Knotty Pine Bistro retains Poutine Week title

Knotty Pine Bistro owner Barb Lychak accepts the 2024 Gravy Bowl from BBBS development coordinator Natasha Thomson after winning a third straight Poutine Week title. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Knotty Pine Bistro is back on top of the Prince Albert poutine world after holding off challenges from eight other restaurants to retain the 2024 Poutine Week and Gravy Bowl titles.

The bistro based out of Little Red River Park earned the 2024 Gravy Bowl for selling the most poutines during Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Poutine Week. They also took home the Poutine Choice Award in a close race that only saw them take the lead on the last day.

Knotty Pine owner Barb Lychak credited her hardworking staff for securing their third straight Poutine Week championship.

“We kind of had an idea of where we wanted to be, and like I said, we worked hard,” Lychak explained. “The staff were exceptional, and we couldn’t have done it without the community. It’s for a very worthwhile cause.”

Knotty Pine sold 347 poutines between March 15-24. Lulu’s Kitchen came in second with 274 poutines sold, while Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse Casual came in third with 221 poutines sold.

Lychak said it was great to see so many local restaurants competing for the title. She also said it was great to see the support for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The eight Prince Albert restaurants that competed combined to sell 1,440 poutines, with $4 from each one going to BBBS. That works out to around $5,760 in donations.

“It’s an easy way for us to give back to the community doing what we do,” Lychak said.

BBBS development coordinator Natasha Thomson drove out to Little Red River Park to present Lychak and her staff with the Gravy Bowl Trophy on Wednesday afternoon. Thomson said they’re always impressed with Knotty Pine’s creativity.

“They are amazing, and really surprise us,” she said. “Their mighty bistro can compete against some of the bigger restaurants in town. It’s a beautiful place to come out and enjoy a meal, and the staff here just work so hard.”

Boston Pizza, Between the Buns, Original Joe’s, Ricky’s All Day Grill, the Rock and Iron Sports Bar, and Shananigans Bistro Coffee and Dessert Bar also competed in this year’s competition. Lychak said they’re grateful for restaurants who took part.

“It does take a whole community to circle around and support our vulnerable youth, and this is a great way for businesses as well as everyday Prince Albertans to show some support to youth mentoring,” she said.

Funds raised from Poutine Week will go towards recruiting and training support volunteers who mentor youth facing adversities in the community. Thomson said they’re currently looking for 10 more volunteers to match with youth on their waiting list.