WRIGLEYVILLE — DNAinfo Chicago's "IRL" series went to The Big Cheese Poutinerie in Wrigleyville Wednesday night. Thirty-two hungry readers went 10 decadent rounds. Check out their social media posts below.
The Big Cheese Poutinerie opened in Wrigleyville this spring, bringing a popular Canadian dish to an enclave packed with bar-goers eager to enjoy just about anything that would taste good piled on french fries.
"Poutine is really the rage in Canada, and it has not made its presence known in the United States. Wrigleyville is the perfect opportunity to bring it here," said Michael Stadnicki, co-owner of Big Cheese Poutinerie at 3401 N. Clark St.
Stadnicki co-owns the first U.S. outpost of Big Cheese with Travis Burke, a native of Canada.
Introduced in the 1950s, poutine is traditionally made of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.
While Big Cheese offers traditional poutine using a "secret gravy," its extensive menu offers 30 different toppings plus the opportunity to build your own poutine, using a base foundation of "naked," chili or cheese french fries.
On Wednesday, April 16, Stadnicki and Burke offered a 10-variety poutine feast exclusively to DNA-IRL diners.
Ticket holders chose up to 10 generous helpings from the Big Cheese menu, which is divided into vegetarian, pork, chicken and beef poutines.
Menu highlights included a pierogi poutine (fries topped with pierogis, caramelized onion, cheese curds, double-smoked bacon, gravy and a sour scream drizzle), Scottish curry (a smoked pulled chicken with authentic Scottish curry sauce) and a Maxwell Street Polish (smoked Polish sausage with caramelized onions, mustard and sport peppers).
Desserts included a corn fritter poutine, described on the menu as, "the best you've ever had" and "golden fries" poutine topped with brown sugar, cream cheese and caramel sauce.
Since most of Big Cheese's servings of poutine are $7.99 for a single small order, the opportunity to enjoy 10 different helpings of poutine for $15 offered a significant savings from the standard menu prices, as well as a chance to experience a variety of tastes.
In addition to enjoying poutine together, feast attendees competed against each other for prizes in an "Oh, Canada!" trivia contest and word scramble moderated by Serena Dai, DNAinfo Chicago's Wrigleyville, Lakeview and Boystown reporter.