January 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 3
Puttin’ poutine on the Pass menu, new business ready
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Business owners Marie-Andrée Lapointe and her boyfriend, Louka Brittle, holding up the logo for Marie's Poutine House, the new restaurant opening in Bellevue in the spring.
Pass Herald Reporter
Main Street in Bellevue is getting an authentic Quebec-themed restaurant opening in April with the spotlight shining on French fries generously slathered in gravy and lovingly topped with squeaky cheese curds. That’s right: poutine.

But it’s not just the delivery of a great, authentic poutine that earmarks Marie’s Poutine House. It’s that every part of the hearty meal will be homemade.

Poutine is a popular Quebec dish that first made an appearance in the province in the 50s, but has since found its way into nearly every fast food chain menu and is dearly beloved by those looking for a quick bite, caloric comfort food, or post Habs-game grub.

Business owners Marie-Andrée Lapointe and her boyfriend, Louka Brittle, both from Montreal, have long had the dream of operating their own restaurant, and focusing on poutine was an easy no-brainer for the couple.

“When I go to my parents’ house, the first thing I want is a poutine down the street. Everyone likes it and they’re fun to go to,” says Lapointe.
They bill themselves as the only place in the Pass that serves the real deal poutine. They’ll be cutting their own fries, stirring their own gravy, and even curdling their own cheese.
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“Ours is going to be really good. It’s going to be authentic, Quebec poutine. That’s our goal. We want to show people here what real poutine is, with real cheese curds and real gravy,” says Lapointe.

The couple learned some underground tips and tricks to creating the perfect poutine from local chefs in Quebec.

“We’ve been doing a lot of tests. We’ve been testing lots of sauces, lots of recipes for cheese and potatoes. We’ve been eating lots of fries and potatoes lately,” laughs Lapointe.

Although the spotlight is on poutine, the restaurant will also serve pizza, hotdogs, burgers, and a gift corner will have maple syrup, homemade sauces, jams, pies and other novelty items for sale. The menu also offers many gluten-free options.

Inspired by Quebec’s snack bars in small towns, they’ll be keeping the atmosphere and interior casually cool.

“What we’re seeing here is not a big, fancy steakhouse. We wanted something that’s simple that can also attract families,” says Lapointe. “Everything will be “to-go” food. They can eat here if they want, but they can also take it home.”

Cleanup, setup and renovation of the former Chefs on 2 Thirteen locale began this past September. Lapointe concedes that there’s still a lot of work to be done to prepare for the opening, set for April 1.
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The ins and outs of running a restaurant aren’t completely uncharted territory for the couple. Both have experience working in restaurants, and Lapointe, who studied International Hotel Management, even worked several summers as a server down in Waterton, Alberta. She was working at the luxurious Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Montreal when the location closed for renovations in June 2016, set to reopen a year later.

“I thought, ‘Well, maybe we should go back to Alberta,’ so that’s what we did,” says Lapointe, whose aunt and uncle are Murielle and John Carlson in Bellevue. “[Brittle] quit his job as a heavy-duty mechanic, and we moved here. We were supposed to be here for the year that I was losing my job, but we got this building and thought, ‘Why not? We should give it a try.’”

Marie’s Poutine House is anticipated to operate seasonally, from the months of April to September or October, and will be located at 2449 213 Street in Bellevue.
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January 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 3
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