If there is one thing you can count on when driving through Sturgeon Falls, it's the chip stands, and The Riv has been taking it to a whole new level with its specials this year.
From pulled pork tacos, to dilly poutine and chicken buffalo poutine, there is a rich, flavourful special to suit every palate.
The Riv Chip Stand, east of Sudbury, is celebrating 50 years in the business and has been pumping out some wicked combinations.
Recently they featured The Soprano, an Italian-inspired poutine with Italian sauce, mozzarella cheese, meatballs, fried raviolis from Sault Ste. Marie, parmesan cheese and parsley flakes.
It sold out within a few days.
Kate and Bruno Lepage have owned The Riv since 2017, with Bruno growing up in the area and being a frequent Riv flyer.
Lepage says their hot specials are thanks to a very creative staff who love experimenting in the kitchen for unique combinations.
“It usually results in new specials once per week from burgers to poutines and shakes,” she says.
Kate says keeping their food sources local or all Ontario local has been a key ingredient to their continued success.
“For instance, all the potatoes come from Don Poulin, in Azilda,” she says. “We also source our meats from Simcoe County at VG Meats and the ice cream comes from London.
“Leisure Farms is another Sturgeon Falls destination. Our milkshakes benefit from our partnership there. Our haskap berry and pumpkin shakes are a hit thanks to them.”
She says Sudbury customers can also head to The Valley Market for bagfuls of their frozen pogos.
The chip stand has a long legacy in Sturgeon Falls starting in 1973 with the Ferlatte family opening the stand after their restaurant “The Riviera '' burned to the ground.
The Lennons took over in the early 90s and then a group of family owners took over from 1995 to 2017 until it came into the Lepages capable restauranteering hands.
When it comes to her favourites, Kate says it’s hands down a hand-dipped pogo with classic mustard.
She adds that the sweet mustard dip is made in-house and they have even offered specialty pogos like the Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage pogo in recent months for those who love a little heat.
On the topic of preferences, Kate says the chip stand competition in Sturgeon is a healthy one.
“Everyone has their favourite taste of gravy or twist of combinations which makes it work,” she says.
Some customers will head to Larry’s, Monique’s or The Riv chip stands. Some families will even split up upon arrival and head their separate ways to order.
The Riv Chip Stand can be found at 235 Main St. in Sturgeon Falls, right across from the recently renovated Larry’s Chip Stand that was forced to rebuild after a devastating fire last year.
It can be located on Facebook or at www.rivchipstand.ca.
Anastasia Rioux is a writer in Greater Sudbury. Let’s Eat! is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.