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JK poutine, nice but...

After reading the rave reviews on JK's poutine (and JK establishments overall), I finally dove into the poutine today. Visited the Gilead Cafe. Nice locale, however, the poutine was a major disapointment. Don't get me wrong, I went in with an open mind (i.e. not expecting a classic Quebec greasy spoon version) but I was sad to say it was a major ripoff.

$8 got me about a cup and a half of fries, topped with some sort of lamb kofta type thingie, some (tasty) little sauce and probably a teaspoon (!) worth of cheese. Don't get me wrong, I expect some premium pricing for good ingredients, but this was insulting. Get rid of the meat, which was pretty dry, and don't be so parsimonious with the cheese, and I'd have been ok.

On the other hand, my wife's corned beef sandwich was very nice. Meat wasn't too salty and had good texture.

By the way, duckdown, if you're reading this, t-shirt shorts and ballcap and Gilead Cafe is fine, I'm sure. But I don't think this is what you're after (i.e. the poutine).

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  1. i prefer ordering the "frites" plain after having a disappointing braised beef poutine at JKWB

    1. JK poutines usually have only a small amount of cheese. I've always figured this was a creative decision rather than an economic one. Too much salty pecorino could really overwhelm a dish. Then again...not enough and you barely notice it at all. I had the same poutine yesterday, however, and I will say that I felt the Gilead version was not far off taste wise from the the more expensive JKwine bar versions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mstacey42

        I suppose it's a matter of what one has as a frame of reference. To a Québecois (where after all the dish originated) fresh frites, fresh cheese curds and chicken gravy make a poutine. Get that right to start and then fiddle around with variations. As Picasso said about his painting, "In order to break the rules you must first know them." Slopping ingredients over frites and calling it poutine does not make it so.

        All that said there's some tasty fries with toppings out there: but they are to poutine what chop suey is to Chinese food.

      2. Hey!

        Thanks for the information, grandgourmand, although it is disappointing! :)

        I had thought the poutine was a traditional poutine; just fries, curds, and chicken gravy

        I did not realise it was a version with lamb or other meats involved..

        Since my attire sounds like it may actually be "acceptable" here I will probably venture to try it anyways

        Cheers

        3 Replies
        1. re: duckdown

          Not sure about Gilead cafe, but the JKWB poutine varies from day to day (one day might be lamb, the next beef...). It's far from traditional, but is sooo good.

            1. re: mrbozo

              I'm not sure there is anything it can easily be compared to. It certainly can't be compared to traditional/classic poutine, which is delicious in its own right....if that's what one is in the mood for, one will be disappointed with JK's version. But, IMHO, it's still highly tasty. And (in reference to your comment, above) an analogy to chop suey is absolutely inappropriate.

        2. Seriously - is there any non-private restaurant (i.e. not Rosedale, Granite club, etc.) in the entire city that would enforce a dress code? I just imagine walking into JKWB and being told to tuck in my shirt. It is POSSIBLE that if you looked like a complete and utter disgrace they might mention something but I seriously doubt it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: abscissa

            Hehe, I am the subject of this contreversial topic.., the whole issue here is simply that I usually wear a pair of shorts, with sandals, while wearing a short sleeve button up shirt with a ball-cap

            It's far from an obnoxious or "saggy pants and backwards hat" way of dressing I would like to think, but obviously very hot summer weather attire nonetheless...

            I just would be surprised if any place looking for customers would turn someone away in the hot weather because I'm not wearing something dressy..

            Lots of pretentious restaurants out there sadly these days

          2. Yes, the whole issue here is simply that I usually wear a pair of shorts, with sandals, while wearing a short sleeve button up shirt with a ball-cap

            It's far from an obnoxious or "saggy pants and backwards hat" way of dressing I would like to think, but obviously very hot summer weather attire nonetheless...