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First Ever Michigan St. Poutine Week

For the first time ever, Grand Rapids will celebrate its very own "Poutine Week," from February 19-29. Known as the ultimate comfort food and the national dish of Canada, poutine has undergone a meteoric rise in popularity in the past decade, thanks to foodies, millennials, and creative chefs across the globe, but especially here in the US, and notably, here in West Michigan.

"Poutine Week," the brainchild of Head Chef John Seekford and Managing Partner Craig Jones of Grand Rapids' latest buzzed-about, hidden-gem restaurant, will take place throughout the Michigan Street enclave east of College Avenue, on the outskirts of the 'Medical Mile'. Participating establishments include: The Friesian Gastropub, Duke's, Farah's, American Legion 459, Birch Lodge, Bob's Sports Bar, the Grand Coney, Omelette Shoppe, Logan's Alley, and Maggie's. Each locale will showcase its own take on the classic dish, and poutine fans and revelers can vote for their favorites at, with the winner endowed with bragging rights and the soon-to-be-coveted, 'Poutine Cup'.

For those reading this and wondering, 'why poutine,' or even simpler, 'what is poutine,' here's a rundown for you: poutine originated decades ago in the Canadian province of Quebec and quickly spread far and wide across our neighbor to the north. Traditionally featuring three key ingredients: french fries, cheese curds and gravy, restaurants around the globe have imparted their unique spins on the dish, and in fact, similar poutine weeks take place annually in cosmopolitan cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Chicago. 

"Poutine is something that some places have on their menu but it isn’t an item that tends to sell year round in a consistent way.  Also outside of doing a traditional poutine, it (this competition) is open to interpretation much more than many other shareable appetizer type dishes. There is a lot that can be done with it and it isn’t an overwhelming menu item (for participating restuarants) to add. It is meant to be an easy to execute yet fun competition," says event orchestrator, Craig Jones.

Jones hopes to see this become a fun, annual and welcoming community-building event for years to come. For more information, folks can visit FB:

writer: Joey Basch

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