If you didn’t know, today, Monday, April 11th is National Poutine Day! I kid you not. So on this day, I mad a conscious effort to celebrate appropriately by seeking out our Nationale export – I’m not talking about Celine Dion, but funny I should say that because I’ve been calling her “Celine Poutine” for the longest time now – POUTINE!. Sinfully delicious French fries topped with cheese curds and doused in hot gravy, it’s practically art. I hit up Poutineville this afternoon in search of squeaky and stretchy cheese.
We were handed both a menu as well as a Harry Potter like sorcery checklist to concoct a custom poutine to our own likes and specifications. The menu consists of classic burgers and hotdogs, but that’s not what we were in for today. We were out for poutine blood, and Poutineville was to quench our thirst. I had the poutine tasting choice and my friend decided to test what would be as close as she’ll ever come to her cooking skills, by choosing the toppings to her poutine.
I had the three poutine sampler plate. Explained to me by our waitress, it was a chance to taste Poutineville’s namesakes stripped down to its bare essentials. Three different preparations of potatoes as well as three different sauces.
Smashed potatoes with red wine sauce. Potatoes roasted whole with the skin on, then smashed and beaten like it stole something. What’s best about roasting potatoes with the skin on is that the skin crisps up and the edges of the potato gets hard and crusty, leaving the innards soft and fluffy. I was told that this is a nine-hour-sauce, meaning, this bad boy sat on top of the stove all morning in a saucepan spa slowly simmering away. The taste is really rich and deep, almost murky and mysterious, definitely the Keyser Söze of the poutine gravy world.
I spun my plate around to experience the next level of poutination. Sweet potato French fries with a three-pepper gravy. The potatoes lend a mild fruitiness to the poutine which is completely balanced out by the pepper sauce. Genius. I’ve always found that the only problem with sweet potato fries is that they don’t stay crispy long enough – this is attributed to the higher starch content of the potato. But when I was close to waving the white flag in defeat and was picking away at what was left of these fries… they were still crispy. I don’t know how they do it or what technique is used, but Poutineville managed to discover some sort of secret sweet potato viagra.
Straight up fries, cheese curds and original brown gravy. This option doesn’t mess around. Having Poutineville’s straight up original poutine (even if you’ve never had a poutine in your life before), tasting it for the first time, you will know right away that this is what a poutine should taste like.
My friend went with combination # 43,542,245 (explained later), which comprised of sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, Italian sausage and bacon. Mushrooms and onions go together regardless of the context, and let’s face it, you would probably eat a door-knob if it was wrapped in bacon… ok, maybe that’s just me.
We ordered the large size like we suffered from poutine deficiencies. Poutineville scored MAJOR points, because before we even started, I dug right to the middle of the pile and discovered that the middle was filled with cheese as well. How many times have you eaten off the cheesey yamaka of a poutine to be left with just a pitiful bowlful of fries? ALWAYS right? They knew this was a concern to addressed it accordingly… by stuffing the middle of this SOB with more cheese.
It’s easy to say that a poutine is a poutine, WRONG. All elements play important roles in this gastronomic symphony of Quebecois culinary heritage. Cheese curds, must be the highlight; it must squeak to the bite, and also be able to be pulled like hot glue or sweet maple taffy. This would only be possible if the gravy is thick but viscous enough to maintain and retain a level of adequate cheese melting temperature. Gravy must also compliment both fries and contrast the cheese to provide a sharp tang to the creamy cheese.
Mathematical breakdown of Poutineville; by chosing one of three types of potatoes, one of three types of sauces and a mix and match of 33 toppings.
3 * 3 * (2^33) or N[3 3 2^33] = 77,309,411,328
That’s 77,309,411,328 different combination possibilities (did anyone else get a little turned on?), and even if you had a poutine three times a day, it would still take you 70,602,202 – 70-friggin-million years to eat through Poutineville’s menu (I believe this calculation to be correct, but if any of you math geeks out there think otherwise, let me know). What are you waiting for? You have to start somewhere, get crackalackin’.
Hopefully national burger day is around the corner for you to go back and taste the outstanding burgers!!!
This place is a definite hit.
Now this is what i call: creativity at its best!
I went to poutineville this week and they are great. They are very creative and definitely the best poutine in town.
can’t wait to try this place! i’m very picky with my poutines, but from what i gather from your post, i might actually like this place. i hope they have ‘dirty fries’ (it doesn’t appear so from the pictures)!
Hi Debbie, I don’t need a special national recognition day to have a burger… the sun just has to rise!
Julie, I don’t know what you mean by dirty fries, but if they don’t, tell me and I’ll be happy to rub them around on the ground for you. 😉
you’re such a silly boy…
I just had a crazy concoction. I chose smashed potatoes, cheese curds, mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, steak slices and the whole was smothered in a rich wine sauce!!! I am still in heaven. These creations shouldn’t be considered poutines, they should be called masterpieces!
Helen… I’m speechless, that sounds like a pretty serious poutine, but not serious enough because there’s no bacon. 🙁
I am probably the only montrealer to hate Poutine. my first try was teenaged yrs on my way up north to ski and there was something about the cheese curds I could not overcome. Gravy was delicious…i don’t get what the fuss is about and when i read that fancy NY restos serve it and I want to laugh – no i actually do laugh.
i love cheese curds but just not with fries.
Natalie, maybe you had a bad first experience… have you tried it since? Yeah, shishi NY restaurants serving a bastardized version of our national dish… the humanity. I love cheese curds too, but it’s just the fact that they sell them next to the cash register at a deppaneur that irks me a little bit.
Those fries look an awful lot like they were made from frozen pre-blanched fries. Please tell me I’m wrong.
No clue, but it’s the final product that counts.
Thanks for the great review I tried it yesterday and its a definite hit. I never thought that one day I would say this but… This sure beats La banquise
On Saturday, I had the Baby Back Rib Poutine… Wow!!! Even after I ordered it I was wondering what I’ve done, but it was terrific. The Rib was excellent and the whole poutine just WOW!
How does it stand up vs. La Banquise? Seems very good.
Let’s just say, since I’ve discovered Poutineville… I haven’t been back to the other place.
Nice, heading there tomorrow. Thanks!
Cool, let me know how you like it!
Oh, I ended up really liking it! Sorry for not saying so sooner haha!
Cool, thanks for letting me know! 😀
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