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