I thought when September rolled around my days of food truck travels were over. This past summer I hiked from parking lots to city parks, and even a brewery looking for delicious food from a variety of sources. With the fall colours appearing on the trees, I never thought I would get one more food truck journey in 2018… until I saw the sign for Poutine Feast in City Park.
I had to go, I love poutine and food trucks. So, with my trusty sidekick, my five-year-old son, James, we spent this past Sunday in City Park sampling from the variety of food trucks showcasing their finest creations. When we parked in front of Earl Hall, I could smell from the distance the magical smell of poutine, and even James commented on the appealing aroma.
Making our way to the park, we found a medium sized crowd just looking for great food. James and I wandered around from truck to truck looking at the variety of meals waiting to be eaten. It was hard to choose. Everything looked so good.
I had never been to a Poutine Feast before, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that between James and I, we would split whatever we got, and after looking at the menu boards for what seemed like hours, James and I settled on a sample platter of three poutines for $20 from the food truck BBQ Babes. Our selections were classic poutine, pulled pork, and a cheeseburger pickle poutine.
While the ample number of benches inside the ring of poutine offered seating for many, James and I opted for a spot in the shade at a nearby tree. Sitting down to lunch, we dove into the mountain of fries, and were pleasantly surprised by what we got.
The pulled pork had too much spice for James, which left more for me. I didn’t have a problem with the spice, and I enjoyed the kick that the pulled pork offered. The classic poutine was delicious, but the cheeseburger pickle poutine was the most delightful and complex poutine I have had in a long time.
Starting with the base, the French fries were large and well cooked, not crispy, and certainly not soggy. On top of the fries was hamburger meat, cheese, mustard, ketchup, and some pickles, everything you would expect from a cheeseburger. Biting into this poutine was like eating a hamburger, and it was perfect. I was concerned at the numerous amounts of toppings when we ordered, but the cheeseburger pickle poutine from BBQ Babes was the best.
Finishing the three sample poutines, James and I were stuffed, and I probably should have said it was time to go home. But I didn’t, because this was Poutine Feast after all, and I wanted to eat some more. Fat Les’s Chip Stand was our next stop.
I didn’t want to get another three-poutine sampler, so I decided to get a regular sized poutine for $11. I opted for the deep-fried pickle poutine. This was a classic poutine with four deep fried pickles on top, and some ranch dip.
The poutine was excellent with fresh delectable fries that were steaming hot topped with ample amounts of gravy, and cheese curds that numbered in vast amounts. What was the most delectable about the deep-fried pickle poutine was the deep-fried pickles.
The trouble from my experience with deep fried pickles is that they are often not cooked long enough to make them enjoyable. I have tried, on many occasions at multiple locations, the deep-fried pickles being offered, and I have always been disappointed. One of two things happen. I bite into the pickle and the pickle comes right out of the breading, or the breading is soggy and falls apart in my hand.
I am very pleased to report that when I bit into the deep-fried pickles from Fat Les’s Chip Stand, the breading was crispy, my bite was clean through, and the pickle and breading stayed together. This was repeated for all four large pickles that came with the meal.
Scraping bottom on my poutine box, I walked over with James to the monkey bars so that he could play, and I could let my meals begin to digest. In the background of my son’s jubilation, I could hear Len’s Steal My Sunshine and Will Smith’s Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It. Songs such as these easy listening tunes entertained the growing crowd and added to the fun atmosphere of the event. A smile crossed my face sitting in the park, because Kingston’s Poutine Feast was a perfect weekend event.
Next year, I vow to make it a two-day event. What a great day to have one last Food Truck Travels story as autumn takes over for summer. At least, I think it’s the last one.
Bill Gowsell was born and raised in Kingston. With an interest in history, food, wine, and all things Disney, Bill has been writing for the last eight years on a variety of topics. During the summers he can be found at the family cottage north of Kingston, or at the bottom of Lake Ontario… scuba diving.