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the truth about poutine?

wade Aug 31, 2005 06:50 PM

this is what i found on wikipedia

"It is a mixture of french fries with fresh cheese curds, covered with hot gravy. The curds' freshness is most important as it makes them soft in the warm fries, without completely melting. When the curds are really fresh they will often squeak between the teeth. Poutine with melted cheese is not regarded as 'genuine poutine', nor is poutine made with shredded cheese or cheese slices."

man I remember every poutine I"ve had cheese is almost always sumwhat melted...

anyone ever have 'genuine poutine'?

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  1. The Chowhound Team RE: wade Aug 31, 2005 07:16 PM

    This board is for finding great chow in Montreal, rather than overall discussion of Quebec cuisine.

    If you want to talk about poutine in general, please repost to the General Topics board, as off topic replies here will be deleted.

    If you're looking for recommendations on where in Montreal to get this mythical 'genuine poutine', please clarify so the local hounds know what you want.

    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/boards/gener...

    3 Replies
    1. re: The Chowhound Team
      wade RE: The Chowhound Team Aug 31, 2005 08:11 PM

      let me clarify

      anyone have a 'genuine poutine' in montreal?

      being from montreal I don't want to travel to who knows where for poutine.

      1. re: wade
        Plateaumaman RE: wade Sep 3, 2005 03:01 PM

        Yes, like I said in my earlier post, go to La Banquise on Rachel. They have a nice 'Elvis' poutine with hamburger meat and green peppers but you can also get a 'genuine' poutine sans extras here.

        Methinks the moderators are a tad jumpy?

      2. re: The Chowhound Team
        lagatta RE: The Chowhound Team Sep 7, 2008 03:05 PM

        Actually, chowhound team person, it says on the board that it is about Québec, including Montréal.

        I hate poutine, by the way. I like crunchy frites.

      3. g
        Great River Road RE: wade Sep 1, 2005 01:39 AM

        I gave "genuine poutine" a try ---While in Montreal for a week I was introduced to poutine. I'd never heard of it before that visit. (Wondering... is it strictly a Montreal 'delicacy' ?)
        I saw poutine on many menus, and finally became brave enough to try it. After eating part of it I began to wonder again....why ruin cheese curds by burying them in gravy, and why toss it atop french fries ? I did try it a second time at different restaurant, and the results were the same : soggy french fries, greasy gravy, and cheese curds that were rendered tasteless by the gravy flavor.
        I guess I wasn't very impressed. :-) Give me my fries all by themselves. Give me my Wisconsin cheese curds all by themselves, and save the gravy for mashed potatoes.
        Maybe someone can suggest a restaurant that serves 'higher quality poutine'...ummm.... if that's possible.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Great River Road
          Gary Soup RE: Great River Road Sep 1, 2005 11:41 AM

          I've probably eaten poutine on and off since about the time it was "invented" and tend to agree that it's junk food, not cuisine, but satisfying and provides good body fuel for the cold Winter weather in PQ.

          However, one of Montreal's most noted restos serves a foie gras poutine, if you are looking for a gourmet experience (forgot which restaurant, but someone mentioned it in a recent post).

          And puhLEEZ, that's Quebec cheese curd, not Wisconsin, which makes it an even greater shame to douse it in gravy.

          Link: http://eatingchinese.org

          1. re: Gary Soup
            eat2much RE: Gary Soup Sep 1, 2005 11:55 AM

            The restaurant that serves poutine au foie gras is called Pied de Cochon on Duluth....

            1. re: eat2much
              Plateaumaman RE: eat2much Sep 3, 2005 09:02 AM

              ... and the foie gras poutine at Pied du Cochon is very good, very tasty.

              I once saw the "inventor" of poutine interviewed on t.v. and he said he hadn't intended it all to be melted together. He dipped his fries in gravy and had a bit of cheese at the same time. So it is better if the cheese curds remain somewhat intact, but not cold.

              Poutine at La Banquise on Rachel is very good, with many variations on the theme.

              1. re: Plateaumaman
                Great River Road RE: Plateaumaman Sep 3, 2005 01:40 PM

                Maybe I'll have to give poutine another try. The foie gras poutine does have many fans. I'm guessing that the finer dining establishments do a better job at creating the quality poutine that the "inventor" originally intended.

