Living A Poutine Dream, Or More Cheese (and chips), Please!

One of the things I knew I wanted to do in Canada was eat poutine. A hell of a lot of poutine. Possibly line up and eat out of a trough filled with poutine. Instead, I settled for fancy places with cutlery and plates, as the lovely Melissa from The Mellyboo Project and Kate from Canuckiwi Kate took me to a couple of joints in Toronto to gorge myself on Canada’s national dish.

 

My exploration of poutine didn’t stop there though, as Canadians excitedly told me to try the poutine in Montreal, which apparently does the dish so much better than Toronto. I thought they were exaggerating at the time, as the two places I ate at in Toronto were sublime, but they were right.

 

Poutini's sign

There aren’t enough oms and noms in the world to do justice to the glory that is poutine.

 

What is poutine exactly, though? For the unenlightened, it’s a dish made from chips, cheese curds, and a kind of gravy, although different places add different things to their poutine. It’s a surprisingly versatile dish, and the chips are real chips, not weedy little Mcdonald’s-style French fries. We’re talking chips with a bit of body to them.

 

poutine fairytale

I think all classic fairytales should be re-written to incorporate the dish. The Princess And The Poutine, anybody? Although putting poutine under twenty mattresses is probably messier than putting a pea down there.

 

Poutine is versatile, too. It can be eaten as a snack, a meal, or, best of all, to soak up alcohol after a night out. Who needs a kebab made of questionable meat when you can bask in the glory of poutine, instead?

 

La Banquise

Montreal’s La Banquise is open twenty-four hours!

 

French-speaking penguin

And it has a French-speaking penguin to greet you.

 

La Banquise poutine

It also has an extensive menu of poutine that I couldn’t fit in one photo.

 

La Kamikaze Poutine at La Banquise

Oh and it serves absolutely mind-blowing poutine. This is their La Kamikaze variety.

 

If you’re in Montreal, I implore you to visit La Banquise. Nay, if you’re ever in Quebec. No, Canada. It’s that good. The menu has so many varieties of poutine on it that I wanted to order several. I finally settled on the classic poutine, but then came back the next day to try out the La Kamikaze poutine after the name piqued my curiosity. The result was a spicy concoction that was truly delicious, not just a spicy-for-the-sake-of-being-spicy kind of dish.

 

pulled pork poutine

My first poutine – a pulled pork variety at  The Lakeview.

 

Poutini's poutine

Poutine round 2. I almost wept because I couldn’t finish this bowl of bacony, sour creamy goodness.

 

In Toronto? Make sure you check out Poutini’s House of Poutine and The Lakeview, with the latter being the place where I took my first bite of poutine, after taking a few sips of their glorious chocolate milkshake. I opted for the pulled pork poutine in The Lakeview, and went for a variety made with bacon, sour cream and chives in Poutini’s, a Toronto institution and the first name on the lips of all my Canadian friends when I inquired about the best place in the city to go for poutine.

 

So there you have it, folks! Now, I want to hear from you! Have you ever eaten poutine before? If so, what did you think? If not, does it look like something you’d want to try? Let us know in the comments below, or shout out on Facebook or Twitter.

28 Responses to Living A Poutine Dream, Or More Cheese (and chips), Please!

  1. I’m so glad you liked poutine (though I have no idea why anybody wouldn’t like it). You have tried so many more variations than I have! All of these versions look delicious…
    This Battered Suitcase just posted Happy 4th of JulyMy Profile

    • Oh, all of them were so good! And I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t like it, either. They’d have to have a pretty damn good excuse for not liking it. Now I want to eat at La Banquise for breakfast.

  2. Kerry says:

    Poutine basically terrifies me, but those perfectly cooked chips in Round 2 are almost making me cry with joy and envy.
    Kerry just posted I got an unexpected gift in the mail this Fourth of July!My Profile

  3. Heather says:

    When I lived in Manhattan, we’d often go for fries with mozzarella and gravy after a night on the town. It was one of my favorite guilty pleasures! Canada looks like it would be a very dangerous place for me.
    Heather just posted Jean Georges Shanghai: Elegant Bund-Side DiningMy Profile

  4. Kate - Canuckiwikate says:

    Yummmm… I loved reliving these delicious memories via this post! We will not speak of the additional weight padding my midsection since being reunited with this national treasure. Word to the wise, this is not necessarily done well everywhere – be weary ordering from your typical chain restaurants across the country claiming the name. Real POUTINE is made with cheese curds (which originated in Quebec, hense it’s the best there). Melted cheese and gravy, while also tasty, is not the same :)

    So glad you enjoyed this naughty treat, was a pleasure to share your first and second experiences!

