Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

May your potatoes always be crisp and may the cheese “sing” in its freshness. For, what is a poutine but a glorious ode to the perfect melange of spuds, curd and brown roux!
-LouLou, Laval Ouest, Québec

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Orange Poutine

Sarah G. from Toronto sent along these great shots of her invention, the orange poutine. She writes:
I had a craving over the weekend for poutine, but only had sweet potato fries and orange cheese curds on hand. What does that make? Orange poutine!

It was actually pretty good, although the taste was not quite the same as regular poutine, since the fries are sweet. I used a tin of beef gravy to top it off. Yummy. I gave it 3 curds out of 5.

My partner Steve was more generous with a 4. The perfect drink for this meal? Orange juice, of course (pure coincidence, actually!). That, and Steve happened to be wearing an orange shirt.

Thanks Sarah. I particularly like that you served your orange poutine on a plate with a blue rim to show off its colour. Very artful! And Steve's shirt was just perfect.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gaetan's Chip Stand

My favourite local chip stand is Gaetan's in Alexandria, Ontario -- a hop, skip and a jump from my home.

The place is always crowded. Can you imagine a line up in the middle of January for a place that has no seats?

I ordered a classic poutine for me and a Gaetan's special poutine for Richard.

Pretty exciting, eh?

The fellow in the truck was fast. Each order's french fries were made on the spot. He layered that with curds, then hot gravy, then back for more fries, curds and gravy. Two layers!

There's my poutine just waiting for me. But we waited for Richard's "special" to be made.

Okay, now we're ready to rock and roll...

The Gaetan's special poutine included chicken and hot dogs.

My classic was to die for!

Curds all the way to the bottom. I just had to give it a 5 out of a possible 5 curds. We both loved our poutine from Gaetan's!

Slide your mouse on the image above and click on play button to see The Secret Life of Chip Stands, a great little video about Gaetan's!

To read more about Gaetan's, click on this link at The Star.

Gaetan's Chip Stand is on Main Street, Alexandria, Ontario. It is parked in the Bank of Montreal parking lot and is open every day, weather permitting, from lunchtime onward.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Duck Fat

I heard from Maryn M. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While travelling in Portland, Maine (not Oregon) she found the most amazing poutine. She writes:

I just had an awesome but nonstandard poutine in Portland, Maine at a restaurant called Duckfat: Duckfat fries, duck gravy and a local goat cheese. Outstanding (and hot to the bottom).

Maryn liked the poutine so much, she rated it as a 5 plus out of a possible 5 curds. Thanks Maryn. I'll have to drive there this summer and check it out.

Duck Fat, 43 Middle Street, Portland, ME 04101-4213
Phone: 207-774-8080
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.
To see more about Duck Fat, click here.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Doesn't this poutine with bacon look tantalizing? It's from a joint called T-Poutine on the Lower East Side in New York City. Thierry Pepin, a fellow from Québec, decided to introduce poutine to New York and opened T-Poutine.

Look at all the varieties of poutine they offer (click image to enlarge). Everything from the classic to steak-covered to one called a Morning Glory that has bacon and egg on a poutine. Wow.

My only issue with T-Poutine is how they suggest it's pronounced. It says here, it's "poo-teen." If Thierry shows up around here and orders a "poo-teen" I'll just cringe. That might be okay in New York but locals here call it "poo-tin" (rhymes with chin). Don't ask for a poo-teen. It's a dead giveaway that you are a tourist.

In the meantime, if anyone goes to T-Poutine and can give it a review, please let me know and leave a comment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hockey and Poutine

Last night Richard and I headed up to Ottawa to see a hockey game. His beloved Chicago Blackhawks were playing the Ottawa Senators. Being a Montreal Canadiens fan I cheered every goal for both sides.

Great hockey arena. Great seats. Lots of noise. Lots of fun.

And look what we managed to squeeze in between all that action. Yup, a poutine.

The poutine was okay. The gravy wasn't hot enough to melt the cold curds. But the fries were hot and fresh. I guess I'd give it a 3 out of 5 curds.

What do you think...could there be anything more Canadian than hockey and a

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poutine at Belgian Fries

This review is compliments of reader Michelle L. who now lives in New York. Here's what she has to say:

I want to assist you in updating your poutine sources for Vancouver, BC. Belgian Fries originated as a double fried chip and gourmet dip shop on Commercial Drive in a really diverse, somewhat bohemian, formerly Italian and now multi-cultural neighbourhood. It has an edge. In recent years in addition to serving deep-fried Mars Bars, they have become really creative with their gourmet poutine and expanded their shop to two storefronts complete with on-tap beer and summer patio.

My current favourite is the Beef Steak Poutine: marinated ground beef, mushroom and red pepper poutine. Talk about comfort food! The cheese is perfect and the gravy is vegan to suit the demands of the neighborhood. I have brought my 4-year old and 7-year old niece and nephew there and they love it too. It took 3 years for my niece to work on her palate since she is a picky eater, but she loves poutine now. And the CBC rated it: "Best Poutine in BC."

Thanks Michelle for broadening Poutine Chronicles' coverage of poutine in British Columbia to non-corporate entities. Hope I have the chance to experience it for myself one day.