                1. re: Great River Road
                  Poutine Guy RE: Great River Road Jan 30, 2006 11:07 PM

                  The foie gras poutine at Au Pied du Cochon, while fun, is probably not the best poutine in Montreal. For that, I have three recommendations:

                  Maam Balduc, on de Lorimier. A menu of a handful of outstanding poutines. I recommend the Sainte Perpetue.
                  La Banquise, on Rachel near Parc La Fontaine. Hands down, the best poutine restaurant in Montreal, with 22 varieties last I counted. Personal favorites: Poutine au Bacon, and the Kamikaze style.
                  Poutine Lafluer, in Verdun. This is not "Lafluers", the hot dog chain, but a single-owner casse croute, which makes probably the best stand-alone classic poutine in Montreal.


                  1. re: Great River Road
                    porker RE: Great River Road Sep 8, 2008 09:42 AM

                    I live in Quebec and never really liked poutine. I love fries, I love fries with gravy - I'm just not a big fan of cheese, and so never went gaga over poutine.
                    Sure, give 'er another try, but don't feel pressured to like it...

                    While on the subject, I find fries with gravy almost everywhere in Quebec. As you get farther away, it seems dousing your fries with gravy less fashionable.
                    I remember being in the state of Georgia awhile back. I was in a take-out joint and ordered a fry to go, and, um a gravy too.
                    "So you want one fry and biscuits and gravy?"
                    "No, a fry and just a side of garvy."
                    "no BISCUITS? Just the gravy? Why?"
                    "I'm gonna use it on my fries."
                    The server turns around and yells out (you gotta imagine the southern drawl) "Hey Edna, this feller is ordering gravy WITH NO BISCUITS - he says its for the fries!"
                    The entire staff of 4 as well as about 12 customers look at me like I'm from mars...

                    They did serve me the fries with a side of gravy, but were quite reluctant...

            2. re: Great River Road
              Campofiorin RE: Great River Road Sep 8, 2008 07:09 AM

              Poutine was either invented in Warwick or Drummondville, in the province of Quebec, but there'S a big debate between the two cities about it, they're very passionate about it. As for gravy on top of mashed potatoes, excuse me for saying this but I find it gross as it turns into a big mush ressembling melting snow and ruining the velvety texture of good mashed potatoes. As for poutine, if the curds are fresh and cool, they'll hold up well in the mix.

              1. re: Campofiorin
                chuck s RE: Campofiorin Jun 6, 2010 06:24 AM

                I'll be driving through Drummondville on my way from Boston to Quebec City. Where should I stop for Poutine?

                1. re: chuck s
                  TheSnowpea RE: chuck s Jun 6, 2010 07:08 AM

                  Well I googled "Meilleure Poutine à Drummondville" and pulled up a FB thread:

                  Discussion seems to point to

                  Resto du Boulevard
                  Café St-Pierre
                  Roy Jucep (this one comes up a lot in said thread)
                  Christine pizza
                  Rotisserie Fusée

                  There are more passionate suggestions on there, but I don't know how good you are in really really slangy French.

                  Oh and there is a poutine festival in Drummondville 3-4 September 2010

            3. w
              Wicked_J RE: wade Sep 7, 2008 02:40 PM

              Actually Poutine is quebec's own pride but the real poutine appelation comes to us from New-Brunswick in canada. over there folks use salted meat ( pork but also beef could do ) that is envelopped in a mixture of baked and raw patato. They use half boiled patato and they shredded half raw patato to make a paste like texture. They roll a ball of the mixture with a spoonfull of salted meat in the middle. boilthe ball and top with sugar.

              Personnally, I still prefer classic cheese curd with gravy poutine.
              Insight; Best poutine ever is in Napierville, Quebec Canada; Cantine Bayeur.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Wicked_J
                Simon Patrice RE: Wicked_J Sep 7, 2008 02:57 PM

                Not trying to be a PITA or anything but the best poutine can be found at Morasse Poutine in Rouyn-Noranda.

                1. re: Simon Patrice
                  akyra RE: Simon Patrice May 25, 2010 10:17 PM

                  Passing through, I gave this one a go, being the only place with any mention whatsoever in Rouyn-Noranda ..
                  Possibly the second worst food experience ever, Service was acceptable for counter take out. Surroundings run down, dirty and dingy. We threw out the shoe texture yellow chicken and KFC look a like cole slaw. Gravy - nothing to write home about. I was dreaming of St Hubert up the street, where my odds on a decent meal may have been better.
                  I remember having a better poutine at burger king in Toronto once, years ago; this was a supersized lunch bag let down.

                2. re: Wicked_J
                  lagatta RE: Wicked_J Sep 7, 2008 03:08 PM

                  Yes, Poutine râpée (from Acadia) is an utterly different dish. I believe the term poutine is also used in regions of France, once again with a different meaning.

