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Aug 11, 2011 03:46 PM

ISO good poutine downtown

Looking for somewhere downtown(ish)Toronto that serves good poutine.Here's the thing.I'm not a fan of poutine(I could take it or leave it)Plus I consider it more of a drunken late nite snack,as opposed to lunch,but my friend has a hankerin' for it and it's her pick.Is there anywhere that serves good poutine + some other good options.I've heard of Smoke's on Queen west but I don't know what else they serve.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Gilead Cafe. Jamie Kennedy Does the best poutine. Not traditional, but tasty.

    1. what isn't there?

      356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

      12 Replies
      1. re: atomeyes

        "what isn't there?"

        That's true.I guess almost everyone serves poutine these days.s I'm dyin to try Beast, but she specifically mentioned "greasy poutine",so maybe Smoke's is the way to go.

        1. re: petek

          And you should be aware that Beast's poutine is not made with fries, it's made with gnocchi. Very tasty, but likely wouldn't satisfy your friend's hankerin'. :)

          1. re: TorontoJo

            That's my kind of poutine TJo,but unfortunately Beast isn't open for lunch,which is the only time we can get together :(

          2. re: petek

            So this isn't downtown, but it is easily accessible via the Yonge line -- The Burger Cellar on Yonge, north of Lawrence has what I think is a very, very promising poutine. The fries are fresh cut and very good, the gravy is a thick homemade and very beefy gravy and they use real curds. Now, I've only had the fries and gravy separately, and haven't made it back yet for the poutine, but I *really* enjoyed my fries and gravy, so I can't see how the poutine wouldn't be excellent. So if you're feeling adventurous and want to venture north of Bloor, give it a shot. The atmosphere is quite nice and you can nosh on a burger and have a glass of wine while your friend snarfs down the poutine.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Thanks TJo! I'll suggest that to her.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Depends (caveat: poutine snobbery). For me, poutine has to have high quality curds (along with proper poutine fries and the right gravy). "Real curds" doesn't cut it, since the majority of places in Toronto are using curds well past their prime. Summerhill, for example, quite amazingly carries real St-Albert curds (IMO the best curds). Oh, just kidding, they had all been packaged a month or two prior to present, meaning they're already long gone.

                The other thing is that a "very beefy gravy" is not the right gravy for an authentic poutine.

                Good fries and gravy, sure. Good poutine? Not necessarily.

                1. re: tjr

                  Oh, I know, tjr -- I almost qualified my post with "I know, I know, it's supposed to be chicken gravy and I have no idea how fresh the curds are", but I figured I wouldn't bother, since the whole authenticity debate (about anything, not just poutine) sort of makes me want to claw my eyes out. And I really, truly *don't* mean that as a dig on your reply -- I'm just sayin! :o)

                2. re: TorontoJo

                  Well, I finally went to The Burger Cellar to try the poutine. Whether or not it was authentic, I have to say that I enjoyed it. Good fries, tasty gravy, and lots of stretchy, chewy curds. The curds were too melted for me to tell whether there was any squeak, but that was just fine with me.

                  Plus it was a beautiful evening to sit on the patio (even if said patio was on busy Yonge St.). We even got a bit a dinner theater as we watched a panel van rip the front bumper off of someone's SUV while trying to park. Oy.

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Not to pester you, but:

                    1. Were the curds layered?
                    2. Overly melted curds = not good.

                    1. re: tjr

                      No problem:

                      1. I don't think so, but I wasn't entirely paying attention. Regardless, I'm sure they were layer on request, since the service there the two times I've been has been really friendly (even removed a dessert from my bill when he noted that I only had a couple of bites -- he didn't even say anything, I had to ask when I noticed it on the bill).

                      2. I like melted curds cuz I like the chewiness and stretchiness. :)

                      1. re: TorontoJo

                        Sounds good! I'll have to give it a spin.

            2. If inauthentic, the Bymark poutine is an incredible dish. JK poutine (at the Gilead) can be hit or miss, though the fries are always good. I liked Caplansky's smoked meat poutine, though I haven't had it in years.

              If authentic, there is no good poutine, only serviceable. Quite a few of the burger places bring in "proper" curds, but depending on when you go, you can either get squeaky, fresh ones, or ones that are long past their prime. Most places don't do a proper gravy. I've had some that were good one day, then, upon returning, back to awful. The poutine-only places (like Smoke's) don't even do a good quality, authentic poutine.

              There are also zillion threads discussing poutine, using the site search:

              1. stampede bison grill on brock st., off of queen. the price is right at $5 for a small, and i think $7 for a large (don't quote me on that since i have a stinky memory).. but none of this overpriced poutine stuff we find in toronto a lot. i mean, 'cmon, it's common people food: potatoes, curds and gravy!

                was recommended to me by someone on chowhound who said they're from montreal and this is their fave place.

                the gravy is actually vegetarian (good for me!) but meat eaters like it (including chowhound person). the curds are squeaky.

                1. I'll be a jerk and tease you with a delicious poutine I had in Calgary... :3

                  I was not a fan of Caplanky's poutine...
                  There's Smoke's on Queen west as you said - I don't find it particularly good. It's more of a fun novelty.
                  My friend swears by the blue truck at NPS, but I can't personally vouch for it..

                  +1 for Stampede Bison!.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ekim256

                    Thanks for all of the great recommendations everyone! I'll leave the final decision up to my friend,see that she's the one with the "craving'(she's 8 months pregnant) :)
                    Sorry about starting a poutine war here.Chowhounds certainly are passionate about their food.