and juice.
Poutine topped with Montreal smoked meat
With so many options, I had trouble deciding what to order. After much debate with myself, I ended up ordering a medium poutine ($7.00 CAD) topped with Montreal (MTL) smoked meat (extra $2.50 CAD).
If you are unsure which size poutine to order, check the display on the counter next to the menu. You can view the actual container sizes (small, medium, large, jumbo, and bucket). The medium poutine was much larger than I was expecting and more than enough for one hungry person. I could only imagine trying to finish a bucket size poutine by myself.
Poutine is simple. It is basically just fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. The quality of these simple ingredients is what makes a great poutine.
Without good fries, a poutine dish will fail. Luckily, Fritz uses high quality, hand cut Canadian grown potatoes fried in pure vegetable oil.
The Belgian-style fries were extremely crispy and fresh. They remained crunchy layer after layer which was surprising considering they were topped with a generous amount of rich brown gravy.
On top of the fries, I added MTL or Montreal smoked meat. The meat was smoky, tender, and had a perfect amount of fat. You can’t go wrong with adding type any protein to fries, gravy, and cheese.
If you love gravy, you will be very happy to see the poutine drenched in an endless amount of thick, rich, dark, and salty brown gravy. Each layer of the poutine had a generous amount of gravy which complemented the creamy cheese and crunchy fries. My only complaint with the gravy was that it was salty, which made it a little difficult to finish off.
Last but not least were the squeaky cheese curds. If you have never had cheese curds before then I can describe them simply as big balls of soft cheese. Thanks to the hot gravy, the balls of cheese melted perfectly. Each bite was oozing with smooth and creamy melted cheese. To describe it in one word would be heavenly. Just as with the gravy, as I worked my way through each layer, I kept being surprised with more and more delicious, melted cheese.
I am a poutine novice, but I highly recommend the poutine served at Fritz European Fry House. It may not be the best poutine in Canada or the best dish in Vancouver, but you seriously can’t go wrong with fries, gravy, and cheese.
What I enjoyed about the poutine served here was that I was never stuck just eating plain fries. Each layer of fries was covered in gravy and melted cheese to the very last bite.
Whether you are sober or not, Fritz European Fry House makes an enjoyable, unhealthy, calorie busting, yet delicious poutine.
- Layer after layer of fries, gravy, and cheese
- Multiple poutine toppings
- Assortment of 19 dipping sauces for fries
- Open late
- Limited inside seating
- The gravy was a little too salty