Finally, there’s a Steamy Week

We have Poutine Week, and we have Burger Week. Now the Montreal hot dog is getting its due.

Steamé (640x480)
The steamy (aka steamé)
The poor steamy. At best, it’s the humble accompaniment to a more filling poutine. At worst, it’s the fastest thing you’ve ever drunkenly wolfed down. Despite its status as a local culinary staple, it’s the poutine and burger that have received their own special weeks. Nobody’s ever even given the dependable, melt-in-your-mouth steamy all-dress a fine dining upgrade.

It makes sense, then, that the long-awaited inaugural Steamy Week, which begins this Friday and ends Jan. 29, is a more modest, DIY affair compared to its elaborate, showy poutine and burger counterparts. There are no special menus and no voting on your favourites. Steamy Week won’t turn our beloved dogs into anything they’re not. You’re not even supposed to put ketchup on those bad boys.

“I don’t know, do we really want it to change? I don’t think so,” says Steamy week co-founder Josh Davidson. “I want people to appreciate it for what it is. It would be a shame if it changed. That’s one thing with poutine, it’s a little over the top right now.”

Davidson and his Concordia comms peers Cléa Desjardins and Andy Murdoch came up with the idea for a weeklong celebration of the steamy while inebriated, of course.

“Why has the steamy stayed in the background? That’s how the conversation started,” Davidson recalls.

The following morning, he began work on the website and started soliciting friends to contribute. It’s all user-generated: people can upload their favourite place for steamies – which will appear on the site’s map of the city – add pics and provide commentary. Eventually users will be able to share longform steamy memories in a separate section. It’s possible to join in without even visiting the site: just use the #SteamyWeek or #SemaineSteamé hashtags.

“People have fond memories of being out downtown with friends late at night, and going for steamies is always the last place you end up,” Davidson says. “My father, my uncles, they all have stories about the Pool Room and brushing elbows with all sorts of elements of the city.”

So far, around 40 casse-croûtes have been added. A bunch of them are your garden variety Belle Provinces, so Davidson implores everyone to put their corner diner on the map. With any luck, Steamy Week could result in the public curation of Montreal’s finest steamy depository. There are no participating restaurants, so don’t expect any deals or voting cards.

“Honestly though, how much of a difference is there between one or the other?” Davidson asks. “This isn’t an official competition or anything. This is about Montrealers coming together at a depressing point of the year and rallying around a simple, iconic tradition that has never been fully appreciated.” ■

For more information, visit the Steamy Week website