Deep fried potatoes, a mountain of cheese curds, a dollop of greasy brown gravy. Its literally the king of junk food, its everything you should avoid to stay healthy. It could lead to cholesterol and heart problems. In my case it leads to a larger belly circumference. However, I still encourage you to give it a try. To avoid any guilty-feelings after gobbling down the best heart-attack-in-a-plate in town, you can share your plate with friends and exercise a bit (like walking up to the parking lot is enough to do the job, #wink).
To identify a good poutine, judge it from the fries. If the poutine made out of freshly cut potatoes with the skin still on each end of the fries, then we can continue talking. But if the poutine made out of frozen potatoes (you will see from the way its cut, says me, the potato cutter expert), you’d better be ordering something else from the menu. The cheese curds squeak and have rubbery texture. Its actually fresh cheddar cheese before it goes to the next molding and aging process. The good poutine is not necessary better or healthier, but let’s say its worth the calories.
There are tons of toppings to be add on your poutine. From sausage, bacon, to duck confit. Altho you basically can add anything as your toppings, it doesn’t mean you should. Poutine is originally a poor man’s food, so stay at the basic is recommendable (not by me). Since I can be such a fancy-pants on food, my fav poutine toppings are steak and champignon, smoked meat, and duck confit, flushed down with a glass of beer like my ex; cold, white, and imported. For the sake of my arteries and to continue wearing the same jeans size, I eat poutine probably once a month (sometimes twice if Nico wasn’t looking).
Poutine has a huge impact on food culture in big cities in Canada like Toronto, Montreal and Quebec city. Its so huge it has its own week each year; La Semaine de La Poutine or La Poutine Week. Its an official week of international competition where restaurants signed up to serve their best take on Poutine. Each participating restaurant will prepare their unique poutine creations in price range of 7$ to 20$. They can only offer this creations during the Poutine week.
Its not only that, there are also annual Poutine Festivals on major cities. These festivals are dedicated by the poutine restaurants for the poutine lovers. No competition involved, only good poutine, great music entertainments, and a big bunch of poutine-eating-pigs, like myself.
There are few poutine place I end-up loving (and hating at the same time because if they weren’t that good, I wouldn’t have this monthly craving of the deviously calorious dish) in Quebec City (not written by ranks):
|Poutine La Fabrique Montcalm
- LaFabrique Montcalm, it serves non-traditional poutine on a metal bowl, how cool is that?! well, to be honest at first I thought it looks like a dog bowl but then this hipster vibes just got into me.
- FritesAlors, it has enough poutine varieties to satiate your poutine cravings. Great poutine, great beer. Long list of mayos for your fries too,
- La Poutinerie. Best to learn their menu before you go in, they have like endless topping list, so if you are the indecisive type of character, stay away.
- Snack Bar rue St. Jean. Don’t think about having a huge bar of chips, chocolate or whatever you consider as snack. They actually serve awesome range of fast food like hotdogs, hamburgers, and of course poutine. They should call themselves Fastfood Bar, but I guess it will shy away the pigs, scared the healthy-eaters, and will be shunned by mothers with underage kids.
- CochonDingue, a Parisian bistro with deep understanding of the importance of poutine, they even participate on the annual La Poutine Week competition. During this competition week, you can find their great poutine with novelty toppings for fancy-pants like me.
And last but not least;
- ChezAston, its like the McDonald of the poutine world. You can find it across Quebec province. It has this particular winter deal; the price of their poutine drops with the temperature. So let say its -15 outside, you will get 15% rebates on the poutine. The downpart is their poutine is not really worth the hassle of going out when its -15 outside.
PS: For the sake of science, I will update this post whenever I found a poutine joint worth to mention. (See what I'd do for science??)