And thanks to Lucy at for letting me use her photo of poutine at Belgian Fries (although it's not a beef one like Michelle reviews above). To read Lucy's review of Belgian Fries, click here.

To read another review of Belgian Fries go to OhMyCalico. Thanks for letting me use your exterior shot of Belgian Fries, Calico!

Belgian Fries, 1803 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A6
in between 3rd & 2nd (Cross Street: Commercial DR and 2nd AVE E)
Phone: 604-253-4220

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bowser & Blue Sing "Poutine"

Rick Blue and George Bowswer make up the comedic musical group Bowser and Blue. Performing in Montreal for years, they have been a mainstay of Canadian comedy, having had many specials featured on CBC TV. I saw them perform at a local bar a few years back and they were a hoot. Here they are with a vintage clip singing about poutine.
To see more about these funny guys click here: boswer&

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poutine in Hong Kong

I got an e-mail from Derek in Lachute, Québec whose son is living in Hong Kong. He had poutine at a joint called Cul de Sac which is owned by former-Montrealers. Pretty funky photo, eh? To read a review of Cul de Sac click here.
Derek is thinking of visiting his son and checked out other places that serve poutine and there were quite a few. I'm trying to convice Derek to become Poutine Chronicles' Far East correspondent. Stay tuned.

By the way, Derek's son described the poutine at Cul de Sac as "not bad." Wonder how many curds he'd give it?

Cul de Sac, Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong, China
Open daily from 11 a.m to 11 p.m.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Casse Croûte Chez Diane

Richard and I were on our way home from visiting Richard's mum in Wakefield, Québec, and we hadn't eaten lunch so we decided to stop for poutine in Masson.

Casse Croûte Chez Diane looked like a perfect place.

Plenty of poutine varieties from which to choose.

We went for a medium-sized classic poutine. We were hungry and tired and it was cold out. The poutine was hot, hot, hot -- in fact the hottest gravy I'd ever had! The curds melted almost instantaneously.

The fries, unfortunately, were soggy. I guess it was late in the day and very quiet so they weren't the freshest. Overall, we gave it a 3 out of 5 curds. It certainly warmed us up and was tasty but didn't bite back the way it should have.

Casse Croûte Chez Diane, 775 chemin de Masson, Masson (Gatineau), Québec J8M 1K1
Phone: 819-986-1606

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Poutine in the Toronto Star

There's an article on today's Toronto Star website by Sheryl Ubelacker entitled "Poutine making culinary inroads in U.S." and Poutine Chronicles is mentioned. Very cool!
Click here to see the article.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

South Florida is under a cold weather watch this weekend. The manatees are seeking heat by the waters of a power plant, the orange crop is under threat, and Dairy Belle in Dania Beach, Florida, the makers of the best poutine in south Florida, will be closing by 7 p.m. this weekend.
This just in...

Greetings Dairy Belle Fans,

As some of you know, South Florida will be hit by a very cold blast this weekend. Consequently, we might have to close earlier than usual Saturday and Sunday night. If you are planning on stopping by later than 7 p.m., please give us a call to make sure we are still open, so that you don’t’ make a trip for nothing. You can reach us at 954-920-3330

Additionally, I would like to kindly remind you that we are closed every Mondays.

To see my recent review of Dairy Belle click here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Faux Poutine Cupcakes

My friend Felice wanted a faux poutine cake for her son, Justin's birthday but also wanted something special for his four children. So I made these cupcakes.

I think they went really well with the faux poutine cake. Kinda fun, eh? The cake and cupcakes were chocolate cake with white icing. Fries were pound cake, curds were white chocolate and the gravy was dulce de leche.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Turducken Poutine

My friend Jen lives in Prescott, Ontario and has had a hard time finding decent poutine near her. She's made it once before. Here she goes again. Thanks for sharing Jen!With the big Christmas dinner behind us and little energy for more serious cooking, I decided to use up the leftover Turducken gravy on a poutine for the family.

By way of introduction, Turducken is a unique taste experience that hails from Texas. It is a boned turkey, stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken and filled with a spicy pork sausage stuffing.

It makes the most wonderful gravy.

We decided to try out skinny fries this time but were disappointed with the result. Oh, the guys ate up the poutine but we all agreed to get regular fries next time as there wasn't much to sink your teeth into. I guess the fries are as important as the gravy and curds. The gravy was good, and the curds their usual wonderful selves. This time round I would rate the experience 2.5 curds out of 5.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Montreal Smoked Meat Poutine

The other day Richard and I headed over to Zellers in Hawkesbury.

Zellers is a chain of department stores across Canada where you can find almost anything...including a 50s-style diner tucked into the back of the store.

I really liked the way they displayed their condiments in mini-grocery baskets.

I opened the menu and look at what jumped out at me. Smoked meat poutine! I had to give it a try. (If you want to know more about Montreal smoked meat, click here.)

The waitress kept whizzing by but we finally flagged her down and gave her our order.

And voila, here it is! My first-ever smoked meat poutine.

It was pretty tasty. Crisp fries. But too few curds. The smoked meat was fantastic...thinly sliced, warm and spicy. I usually prefer a chicken gravy to a beef gravy but I suppose this went more with the smoked meat.

All in all, pretty darn good. It gets a 4 out of 5 curds.