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Poutine.

wolfe Nov 8, 2009 01:05 AM

Recent thread on Show Dogs drifted into poutine discussion and its infiltration into the Bay Area. Found this link in the right hand column irresistible.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/665524?tag=tabby;tab_latest_posts
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6384...

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Show Dogs
1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA

  1. Robert Lauriston Nov 8, 2009 09:15 AM

    So reportedly they have poutine at Oh My Dawg in Oakland. Anybody tried it?

    Salt House in SF has something they call poutine on the menu, but it's made with cheddar, not fresh curd.

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    Salt House
    545 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      wolfe Nov 8, 2009 10:47 AM

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6384...

      1. re: wolfe
        BernalKC Nov 9, 2009 01:19 PM

        Just had to try the Oh My Dawg version. Their's is a fun rendition with the requisite salt, grease, and calorie overlaod. The owner explained why and how its not a pure pedigree Québécois Poutine - the gravy is sweet, the cheese is jack... to which I say, Poutine should never have a pedigree. it is a mongrel mashup. And this one is delicious. Took me no time to polish it off.

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        O My Dawg- CLOSED
        463 2nd St, Oakland, CA

    2. p
      pockyjunkie Nov 8, 2009 12:28 PM

      Going to Flora next week - saw it's on the menu under starters, cheese curds included. If we try it, I'll report back.

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      Flora
      1900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

      1. BernalKC Nov 9, 2009 04:47 PM

        OK, I'm obsessing. Since few people here will have any idea what poutine is, I've dug up some links. Feast our eyes on this: http://www.chow.com/photos/380354 Which was posted in this thread: http://www.chow.com/photos/380354

        1 Reply
        1. re: BernalKC
          wolfe Nov 9, 2009 05:14 PM

          Thread
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/650016
          Permalink.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6500...

        2. s
          skwid Nov 18, 2009 08:17 PM

          Just went to Salt House today for lunch and they had poutine as an appetizer. It was okay, not necessarily something I'd get again but good to try.

          2 Replies
          1. re: skwid
            p
            Piperdown Nov 18, 2009 10:01 PM

            Speaking as a Canadian, you really need to be drunk to enjoy your first poutine. It's only then that the combination makes sense, after that initial one though you will crave it no matter what state you're in. So I really want to try some of these bay area one's, but I just don't know if I can set myself up for that kind of disappointment, but the craving is strong.

            1. re: Piperdown
              Splendid Wine Snob Nov 19, 2009 09:39 AM

              I speak as a Canadian and I heartily disagree. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Quebecois poutine absolutely sober.

              SWS

          2. t
            tomatoaday Nov 19, 2009 06:31 AM

            In the new issue of the New Yorker, Calvin Trillin does a pretty exhaustive "research" piece for anyone who wants to read before they try. Maybe this should be a media post but it seems to fit here for this topic.

            1. a
              Agent 510 Jan 2, 2010 11:39 AM

              You can get poutine at Gregoire in Berkeley (this month only). I'm trying it right now and it's definitely the real thing, with gravy and cheese curds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Agent 510
                c
                Constant Velocity Jan 4, 2010 01:03 PM

                Thank you so much for this tip! I just had some from the Oakland branch of Gregoire--the best poutine I've had outside Quebec, including homemade. It was kind of "California style" with way less cheese and gravy than at, say, La Belle Province . . . which, surprisingly, was kind of an improvement! Very crunchy and delightful fries, just the right consistency.

                1. re: Constant Velocity
                  BernalKC Jan 4, 2010 02:21 PM

                  The fries were really good -- crunchy, salty, delicous. And the curds were right. But I was dissapointed by the proportions, especially the paltry amount of cheese. There was so little gravy, I couldn't tell you anything about it. At least the crunchy fries remained good and crunchy.

              2. wolfe Dec 2, 2012 06:59 AM

                Supply may catch up with demand.

                http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Po...

                4 Replies
                1. re: wolfe
                  h
                  hyperbowler Dec 2, 2012 08:46 AM

                  As listed in that article, Jamber , a new wine-bar near Zero Zero with about 20 wines on tap and 12 beers on tap, has poutine. Their version has a whitish housemade gravy. For that, it gets points for not being the MSG bomb common to poutine places, but at the same time it has a weak base that lacks depth and umami. Not much gravy either.

                  1. re: wolfe
                    t
                    tjinsf Dec 3, 2012 05:22 PM

                    Have tried the ones at Wayfare, Salt House and Jasper's. The salt house was the most wrong with almost everything wrong, the fries too soggy, the wrong kind of cheese, the curds were wrong in texture, addition of cheese sauce etc. Wayfare was so over salty which is crazy since poutine is all about the salt. again the curds tasted off. Jasper's isn't a poutine really so it sucks as a poutine but as fried with gravy or cheese fries it doesn't suck. The worst poutine I've had in SF was at Citizen's Band. The gravy was bland and lumpy, the curds were inedible and the fries managed to be both undercooked in side and overcooked on the outside.

                    It's kind of funny that any greasy joint late night joint in Montreal makes better poutine than any I've had in SF.

                    1. re: tjinsf
                      h
                      hyperbowler Dec 3, 2012 06:11 PM

                      Yeah, it really makes no sense why we would have inferior poutine to Montreal or why restaurants are experimenting with a food largely unfamiliar to SF in the first place.

                      I'm all about advancing a traditional food to the next level (e.g., Au Pied Du Cochon's foie gras poutine is unreal), but why make a novel twist when the finished product isn't even as good as fries topped with a package of Knorr gravy and local cheese curds (there are a few suppliers in the Bay).

