If there is one thing that is so true about me, it’s my love for french fries. See me hugging a BIG potato with an equally BIG smile on my face? I specifically put PEI’s Potato Museum on my itinerary on my Maritimes junket sometime ago because of my love of tubers. So it is but natural for me to be a big fan of the quintessential Canadian dish called poutine. It’s an over-the-top french fries concoction that started in Montreal. It is basically fresh-cut fries smothered in thick deep gravy and cheese curds. It’s not for anyone who cannot handle the big thump of weight on the tummy after you finish a serving (yep, just like anything North American, poutines are served in BIG bowls!). It’s actually more than a full meal to me.
Remember from my past post for pulled pork? That was when I saw this restaurant, Poutini’s (1112 Queen St West, just west of Queen and Dovercourt). After a few days of seeing it, I finally found the time to come back to Poutini’s and try their poutine. I walk in and take note of the varied forms of art on the walls (they accept submissions from local artists) and youthful clusters of ads on a big bulletin board. Being a self-serve kind of place, I wait my turn at the back of several customers and leisurely read a chalk board that enumerates quite an impressive list of variations of poutine. I survey the place and my wandering eye stops at a cup beside the cashier saying “Good Karma”. Not so subtle forms positive reinforcement does work with me if they amuse me. That they did.
As I went up and down their menu, I am impressed that they seem to have covered every trendy reason their customers would ask. They have options for gravy: beef, vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan (vegan version has a substitute for those cheese curds). Then they have two sizes, regular or teeny-weeny tiny (believe me, this one is still big enough to give you that tummy thump!). Then for anyone who is addicted to hearing cheese curds squeak as they chew, they have a choice to layer the cheese curds. I must admit, I gave their “The Works” version a serious consideration. It piles up bacon, sour cream and chives on this variation. The only reason why I did not choose it is that I thought it be best to try the original recipe of this sinful, gooey pile of fries for my first bout of Poutini’s poutine.
I finally have my turn and I watch the guy prep my bowl, season the fries, pack the cheese curds and smother this scrumptious pile with hot beef gravy. My stomach was churning as I wait there in anticipation wondering if I found another happy place. I finally got my poutine and I paired it up with Diet Coke . It’s strange I know. The poutine makes up all the calories I should consume that day.
And so the moment of truth. My fork digs into the pile and I give myself a generous bite. I love it when my fries taste a bit sweet, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The gravy does testify to long hours of simmering as its deep flavor is pretty evident. Ah…this is potato heaven definitely! I probably have the same smile at the time when I was eating my poutine as when I was hugging that big potato at PEI ;)