Once the wife and I arrived in Victoria we settled into the hotel room and assessed our situation. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we had dinner reservations for a fancy place at 8 o’clock, but if we didn’t eat something soon we might kill each other. Truth be told, my wife was fine…I was the problem. We rounded a corner outside the hotel and came across what looked like a Canadian institution. Welcome to BeaverTails!

I knew that I needed to review poutine at some point while I was in town, so getting it out of the way within the first half an hour seemed like a great plan. The order of poutine came in at about $7CAD, so why not?


Poutine is decidedly not the focus of this establishment, but we needed something more substantial than a sugary fried pastry. My prediction for the poutine was that they’d be low quality fries, a mild (probably runny) gravy, and mediocre cheese curds. I was right on all three counts! To their credit, the final product looked very similar to the marketing.

I was a little harsh up above about this poutine, but the truth is I enjoyed it. The fries were fresh and piping hot…even though they didn’t have much potato flavor and were fried in low quality oil. You can tell by the lack of crust. The gravy needed more pepper, but I’m assuming it came from a mix. It wasn’t awful, and they gave you plenty. They were similarly generous with the cheese curds, which still had a bit of squeak to them while we ate the top half of the poutine.

For the price, I wasn’t terribly disappointed, but I can’t give this any higher than a 6.5 out of 10. Maybe next time I should try out one of their namesake BeaverTails. I bet they’re great. Even the smoothies and gelato looked decent.

This was one of the few times in my life where I didn’t even look at Yelp or TripAdvisor before going into a restaurant while traveling. That’s mostly because I was starving and this looked like a quick and cheap option (it’s basically a walk-up counter). The reviews are actually tremendously positive, so I might have stopped in anyway. I review a lot of gourmet versions of poutine, so take my 6.5 rating with a grain of salt. And a bit of pepper.

If you find yourself in a similar situation You could do much worse than this. There are a couple locations in the United States (Salt Lake City, for example), but they’re predominantly located in Canada. Given that you can throw a rock and hit a restaurant selling poutine anywhere north of the border you could probably find a better option, but this is fine.

Sampled on Friday August 26, 2016 in Victoria BC