The Garrison District Ale House, Fredericton

The Contender: Garrison District Ale House, 426 Queen St., Fredericton, New Brunswick

When were you there? Saturday, March 28; 6:30pm

How much? $6.99 + tax

The Experience: This was my third visit to the new-ish Garrison District Ale House (TGDAH hereinafter). This location has been home to a bunch of different restaurants in the last few years. Most recently Mojo’s, before that it was The Jester’s Court, and possibly at least one other thing in between.

Its current incarnation has the best beer selection in town and does the “upscale pub food” thing pretty well (though they’re not kidding about the upscale). The first time I was there I had some wings, which were good but unbearably hot. It should be noted that I have a low tolerance for heat in my food and usually go with “medium” wings, but somebody else was buying that night. On my second visit I had a burger, which I later declared via txt message to be the best cheeseburger I’d ever eaten anywhere, ever. I’ve eaten my share of cheeseburgers, let me tell you, so this was obviously txt-worthy information.

I think TGDAH is also one of the few places (possibly the only place) in Fredericton which serves my current favourite girly beer, the St-Ambroise apricot wheat. I really like the service, too. Sometimes your food takes a little while when it’s busy in there, but the servers I’ve had were all friendly and accommodating. Anyway.

The poutine was disappointing. Heart-breaking, even. I really like this restaurant and I wanted to be able to tell you they make the best poutine in town. But they sure don’t.

The main source of fail was the gravy. It was possibly the worst I’d ever had. I get that a lot of fast food and questionable take-out joints use bouillon gravy. Sup, Island Greek. But when you’re charging $7 for a poutine, I would like you to use quality ingredients, please. Please, please, please. The gravy was so salty I couldn’t even finish my poutine, and that, sir, is an atrocity. Besides being stroke-inducingly salty, the gravy was also not hot enough to even sort-of melt the curds. Yuck-o.

The strengths of this particular poutine included the fries, which while slightly overcooked, were at least fresh-cut with the skin on. This is about my favourite kind of french fry, although the classic crinkle-cut will always have a special place in my left ventricle. There were also cheese curds and not shredded mozzarella, which shouldn’t be notable, but unfortunately is. AND. TGDAH’s serves its poutine in a bucket. Like, an actual pail:


I love it when food is honest. Serving poutine in a metal bucket gets to the heart of that, “I am a hog a the trough” feeling of self-hatred I sometimes get from regular poutine consumption. I’m pretty sure this is an affliction of Anglos, as every Quebequois I’ve ever encountered has no shame about it.

The Verdict: Like a good New Brunswick food critic, I will tell you that while the food wasn’t very good, at least there was a whole lot of it. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this poutine in good faith, nor will I order it again. I will, however, continue to visit TGDAH when finances permit and encourage dining companions to order the poutine so I may pick at their food and determine whether the one I had this time was a one-off mistake or part of a larger pattern of failure.


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8 Responses to “The Garrison District Ale House, Fredericton”

  1. PR Says:

    I can’t say I’m sold on the GDAH yet, although we’ve only been once and it was shortly after it opened. I don’t think anybody at our table felt the food they received warranted those kinds of prices. The pulled pork sandwich is one of lamest I’ve ever seen. I’m curious about the burger though, now that you’ve raved about it. May have to give them another shot sometime soon.

  2. aimee. Says:

    a bucket!~!@!~@

    I appreciate touches like that too.

  3. d-bomb Says:

    I haven’t really eaten there yet, but I’d like to. I’ve heard a lot of back and forth opinions, so!
    I claim Hannah’s as a hidden gem for poutine, but you may not feel the same.

  4. d-bomb Says:

    I love it there. They make a mean chicken caesar wrap, too.
    I’m *also* told they make a mean breakfast, but I haven’t been for that.

  5. The Garrison District Ale House II « Delicious Poutine Says:

    […] Experience: I caught some flak for my last review of the GDAH’s poutine, in which I gave it 4 out of 10.  Not “flak,” per se, but I did get a series of emails from […]

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