The person who came up with poutine is brilliant!  Let’s take fries and cover them with cheese and gravy.  Seriously, the only way they could have made it better is if they added bacon.

There are two poutine places that have opened in Toronto this past year.  The first is Smoke’s Poutinerie.  I woke up one Sunday morning and decided to grab some lunch.  At first I wanted to try this sandwich place uptown that a lawyer I worked with had mentioned.  I made the trip up but to my disappointment, they were closed on Sundays.  I tried going to four other places that afternoon, Smoke’s included, and they were all closed.  Seriously!  What is it about this town and things not being open on Sunday?  A few weeks later I ventured out into the cold again, this time determined to get some poutine.  I walked up to the front door on a Saturday afternoon and they were closed again!  Burned twice!  I read the sign and they said they were going to be open in about an hour so I went to a book store to kill some time.  Needless to say at this point I was thinking that this poutine better be worth the effort.  As I walked up to the place for a third time, a small lineup had formed.  I walked in, ordered the traditional (they have a lot of strange choices on the menu that I’ve been meaning to try, like the curry chicken poutine).  The fries were served in a cardboard box and the fries, cheese curds and gravy were plentiful.  I began eating it while walking home and after the first bite I had to stop because I felt my legs start to give out.  Wow!  The fries were crispy on the outside and soft of the inside.  The gravy was hot with the right consistency and the cheese… I’ve joked around with friends about buying a huge wheel of cheese and just taking a knife and fork to it so needless to say I love cheese.  The cheese in this poutine was excellent.  Since that first experience I have been back a couple times bringing friends along to share in the poutinerie experience.  Below is the cardboard box of goodness.


I had read about another poutine place, Poutini, opening near the Drake hotel several weeks ago.  There was quite a bit of buzz and there seemed to be mixed reviews.  I had to try it for myself.  I called up a friend yesterday and we ventured west to grab some poutine.  I had planned on walking but it was spitting rain so we hopped on the street car instead.  We got out and walked up to the shop and guess what, IT WAS CLOSED!  We read the sign it it said it opened at 5pm so we had about 45 minutes to kill.  What to do for 45 minutes?  My companion speaks up as if reading my mind, “Let’s find a bar and grab a drink”.  We went to the Drake a had a couple drinks and headed back to Poutini.  I love little shops like this since the atmosphere really adds to the whole experience.


While waiting for the poutine my friend and I were giggling in anticipation (we both really love food).  The server was very friendly as she handed us our order.  Again, we ordered the traditional but I think I might have to make another trip to try “the works”.  Here is what it looked like.


First off, the presentation made me feel wonderfully gluttonous.  It came in a small bucket filled past the brim.  The fries were great, the gravy wasn’t as thick as I would like but the cheese was awesome.  One problem we noticed however was that by the time you got to the bottom of the bucket, there was very little gravy and cheese.  None the less, we both walked out very satisfied.

Both poutines are excellent.  Given the close proximity of Smoke’s, I’ll probably find myself there to satisfy any poutine craving but if I ever find myself by the Drake, I might have to stop in at Poutini to get my artery clogging fix.



~ by jlowjlow on June 21, 2009.

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