July 5, 2013
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.
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 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?
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.
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.