Remember a couple of weeks ago when the sun was shining and the weather was warm? Even though the warm weather isn’t trending as much as Montrealers would like, we did take full advantage of being outside for as long as we could. I chose to spend my evening watching the sun’s rays descend over the buildings in our city’s downtown core. I was seated on the newly minted Vladimir Poutine terrasse on de la Montagne and the sun wasn’t the only thing to go down smoothly or warmly that evening.
Poutine is a signature dish of Montreal (well, depending on how your looking at it, Poutine is a symbol of both the province and the country as well) and there are so many ways to enjoy it, you could spend a year eating just poutine in Montreal and still be surprised with how it can be concocted. I will admit that I am not a big lover of poutine. As scandalous as that sounds, I prefer my fries crispy and dipped in mayo (though I do have a soft spot for FDG – a Newfoundland classic that you can ask me about at any time) and I also prefer to dip my meal in gravy if I should choose to do so. Despite this blip in my Canadian DNA, I will still from time to time steal a forkful of poutine from someone else to see what I am missing. At Vladimir Poutine, I decided to go all the way and get myself one of the poutines that they WILL become famous for and I was not disappointed.
Sitting on a terrasse in the middle of April, no matter how warm the day was, means you’re going to freeze your terrasse off the second the sun goes down. Wanting to live in the festive moment we stayed outside and it remained very comfortable for longer than expected. We were given menus, we ordered wine and then looked to see what would try. I am a burger fiend so I chose the Bush burger. The restaurant being named after a certain less than delightful Russian dictator, the burgers and poutine on the menu are named after other question world leaders like Trump, Bush, Mussolini and more. I can’t believe this hasn’t happened sooner. Don’t let the names fool you though, the leadership might be questionable at best but the food is absolutely amazing. The team behind Le Gras Dur and Das Food Truck are manning the kitchen at Vladimir as well. These guys know their grease and they know their gravy.
The Bush burger is the simplest burger on the menu and but as far as taste goes, this burger has quickly shot into my top five. It’s the type of burger you should be eating during your walk of shame at 4am but it’s also the kind of burger that you need to be sober to savour properly. Everything from the bun, the meat and the ingredients is as fresh as can be and because Vladimir won’t shy away from a little fat, the taste is all there. I loved it and I can’t wait to have another one.
I chose the Mussolini poutine because it was a step up from the usual. Covered in Italian sausage, the poutine had enough consistency to be enjoyed on its own. The gravy was deliciously savoury, the fries were piping hot and those that were not covered in gravy, sausage and cheese were as crispy as I like them. If you are a lover of poutine and you’re looking to find an above standard helping while downtown, I strongly recommend Vladimir.
Montreal is full of restaurants offering a kaleidoscope of choice when it comes to comfort food. Vladimir might be one of the newest on the scene but if there’s any justice in this crazy world, it will be around for years to come.