                      1. re: hyperbowler
                        wolfe Dec 3, 2012 06:38 PM

                        Have you tried the curds from Oakdale at the Sunday Marin Farmers Market?
                        http://www.oakdalecheese.com/store.html
                        It also sounds as if the supply will not satisfy the demand until it , the supply, gets better.

                  2. b
                    budnball Dec 2, 2012 07:23 PM

                    One of the tenant pop-ups in San Jose's San Pedro Square Market is Little Chef counter. They do a poutine with short ribs. A little less salt and they would be great.

                    1. DezzerSF Dec 10, 2012 09:08 AM

                      SF Weekly Poutine List : http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2012...

                      1. h
                        hyperbowler Apr 19, 2013 05:21 PM

                        In an article describing various places with "stuff" on fries, some gourmetish takes on poutine were listed that hadn't been mentioned in this thread: Fins on the Roof, Greenburger, Kronnenburger, and Zoe's .

                        http://sf.eater.com/archives/2013/04/...

                        (I loved the, inaccurate for so many reasons, chestnut that Limon's "lomito saltado is a Peruvian-Japanese fusion take on poutine." That said, I've previously pondered sneaking in cheese curds and a creme brulee torch to Limon... )

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: hyperbowler
                          grayelf Apr 19, 2013 09:58 PM

                          I'm not even from Quebec, but some of those "variations" are really making me wonder as a Canuck and poutine lover. I'm sure (?) they taste good but.. are they really poutine? Jamber looks like it might be worth a try.

                          1. re: grayelf
                            h
                            hyperbowler Apr 19, 2013 10:41 PM

                            Yeah, that's why I introduced the article with the term "stuff" rather than poutine :-) It's one thing to adapt things to local tastes and ingredients, but getting fries and gravy wrong, two items you can easily get in SF, makes no sense.

                            Jamber's wasn't that good (see my comments up thread).

                            1. re: grayelf
                              Robert Lauriston Apr 20, 2013 09:36 AM

                              No cheese curds, not poutine.

                          2. wolfe May 4, 2013 09:42 AM

                            Dang Canadians have all the fun First the Chow Supertaster likes their Kit Kats better and now poutine soda.

                            http://www.king5.com/food/Jones-Soda-...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: wolfe
                              PolarBear May 4, 2013 04:58 PM

                              Yeah, but do they have meat and salad flavored bottled water? I highly doubt it, eh!

                              1. re: PolarBear
                                wolfe Jun 12, 2013 06:07 PM

                                Better than that.
                                Pizza Hut Canada announced the arrival of the Cheesy Beef Poutine pizza, a layered carb-fat-carb monstrosity that takes classic Canadian drunk food poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds and slathered with gravy) and transforms it into a pizza with "shaved seasoned steak" and mozzarella.

                                1. re: PolarBear
                                  porker Nov 14, 2013 06:13 PM

                                  Perhaps not, but at least the beer tastes like beer.
                                  {;-/)

                              2. h
                                hyperbowler Nov 14, 2013 06:07 PM

                                Kronnerburger In SF, soon Oakland, has "fries with beef cheek gravy and cheddar cheese curds."

                                The fries have a good crunch and there's a large amount of an overly thick and intense beef cheek gravy. There aren't enough "cheddar curds" to balance everything out though. I'm going to add this to the list of places that are overthinking.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: hyperbowler
                                  porker Nov 14, 2013 06:22 PM

                                  BernalKC mentions "crunch" upthread and its repeated here (hyper).
                                  I can understand the American appeal for crisp, not-soggy fries, but this is not a benchmark for good poutine (at least in Quebec).
                                  The hallmark of poutine and its lesser known cousin, fries with gravy, is gravy-enriched, soft, oozy sogginess.

                                  1. re: porker
                                    h
                                    hyperbowler Nov 14, 2013 06:46 PM

                                    I would think that crispy fries would have a better flavor, even after getting soggy. Either way, Kronnerburger's fries by themselves are worth getting, but I wouldn't recommend the poutine for Americans or Canadians. Good burger too.

                                    1. re: hyperbowler
                                      porker Nov 15, 2013 03:56 AM

                                      "crispy fries would have a better flavor, even after getting soggy"
                                      Well, I see your point; not good to start out with soggy fries. I agree, somethings wrong in the prep.
                                      I assume starting with properly cooked fries (generally crisp), but after a time, with the gravy, they'll get soggy.
                                      This is a good attribute for poutine. Most people I know will wait a bit before digging in 1. to help the cheese melt, 2. to get the gravy softening up the fries.

                                      1. re: porker
                                        h
                                        hyperbowler Nov 15, 2013 08:51 AM

                                        Thanks, those are great tips!

                                        What's the deal with cheese melting in poutine? I seem to remember the curds in Montreal/Quebec City being only kind of melted. Is that consensus, or just what I encountered? I like it that way--- you get the full effect of the cheese's saltiness and chewiness.

                                        1. re: hyperbowler
                                          porker Nov 15, 2013 11:35 AM

                                          As mentioned in this thread, poutine comes in many forms (spaghetti sauce poutine, fois gras poutine, etc), but theres only one traditional type: topped with cheese curds then gravy.
                                          You're right, the curds generally don't fully melt, but only soften up a bit.
                                          Lotsa places replace the curd with shredded mozzarella, which gives a full-on melt (some people prefer this, others do not).

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