                  1. re: Wicked_J
                    moh RE: Wicked_J Sep 9, 2008 02:42 PM

                    Woo hoo! more places to add to the Quebec Poutine biking tour!

                    I highly recommend the poutine in Gentilly, Patates Roulante:


                  2. t
                    triplestrike RE: wade Sep 8, 2008 11:20 AM

                    Just had some poutine a La Belle Province( Sept 6), One of the Best around. La Banquise Is also Very good but the fries could be better. One of my favorites is south of Montreal at Barry in Bedford Quebec.
                    Some that are not very good- Costco, Dunes, Mike and Rubens - although their smoked meat poutine is pretty good.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: triplestrike
                      porker RE: triplestrike Sep 8, 2008 12:00 PM

                      My brother and his kids swear by La Belle poutine. Just seems counter intuitive that a small chain can make the best - but hey it works for them.

                      1. re: triplestrike
                        Campofiorin RE: triplestrike Sep 8, 2008 12:05 PM

                        Come on, La Belle Province's poutine is terrible. Overly salty gravy, doubtful curds and quite ordinary fries. Not even close to qualifying as one of the best around. Doesn't even come close to la Banquise even on a good day.

                        1. re: Campofiorin
                          westaust RE: Campofiorin Sep 8, 2008 01:23 PM

                          Considering La Belle province are run independently (ok a couple of them have the same owner) the poutine differs a lot from one location to another.

                          Even for Hotdogs, they differ, some uses Lafleurs sausages, some Lester's...

                          That being said, there is some Belle Province that do an great poutine, perfectly cooked fries, room temp fresh curds and gravy that is not too salty, as opposed to others that can ruin the poutine (The one on Peel comes to mind as one to avoid)

                          1. re: westaust
                            Campofiorin RE: westaust Sep 8, 2008 01:36 PM

                            The one on Ste-Cath and St-Laurent is the worse of em all.

                            1. re: westaust
                              porker RE: westaust Sep 8, 2008 03:28 PM

                              Ahhhh, OK, that makes sense now.
                              A Labelle opened in Lasalle awhile back and we were always disappointed in their flagship product - the hot dog. Apparently Schneiders.
                              They eventually changed and we like the dogs here...

                              1. re: westaust
                                triplestrike RE: westaust Sep 11, 2008 11:42 AM

                                I always hated the one on Peel, The La Belle an the south shore- On Taschereau near Best Buy has always been excellent.

                          2. t
                            The Chemist RE: wade May 26, 2010 07:49 AM

                            Patati Patata makes a great poutine. I often do want to ask for the gravy on the side, so the fries don't become soggy. I wonder how the La Banquise people would react to that request...

                            Patati Patata
                            4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA

                            1. d
                              Dusty08 RE: wade May 26, 2010 11:15 AM

                              I was just in Toronto this weekend and I was SHOCKED to see how many places are offering poutine. Smoke's poutine was the organizer of the poutine easting contest this past weekend and it got tons of media coverage. The winner ate 13 pounds!!! thats insane!!

                              But seriously, the street vendors are offering poutine, the pizza places are, and there are even restaurants dedicated to Quebec's dish. I also went to see Conan O'brien perform in Toronto and he did a bit on how poutine is CANADA's dish. Wrong. It's clearly a Quebec dish and should be known as such. Anything else is an adaptation of it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Dusty08
                                bakersdelight RE: Dusty08 May 30, 2010 10:59 PM

                                love Angela's version, that dirty little 24-hr place on de Maisonnneuve west of Guy. best to order in or get it to go, so by the time you get it home the cheese--they put mozzarella over the regular curds and gravy--is good and melted. divine!

                                1. re: bakersdelight
                                  Tiny Iota RE: bakersdelight May 31, 2010 09:24 PM

                                  mozzarella over the the curds?!?!?!?!? sacrilege! maybe as a necessary measure to make a bad poutine edible by adding more stuff to it to mask the fact that what your about to eat is inedible but if it's good gravy, fries and curds any other cheese is just plain wrong. in fact, it's not poutine anymore at that point. it's something else.

                                  1. re: Tiny Iota
                                    bakersdelight RE: Tiny Iota May 31, 2010 11:29 PM

                                    whatever it is, it's great!!! y'know, at 15-year intervals.

                                2. re: Dusty08
                                  Tiny Iota RE: Dusty08 May 31, 2010 09:18 PM

                                  yeah, i noticed that in t.o. this weekend too. the most egregious mockeries of poutine are in nyc, though. they got some nasty stuff down there, or so i've heard from reliable sources. you've heard of the restaurant mile end in brooklyn? they use a mushroom gravy! there are a few places in manhattan serving it, one of them, "t poutine" is entirely based on the dish. also apparently terrible and i trust my sources taste very much.

