A Globally-Inspired Poutine Pop-Up Flies into Boston This Fall

Air Canada is bringing a 10-day menu of extravagantly loaded French fries to Downtown Crossing.

São Paulo-inspired "poutine" topped with grilled hanger steak and chimichurri is on the menu at Air Canada's upcoming pop-up poutinerie

São Paulo-inspired “poutine” topped with grilled hanger steak and chimichurri is on the menu at Air Canada’s upcoming pop-up poutinerie. / Photo courtesy of Air Canada

For some purists, the Canadian comfort-food classic that is poutine is nothing more than crispy, hand-cut French fries doused in rich, long-cooked gravy, topped with cheese curds so fresh they squeak when you bite into them.

Suffice it to say, the folks at Air Canada are not poutine purists. The airline is bringing a pop-up “Poutinerie” to Boston from October 3-13, featuring piles of potatoes inspired by 10 Air Canada destinations.

The 10-item menu, created locally by the award-winning Catered Affair, includes such delicacies as ’Tine de Triomphe, created with Paris in mind and covered in duck confit, crème de brie, and a shower of black pepper; and Hoi-sin-fully Good, a Shanghainese entry made with sweet potato fries, Chinese-spiced beef kebab, and a hoisin barbecue sauce. There will also be a classic version, à la Montreal. Check out the pop-up menu below.

Each poutine corruption—err, sorry—poutine-inspired creation is only $5, and all proceeds are going to About Fresh, the Boston-based nonprofit responsible for the mobile grocery store Fresh Truck, among other healthy food-access initiatives. There will also be $4 Canadian beers and wines on the Poutinerie menu.

“Funds raised from the Poutinerie will expand our programming heading into the winter, a critical point of the year where our communities of shoppers experience the highest rates of food insecurity,” said About Fresh cofounder and CEO Josh Trautwein in today’s announcement.

Following stints in Washington, D.C.; London, and Denver, Boston is the fourth stop for Air Canada’s traveling marketing activation, which is designed to connect local travelers to the airline’s 200 global stops. “As we showcase Air Canada’s flight offerings and easy connection options from Boston, we hope to inspire everyone to explore these remarkable destinations,” said Air Canada’s senior director of sales, Vincent Gauthier-Doré, in a press release.

During its Boston residency, the Poutinerie will be open to the public from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Besides poutine concoctions the likes of which we’ve never even dreamed about, it will also host a virtual reality on-board experience, plus daily social media contests giving fry fans the chance to win round-trip airfare for two anywhere that Air Canada flies.

Perhaps you’ll win, and decide to visit Quebec, the place that gave poutine its name. It’s local slang for “mess.” A delicious, irresistible, hot mess.

Pop-Up Poutinerie by Air Canada, October 3-13, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 267 Washington St, Downtown Crossing, Boston.

Air Canada Poutinerie Menu (all dishes $5)

“The Classic” (GF) | French fries, cheese curds, gravy

“The North” (GF) | Moosehead beer-braised pork, French fries, gravy, sharp cheddar cheese

São Paulo
“Sampa” (GF) | Thick cut fries, grilled hanger steak, chimichurri

“’Tine de Triomphe” (GF) | French fries, duck confit, crème de brie, black pepper

“Chick n’ Chips” | Thick cut fries, chicken curry, raita

“The K-Popper” | Thick cut fries, kimchi, twigim popcorn shrimp, spicy aioli, green onion garnish

“Hoi-sin-fully Good” | Hong Shan Yu (sweet potato fries), Chinese spiced beef kebab, hoisin bbq sauce

“The Moroc-can” | Sweet potato fries, taktouka

Tel Aviv
“Mmm…Mediterranean” (GF) | Thick cut fries, Falafel, beet hummus, masabacha tahini yogurt, sour pickle

“The Shibu-yeah!” | Thick cut fries, ground pork, ponzu and sesame sauce, pickled daikon or shredded carrot, ginger