Welcome to the La Poutine Week Round-Up.
For those of you who don’t know what poutine is, well, it’s Canada’s “signature” dish. Every country has one dish that carries national culture. In Brazil, it’s the famous Feijoada (bean/pork stew). In Canada, it’s the poutine: fries, gravvy (meat or chicken sauce) and cheese.
When I first arrived in the country poutine seemed like sorry slop a drunkard put together with left-over fries. Oh I’ll just pour thickened meat juice on top, make it nice and soggy. Throw some cheese in there for flavour.
6 years later, I can totally appreciate this national slop made for drunkards. And OH the possibilities of what to put atop the poutine. It’s the perfect vehicle.
Eating 7 poutines in 3 days is no small feat. Sacrifices were made. Long distances were travelled during Toronto rush-hour. Arteries were put to the test. Glances were cast by passer-byers who observed a single girl pounding pouties alone at odd times of day.
My jeans are ill-fitting this week and I hope you know it was ALL FOR YOU.
All in the name of my unwavering loyalty to my readers and undying pursuit of journalistic food integrity.
For the next 3 months you can find me enveloped in a lettuce leaf permanently placed on an elliptical machine.
Below, ranked from Favourite to Least Favourite, are the poutines I feasted upon.
1. Rock Lobster: Lobster Poutine
Fries, Quebec cheese curds, Nova Scotia Lobster and lobster-bisque gravy. $10
Winner!! The bisque. The lobster bisque as gravy is just unforgettable. Thick with butter, it was a poutine I will remember and crave.
2.Holy Chuck: Love the Bone
Fries, braised and pulled veal cheek, veal cheek gravy, brie cheese, roasted and confit cipollini onions in wild blueberry juice, and roasted bone marrow. $10.
This place is what I’m all about: total indulgence. They have a fois gras milk shake for goddssakes!!!
Anyway, unforgettably salty, fatty, rich poutine. If you’re not into sucking fat from a bone then maybe it’s not your thing.
3. Caplansky’s Delicatessen: The Jew-Tine
Smoked-meat poutine topped with crispy onion straws. $10.
First, adorable punny-name. The Jewtine!! I know this poutine literally looks like a plate of slop, but that meat-sauce was deliciously simple. It wasn’t overly rich, and the deli itself is a wonderful place. The staff were so nice. As far as poutines go this is a non-over-the-top contender. Keepin’ it simple and classy, Caplansky’s.
4. Fancy Franks: Fancy Schmancy Poutine
Fries, beef ribs, cheese curds, grilled onions, gravy, fried egg and scallions. $10.
Overall, delicious. Breaking into that egg and watching it spill over the fries like its own little gravy is what makes it. The golden goo, and the scallions gave it crunch. A bit on the rich side though, couldn’t finish it.
5. The Saint: St. Poutine
Fries, cheddar cheese curds, grilled thick-cut bacon, sour cream and bacon gravy. $10.
Smoke is the name of the game at The Saint. All I could taste on that poutine was some smokey-ass, thick-cut bacon which, I will note, should be cut into a dice. It’s a bit awkward to have that huge slab of bacon on top. Didn’t know how to tackle it. I will put this under “Meh”.
6. Toma Burger Addiction: Toma Poutine
Fries, truffle olive oil, double-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, fresh cheese curds and homemade gravy. $8.
I wasn’t a fan. It had all the parts of a good poutine, but it seemed fussy. And they lie about the price, because it’s 8 dollars for a small “side” version. And seen as I bought the large and it wasn’t that big, I can’t imagine what the side one would be like. Anyway, it tasted …weird because of the truffle olive oil, in my opinion. Like…aluminum-y? Tin-like? Bleh.
7. Lisa Marie: Pad Thai Fries
Fries, secret sauce, bean sprouts, lime and cilantro. $10.
THE WORST. You let me down, girl. I was looking forward to this poutine more than the others. I thought it would taste fresh! spicy! But I think they fried it and immediately tossed it in a sauce, which made it a total SOGJOB of a poutine. Then they threw like, three beans sprouts on top and picked a couple limp, stray cilantro leaves from a veggie drawer to put on the side. You let yourself down as a pouty, and others as a pad thai. WHERE ‘DEM PEANUTS. I ain’t seen no peanuts…
So, which poutine would YOU want to try?