                                  also, i've thrown in my two cents a few times regarding poutine because i do take it very seriously but i think the best poutine in town is that paul patates on charlevoix in point st. charles. they also make their own spruce beer so you can't beat that combo. i think la banquise is generally pretty lackluster. never enough gravy, never enough cheese and the fries just aren't right. they're usually too crispy, they should be soft in the middle. i also feel that those varieties of poutine that they have are a terrible idea. ok, maybe if you want to put some spice back into your relationship with poutine, fine. but far too often people who are trying the stuff for the first time eat some unholy concoction of fries, gravy, curds and stuff that really doesn't belong on the same plate with those things and so they end up hating it. although, the fois gras poutine at pdc is, for a poutine connoisseur, not to be missed. that being said, i don't think i'll ever eat it again.

                                  1. re: Tiny Iota
                                    bakersdelight RE: Tiny Iota Jun 1, 2010 12:16 AM

                                    i've got to try that paul patates place. as for foie gras, i do not like it on poutine, i do not like it with tagine. i do not like it with my eggs, nor steak tartare, or chicken legs....

                                    1. re: bakersdelight
                                      hala RE: bakersdelight Jun 2, 2010 07:15 PM


                                3. The Chowhound Team RE: wade Jun 1, 2010 08:45 AM

                                  Folks, please keep the discussion in this thread focussed on poutine in Quebec. If you'd like to discuss poutine in Toronto, or anywhere else in Ontario, please start a new thread on the Ontario board. Poutine in Brooklyn fits on the Outer Boroughs board. If you'd like to discuss the qualities that make a great poutine in general, feel free to start a new thread on General Chowhounding Topics. Thanks!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                    Tiny Iota RE: The Chowhound Team Jun 1, 2010 09:06 AM

                                    but poutine is a uniquely quebecois food, no? shouldn't we be allowed to discuss its incarnations though they be from elsewhere? especially if it stems organically from the conversation we were having? i can't discuss new york or toronto poutine with people from quebec because they probably don't frequent those boards. i think the rules need a little adjusting.

                                    so, to make sure that this post doesn't get deleted, i think poutine in montreal is great. what do you guys think about poutine in montreal? is it better in other parts of quebec? do other places even exist?

                                    1. re: Tiny Iota
                                      blondee_47 RE: Tiny Iota Jun 1, 2010 03:26 PM

                                      I'm a Montrealer and the first and only time I ever had a poutine was on my way 'Up North' for a ski trip once when I was a tweenager...a very long time ago...and have never ever had the desire to have another.

                                      I can't seem to get past the cheese curds...and yes, born and raised in Montreal - give me cheese curds in a little plastic bag from the grocer or off of the cash at the Tabagerie (yep) and I am in heaven: just don't put them on my fries...

                                  2. j
                                    jay_81k RE: wade Jun 5, 2010 09:17 AM

                                    Ill eat a patati patata poutine over a La banquise poutine anyday. Just like the way they make thin crispy fries, find it works better with gravy as the other ones get soggy after a couple minutes. Had a merguez poutine at banquise the other day and it was gross. The merguez was the lowest quality merguez Ive ever eaten! Was like eating a crappy hot dog.

                                    1. m
                                      Mckay RE: wade Jul 22, 2010 09:56 PM

                                      I truely feel bad for the people saying they don't like poutine and saying that putting gravy on the cheese is bad. You haven't tried good poutine. I'll be investigating Montreal poutine in a couple of months. Right now the only guaranteed good poutine I know of is in Quebec City at Chez Ashton.

                                      Chez Ashton is fast food, but don't let that scare you off. The potatoes are from a nearby island and cut into fries every morning. The cheese curds are from a fromagerie near the island and are served frresh made every single day. If the curds are more than 24 hours old they need to be refrigerated. If they are refrigerated they no loger squeak. If the cheese doesn't squeak it isn't real poutine. The gravy at Chez Ashton is thick, yet translucent and best of all not too salty.

                                      Google Chez Ashton, you'll find all sorts of people raving about it.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: Mckay
                                        upupaway RE: Mckay Nov 14, 2010 10:07 AM

                                        I have been to Ashton in QC, but never tried the poutine. Do they have any locations in greater Mtl.
                                        Will definitely make the trip to Paul Patates in the Point. Sounds like a gas.