    • Weight gained from poutine is acceptable. I’d be wary of Canadians that don’t have this and question how much they love poutine and THEIR COUNTRY. Unless they have an annoyingly fast metabolism. Good point on the cheese curds, too. It was lovely meeting you, and of course sharing my poutine initiation!

  5. Corey says:

    Mmmmmmm, poutine. At least you liked one of our national consumable goods.

    And I’ve been to that restaurant in Montreal! Years and years ago. I had the breakfast poutine from what I remember (I was drunk).

    And now I’m hungry.

  6. Val says:

    I want to eat all of those. Constantly. RIght now.

  7. Richard says:

    So now I know what this mythical poutine is that you’ve been on about. Reckon a homemade UK version of chip shop chips topped with cheese and gravy would compare?

    • Not. At. All. They would need to use cheese curds for starters, not just melted cheese, and the sauce used in poutine is so much better than regular ole’ gravy. I do love British food, but British cheese and chips just don’t compare to poutine. At all.

  8. Jess says:

    I thought I knew what poutine was. I’d had it in Montreal, at a mall food court – fries with bacon and melted cheese on top. Not bad.

    Toronto taught me that I knew NOTHING about poutine, and that this lack in my life was completely unacceptable,
    Jess just posted Yukon Ho!My Profile

    • I hope it was cheese curds, not melted cheese, otherwise that wasn’t real poutine! I’m almost in tears that you were in Montreal and didn’t go to La Banquise. The poutine there blew the stuff in Toronto out of the water.

  9. Looks like a heart attack on a plate. Did I mention that I love heart attacks on plates?!?
    ConfusedJulia just posted The Eerily Beautiful Lake PatzcuaroMy Profile

    • Wait…what? Chips are healthy, they come from potatoes. And cheese is healthy. It comes from cows. They eat grass, and grass is healthy…ok so I’ll stop deluding myself. It totally is a heart attack on a plate. BUT IT’S SO GOOD.

  10. I had heard of poutine a long time ago and I’m still aching to try it. No one has brought it to Asia yet. Not that I know of. I guess, I’m off to Canada then. Haha.
    paul | walkflypinoy just posted Venturing Off Track for East Coast Eats: How I Found Anis Putri Corner in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMy Profile

  11. you went to the right place I see…. mmmm La Banquise, how I miss you.
    Jade, Montrealer, formerly just posted Wanderlust Blues Cure – Part IIMy Profile

  12. Muurrrr, this looks like my idea of food heaven! In the north in the UK we eat chips, cheese and gravy together so maybe it’s a bit like that… (though I’ve never seen it look as good as it does in your photos!) I’m totally hungry now… Great post :)
    Victoria Ellen Lee just posted Homecooking… How to cook Spaghetti Carbonara like an ItalianMy Profile

    • I’m from the north too, Victoria, and it definitely is NOT the same as cheese, chips and gravy! They use cheese curds in poutine, not melted or grated cheese, so it’s a fair bit different. And the gravy isn’t the same either – no Bisto on poutine! ;)

  13. Miranda says:

    I love poutine, and could probably eat it everyday. Maybe it’s cause I’m Canadian. But it’s been far too long since I’ve had real poutine. I’m currently in the UK and chips with cheese and gravy is just not the same.
    Miranda just posted How to Apply for a UK National Insurance NumberMy Profile

    • You’re right. Chips, cheese and gravy just doesn’t compare to poutine. At all. Although I do now have a craving for good ole’ fish, chips and mushy peas with curry sauce and lashings of salt and vinegar…agh!

  14. Jeska says:

    Oh my gosh! Those all look so good its unreal!
    Jeska just posted Grand Canyon Photo EssayMy Profile

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