Another review from the incomparable Jack D'Mestiere, poutine aficionado.
Block 15 is a brew pub in Corvallis, Oregon that has developed a reputation for brewing great beer, serving an excellent pub fare, and bringing good (and free) music to the little burg in the Heart of the Valley.
This writer joined his son and a friend there recently for lunch and was rewarded with a fine seasonal ale--the 12 Hops of Christmas--and an excellent poutine. If you'd like to read Jack's original posting, click here to head there.
First thing first: the only flaw with Block 15 poutine is the pronunciation guide in the menu--"poo-TAIN"? What's with that? I asked the waitress, who happened to hail from Halifax--not the home of poutine, but she can see it from her house...She agreed that those in the know know it's "tin" and not "tain". She agreed with the Newshawk: "If you call Celine Ce-LEAN, you call poutine poo-TEEN."
The poutine arrived piping hot on china--not this reviewer's favorite presentation, but I think you'll agree that it looks good even before fry one passes one's lips. Block 15 starts with beer battered fries--a light coating of batter that one would hardly notice makes the fries fry up crispy without being burned. It turns out it also lets the fries stand up to the gravy; they were not gravy-soaked until the very end. The gravy was the real thing and one suspects it's made mostly for the meatloaf they serve, also quite tasty, by the way. It had the right amount of salt--say about a 10 to 15 point temporary elevation in blood pressure...The curds were, well, curds. Not a heck of a lot of taste, but one doesn't have to hunt for them and they were melted just right in this reviewer's opinion--gooey while still a little stringy.
So, the rating. Now, remember, this is coming from south of one border but, drum roll please...Block 15 gets a solid 4 Curds and we are tempted to go a half-curd higher. Yes, 4 and 1/2 Curds! So, if you are driving down I-5 on your way south for the winter or north for the summer, Block 15 is worth the 10 mile drive from the interstate. Keep the driver away from the beer, though!
Wait, you say, what about the opinion of that Canadian waitress? Since moving to Corvallis it seems she's developed an allergy to wheat, hence gravy, and hasn't given it a try. "It looks like the real thing, eh?" was her comment.
Oh, and beer, particularly a good hoppy ale, is a great way to wash a poutine down!
Block 15, 300 SW Jefferson, Corvallis, OR 97333
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 a.m
Click here to read more about Block 15.