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Poutine

s
Smitty Apr 21, 2006 01:44 PM

Does anyone know where I can get some of Quebec's finest? I need poutine in Portland!

  1. terrier Jul 15, 2009 06:55 PM

    It's not PDX, but Skillet in SEA does some deadly (in a good way) poutine. Unfortunately, their yuppie trailers aren't out at night when we could really use some decent street food of the gut-bomb variety.

    6 Replies
    1. re: terrier
      b
      Barry Foy Jul 16, 2009 10:34 AM

      For the most part, these various "poutines" are poutine just as Seattle's various Thai restaurant "pad thais" are pad thai. As someone once wrote about Irish traditional music, there's no right way to do it, but there are many wrong ways to do it. In Quebec there's a wide range of poutine types on offer, leading one to draw the conclusion that the definition of "poutine" is simply various things, including a gravy of some sort, on top of decent french fries. But, given that the idea of a bunch of stuff on french fries is intrinsically good (which I happen to believe), that doesn't mean that any old cheese and any old gravy you care to use makes it a poutine. I'm finding gravies that are gloppy and heavy, and gravies not hot enough to melt cheese curds, and cheese curds that aren't even curds at all, and so forth. True, there are people serving up some fairly tasty gravy substances and cheese substances on french-fry substances in the Northwest, but they take liberties in calling them "poutine."

      1. re: Barry Foy
        paulj Jul 16, 2009 11:19 AM

        Here's a review that gives an idea of the range of dishes called poutine in Montreal
        http://www.montrealpoutine.com/reviews.html
        http://www.montrealpoutine.com/recipe...

        1. re: Barry Foy
          m
          mrnelso Jul 16, 2009 05:53 PM

          My introduction, and only experience , of poutine was at Skillet.
          For what it's worth, I never did it again.

        2. re: terrier
          RandyB Jul 17, 2009 05:12 PM

          In Seattle, Gainsbourg on Greenwood just north of 85th has poutine. I did not try it when I went for Bastille Day.

          1. re: terrier
            c
            clearskies0810 Jul 17, 2009 08:20 PM

            Steelhead Diner in Seattle has poutine as well (made with Beecher's cheese curds). Kind of a mess to eat, but stangely satisfying.

            I hear Smith in Capitol Hill has it as well.

            1. re: terrier
              n
              not the bad Steve Jul 20, 2009 02:28 PM

              Skillet has been doing some weekend evenings at a new movie theater near Northgate called Thornton Place.

            2. paulj Jul 15, 2009 06:29 PM

              Does Tillamook cheese sell cheese curds, either at their plant or store on the coast, or in Portland?

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj
                JillO Jul 15, 2009 08:30 PM

                Tillamook definitely sells their curds at the factory store at the coast. Don't know where else to get 'em.

                Rogue Creamery also sells curds and you can usually find them at the Portland Farmers' Market.

              2. w
                westpeter Jul 15, 2009 03:57 PM

                Lincoln has it on their happy hour menu.

                1. paulj Jul 15, 2009 09:56 AM

                  You could cross the river and sample one of these Vancouver spots :)
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623166

                  Note that among Canadians, there is considerable debate as to whether you can get good poutine outside of Quebec.

                  1. Mike CP Jul 15, 2009 09:39 AM

                    I was in Portland for weekend in April and on the walk home from the bars we stopped a parking lot full of food trucks on the corner of 12th Ave and Hawthorne (SE). The most popular truck served poutine. It was good quality truck food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mike CP
                      n
                      Nettie Jul 15, 2009 05:55 PM

                      That's Potato Champion, already mentioned in this thread as not having great poutine. The fries really are pretty awesome, though, so it's definitely worth checking out. There's more info about Potato Champion and the other carts in that pod here: http://www.portlandfood.org/index.php...

                    2. h
                      holadayc Jul 15, 2009 02:03 AM

                      I just went to The Potato Champion in SE and was pretty disappointed. The fries were top notch, but the cheese curds tasted like day old mozzarella. The gravy just seemed to miss the mark, thicker than I would have liked and not seasoned like anything I was expecting. At the end of the day not-so-great poutine is better than no poutine, but don't get your hopes up like I did.

                      -----
                      The Potato Champion
                      SE Hawthorne Blvd SE 12th Ave

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: holadayc
                        c
                        caviarczar Jul 15, 2009 04:59 AM

                        I've never been, and in general have read somewhat mixed reviews about the place, but "The Original, A Dinerant" (diner/restaurant) located on 300 SW 6th is serving poutine for $7.25. You can add foie gras for $7 more. Spendy for a potatoey hankering, but it seems the best time to eat poutine is drunk or hungover. Follow that rule and either you won't care you're shelling out the extra cash or it'll be well worth the money. http://www.originaldinerant.com/food.php

                      2. m
                        MichaelG Apr 23, 2006 06:10 PM

                        Along with being a great drunken late night snack, poutine also fits the bill for a skiing/snowboard lunch. Some of the best poutine I've had has been at ski areas in BC and Alberta. If Ski Bowl / Meadows / Timberline know what's good for them, they'll add it to their cafeteria menus.

                        1. m
                          Mark Nobe Apr 22, 2006 12:06 PM

                          I don't think there is anything local, organic, or seasonal about poutine so you probably won't find it in Portland. If you go to the Canada board and search (Ctrl+F) for poutine you will find places all over British Columbia selling it, even Burger King and Dairy Queen.

                          1. b
                            benschon Apr 21, 2006 03:16 PM

                            Wow, obscure! I have never heard of a Quebecois or French-Canadian restaurant anywhere in the Northwest, and even if there were, I doubt they would serve greasy comfort grub like poutine.

                            I think your best bet is to get someone to make it for you. It's not hard: just french fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. The subleties of eating it, drunk, with a plastic fork out of a styrofoam bowl on a cold night in Montreal might be lost, but c'est la vie.

                            I just found a link to a francophone folk festival in Coquitlam, B.C., outside of Vancouver. You just missed it for this year. They advertise that they serve poutine.

                            Link: http://www.festivaldubois.ca/english/...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: benschon
                              p
                              paulj Apr 21, 2006 06:57 PM

                              Watching T Bourdain's Quebec No Reservations episode should satisfy anyone's Poutine lust :) He sampled at least 4 different versions, one topped foie gras, another with spaghetti Os, and ... everything but raw seal meat.

                              It is easy to get gravy with your frys north of the border, but I haven't had the curds.

                              paulj

                            2. d
                              DC Apr 21, 2006 03:10 PM

                              You may have to go to Vancouver BC... Sorry

                              DC

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