                                        Paul Patate
                                        2606 Rue De Coleraine, Montreal, QC H3K1S7, CA

                                        1. re: upupaway
                                          Shattered RE: upupaway Nov 15, 2010 02:41 PM

                                          Ashton - as far as I know, nope. Thank god. Fast food crap.

                                          1. re: Shattered
                                            SnackHappy RE: Shattered Nov 15, 2010 05:48 PM

                                            I find Ashton to be very good quality. Their poutine is probably one of the best I've ever had. The fries are crispy, the cheese is fresh, the sauce is home made and they don't put too much of it on. It's expensive though, but the quality is there. It's too bad we don't have any around Montreal.

                                            1. re: SnackHappy
                                              Shattered RE: SnackHappy Nov 15, 2010 06:15 PM

                                              They're McDo style fries and slightly better than McDo style poutine. Stingy on the cheese, and it's supposed to have lots of gravy! I just don't get it when ppl complain about that. Who wants nothing but plain, uncoated fries at the bottom? Defeats the whole point.

                                              The best poutine isn't found in any of the cities, be it Mtl, Qc, Gatineau (the Hull part), - I've been to Chicoutimi and the stuff in town was pretty average even there. It's in little roadside shacks up in Gatineaus, truck stops outside Drummondville, Mom & Pop casse-croutes in little towns that you find the good stuff. Chains like Ashton are a disgrace compared with the real deal.

                                              1. re: Shattered
                                                SnackHappy RE: Shattered Nov 15, 2010 06:35 PM

                                                Their fries are nothing like McDonald's fries. They're fresh-cut, double-fried and up there with the best of them. I've had my share of roadside poutines around this province as well, and I rate Ashton as one of the best. Chain or no-chain.

                                                1. re: SnackHappy
                                                  anachemia RE: SnackHappy Nov 15, 2010 07:39 PM

                                                  "Ashton, you're so meow-meow fine..." (sorry, had to be said!) ;-)

                                                  Looking at their website you can see their plain fries are cut thin like @ McDo...do they cut 'em thicker for the poutine?

                                                  1. re: anachemia
                                                    SnackHappy RE: anachemia Nov 15, 2010 07:54 PM

                                                    The fries are not matchstick cut like at Mickey D's. They're about the same size as your average Quebecois fry, but they're much crispier than average. Their sauce is above average, too. The Dulton meat topping is somewhat reminiscent of Dic Ann's meat sauce. I think it's a top notch poutine.

                                            2. re: Shattered
                                              maj54us RE: Shattered Nov 15, 2010 08:06 PM

                                              @Shattered: Be honest if your criteria is haute cuisine I can understand. it's a freakin fast food joint and their roastbeef sandwich is okay but not crap. Their poutine and gravy are very tasty but certainly not crap.

                                              1. re: Shattered
                                                mak2k RE: Shattered Nov 16, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                to be honest with you, i've had poutine at several fast food joint, and it's probably one of the best. Obviously you can't really compare it to la banquise or a poutine fois gras at PDC, but for fast food quality, it kicks McDo, Burger King and even Valentine's butt.

                                            3. re: Mckay
                                              davekry RE: Mckay Jan 24, 2011 06:36 PM

                                              I was at Ashton outside Quebec City not too long ago, and they were offering a discount on poutine relative to the temperature outside. With the weather we're experiencing now, it's significant.

                                              1. re: davekry
                                                porker RE: davekry Jan 25, 2011 01:30 AM

                                                Yeah, below -30, they pay YOU, hehe.
                                                Fun idea.

                                            4. d
                                              divainjeans RE: wade Jul 27, 2010 11:31 AM

                                              I love poutine Italienne.

                                              1. m
                                                mtlfoodguy RE: wade Nov 14, 2010 09:45 PM

                                                garde-manger makes a lobster poutine which is pretty amazing....really good fries

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mtlfoodguy
                                                  porker RE: mtlfoodguy Nov 15, 2010 03:48 AM

                                                  I'm expecting Jane to make a poutine pizza any day now.

                                                2. l
                                                  lizlefebvre RE: wade Jan 24, 2011 10:24 AM

                                                  I've got one: Pierrette Patates on Verdun street in Verdun! Very greasy-tasty, crispy fries, salty gravy, sqeaky curds! The patron yakked with us for a while too, which was fun. I also had a Cotts Black Cherry to go with it and was very happy... until about 30 minutes post-meal, and for a day or so afterwards... urghh... it's a short-lived sort of happiness :-S

                                                  Pierrette Patates
                                                  3900 Rue De Verdun, Verdun, QC H4G1K9, CA

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