Poutine, poutine and more poutine

On the face of it - it just sounds plain wrong. Chips covered in gravy and cheese. But this is Canada's favourite fast food. I am a complete convert since visiting the famous La Banquise retaurant in Montreal.  I was making the video above for About.com and after filming the stuff all night, I decided to try one.

The first girl in the video was eating her poutine with sour cream, tomatoes and guacamole - one of 28 topping offered here. There's cheese curds, chips and gravy under every one. It looked so good, that's the one I chose when I finished my work. 
My favourite - the Taquise : a taco/poutine combo.
It lulls you into thinking you are eating a light, healthy meal as you tuck into your tomatoes and guacamole but who are you fooling?  It's a real Montreal experience - this is life-changing poutine - especially the chips made with red potatoes.  According to legend, poutine was invented in Quebec. It has now spread across Canada and even into the States.  Is it me or was everything invented in Quebec? Apple ice wine, maple syrup...

The T-Rex. Your basic meat-fest.
On a recent trip my husband ordered  the T-Rex, poutine with four kinds of meat on top - ground beef, pepperoni, smoked sausage and bacon. It's the most popular topping and he had to bring half home in a box as it defeated him. Poutine for lunch and reheated poutine for dinner and breakfast. What's wrong with this picture?

Bacon on this one. Cheeky.
A friend chose the bacon topping which is a surprise addition to a plate of chips but he loved it. Others on our table went for the classic (only cheese and gravy with your chips) and poutine with ground beef, onions and sweetcorn (La petite vie). Other toppings include merguez sausage, hot peppers and tabasco (Kamikaze) and breaded chicken (Chicks). If none of this sounds attractive imagine it after you've been out drinking all evening. This is when a lot of customers roll up - it's a 24 hour restaurant and they often line up when the clubs close in the city - even in the snow. If you're one of those people - this could just be the best meal you've ever tasted.

What they said about poutine and the famous T-Rex
Note to self: do not allow photos when eating poutine.
Another Quebec favourite -my relationship with maple syrup
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  1. Well, we Quebeckers certainly are an ingenious nation. We DID invent poutine, there is no doubt about that - however the legend is not sure whether it came from St-Cyrile-de-Wendover or Victoriaville.

    But yes, poutine is the favourite Quebec meal and the most iconic too - I'm quite a classic fan, only addind hot dog sausages from time to time, nothing fancy. I like it basic - rich, fattening, delicious and fulfilling. Perfect at any time of the day!

  2. Oh, DROOL - very jealous... But, of course, let's not forget - you have previous when it comes to being photographed eating poutine! http://yfrog.com/h6k4jdmzj

  3. I almost choked on my Tim Horton's when I read that poutine is Canada's favourite fast food. I don't believe it for a minute! But if you write a post about tourtiere, I'll forgive you.

  4. Fun post! We are so used to eating what we are used to, so when we see something that is different we are surprised, or, well disgusted.

    This reminds me of the first time I was in the US (I am Dutch) and when ordering fries I asked if they had mayo to go with it. The server girl looked at me weird (of course) and I said, hey, it's good, you should try it. She made a face and said, it's disgusting!

    Now, years later, in Holland, they serve french fries with all sorts of toppings, even curry sauce. You can order french fries with "war" which is a combo of mayo and ketchup ;)

  5. Anne....it looks like shit! Unless those photos don't do it real justice. My God, you'd have a heart attack eating that - and in those quantities!!!

    Where are the vegetables?

    I'm sure it tasted good though.

    Right, off for my deep fried pizza and pickled egg.

  6. Spoken like a true Glaswegian. You made me laugh.

  7. Mmmmm, us Canucks do love our poutine. If you are ever in Ottawa check out the Elgin St Diner, it's open 24-7 and their poutine is renowned.

    Also, we just made truffle poutine last weekend with smuggled Quebecois cheese curd, as I had to fly back to Canada a couple of weekends ago. It was DELICIOUS!! :-) http://mouthwatering.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/truffle-poutine-recipe/

  8. Poutine in a restaurant is almost heresy. Go for the classic fries, cheese curds (the ones that are so fresh they squeak when you bit them) and gravy straight out of a potato truck. Eat them outside on a beautiful July afternoon, the exercise you get while swatting mosquitoes burns off all the calories - really!

  9. Thanks for the tips Sarah and Diane. Really fun to discover your blogs!
    Truffle poutine sounds amazing and swatting mozzies is something I am very adept at every summer in the Laurentians.

  10. I have to admit that I love gravy - on biscuits, fries, anything! So fun to have found your blog, as an American expat who moved to England.

    I’d love you to add a post to my expat Linky Party on March 19th. Hope to see you there, if not sooner


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