Friday, April 30, 2010

Séguin Patate

A warm, sunny day in Cornwall, Ontario with friends meant a stop at a little seasonal joint called Séguin Patate.

Lots of stuff to choose from and a picnic table to eat it on.

But how could we pass up the poutine?

Here's Mr. Séguin Patate welcoming me. He's a cutie, eh?

Inside the busy kitchen, there was a cute cartoon advertising the St. Albert curds used on their poutine.

A lone seagull stood patiently waiting for a handout.

We split a large poutine. Jen had them add bacon, just to give it a try.

That poutine got photographed from many angles.

We dug in and had the following comments: It was on the small side for a so-called "large"; the fries were great as was the gravy which tasted of bacon; the curds weren't squeaky. All in all, a pretty good effort. 4 out of a possible 5 curds.

Séguin Patate, 921 Marlborough St N, Cornwall, Ontario
Open seasonally from spring to fall.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Smoke's Poutine

My niece Sam and her friend Ziz from Toronto sent in this review.

After an evening on the town, we thought we would check out Smoke's Poutinerie on Queen Street West.

It gets points for ambiance...a big chalkboard with plenty of chalk kept us amused while we waited to place our order. And good tunes kept us in the mood.

When we got to ordering, we skipped the vast range of poutine flavors available and went straight for the classic!

We split a small poutine and it was just the right amount of food for the time of evening. The fries were good and tasted like real, fresh cut potatoes. There was a good amount of cheese, but the gravy could have been a bit tastier. Unfortunately, the take-out container dish was too deep so the cheese/gravy didn't permeate enough to the bottom fries. But all-in-all a great place to get a good poutine in Toronto!

So Sam and Ziz, sounds like it might be a 4 out of 5 curds?

Smoke's Poutinerie has five locations in Toronto, and is also in Ottawa. Coming soon to Kingston and London. To read more about Smoke's Poutinerie, click here.

Calvin Trillin on Poutine

This just in from Toronto's Globe and Mail. Calvin Trillin proposes that “Poutine should be declared the national dish of Canada.” To read more, click here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bonnie Stern's Poutine

From the pages of Reader's Digest, here's Toronto chef Bonnie Stern's version of a healthier poutine. Click to enlarge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mom & Burger

After a hard day of pulling in wood from the bush, we decided to head into Alexandria, Ontario to a popular chip stand called Mom & Burger.

It's basically a large shipping container with a door cut out of it and a tent-like structure added in front of the ordering window.

Richard thought the whole place lacked warmth and took exception to the "Keep off" signs pasted on the giant metal burger. (I'm still not sure what it is exactly. Some sort of former Burger King mascot with a bobby hat?)

The ketchup and vinegar counter was kind of fun. I only noticed afterward that they have an extras category where you can add more curds to your poutine.

It wasn't really necessary. The poutine had tons of curds. The only problem was that they were cool and not squeaky. The fries were okay and the gravy was hot and tasted fine.

We rated it as an average poutine and concurred at a 3.5 out of a possible 5 curds. To make it fair, we thought we'd give it a second chance when the place is hopping (and in mid-summer, this place hops!) and the fries might be fresher and crisper.

Mom and Burger, 413 Main St. N. (Hwy. 34, just north of the tracks). Alexandria, ON K0C 1A0
Phone: 613-577-0308
Open spring through fall.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beer and Butter Tarts

Poutine Chronicles is now part of a great site called Beer and Butter Tarts that promotes Canadian food blogs. Here's what one of the folks who runs it writes, "In July of 2009, we created a website called Beer and Butter Tarts. The original intent was for the site to be a cross between TasteTO and a Canadian version of Serious Eats; with people from across the country writing about food in Canada. But it was a lot more work than we had expected and we really couldn’t keep up both the quantity and quality. But we’ve always wanted to do something that celebrated food in Canada, and we loved the name…
So we’ve turned Beer and Butter Tarts into a food blog aggregator, where Canadian food bloggers can join and have their blog posts included on the home page." To see more, click Beer and Butter

To see another cool food website run by the same folks click on Save Your Fork...There's Pie!

Background on Poutine Eating Contest

My friend Elisabeth sent me this article from Saturday's Montreal Gazette. Click to enlarge.

Poutine Eating Contest

Sarah from Toronto sent me this link to a newspaper called "24H" which describes a poutine eating contest to be held on May 22nd in that city.

I have a stomach ache just reading about it.

If you'd like to nominate someone who you think would be a good competitor, click here to go to Smokes Poutinerie website. You can also guess how much poutine the winner will eat. Good times!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poutine glacée

My friend Roberta, who lives in Florida, sent this to me. It was sent to her by her sister-in-law Randi, who recently spotted this poster while visiting Sutton, Québec. Ice cream with cookies to look like fries and marshmallow-like curds. Butterscotch sauce like gravy? Looks interesting. Anyone ever try it? Please let me know!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Petit Bill's Bistro

My friend Peggi read a glowing review of a lobster poutine at a place called Petit Bill's Bistro in Ottawa. They call themselves "A French bistro with a Newfie accent." We decided to check it out.

Sure enough, there it was on the menu in the window. Lobster poutine!

So we ventured inside.

We decided to split the lobster poutine and also split a citrus salad. The server was terrific and had the 2 meals plated in the kitchen so there was no messy splitting of dinners at the table.

The salad was described as: Nutty Greens -- crispy baby lettuces, showered with pine nuts, sunflower seeds, orange supremes, julienne peppers, tossed with a honey-citrus vinaigrette. (Yum!)

And check it out. Lobster poutine! Homecut shoestring frites, lobster, shellfish butter sauce and marscapone cheese. Oh. My. Gawd. I don't think I'll ever play the tuba again. Or whatever. This was the bomb! Thank goodness we shared it. It was incredibly rich and incredibly delicious.
On my gilded curd scale (used only for unusual, high-end poutines), I'll give it a 5 out of a possible 5 gilded curds. We both loved it!

Petit Bill's Bistro, 1293 Wellington Street W., Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B1
Phone: 613-729-2500
Hours: Open daily, Monday to Saturday open for Lunch, Dinner & Afternoon Cocktail from 11:30 am. Open Sundays from 4:00 pm
Closed Holidays & Long Weekend Sundays
To see more, click on their website: Petit Bills Bistro

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mail Order Poutine Sauce

I recently heard from Mathieu, a young entrepreneur from Gatineau, Québec. He has just launched a website called Big Poutine where he sells packets of poutine sauce (all you do is add water) to anyone around the world. I'd love to know from which corners of the globe folks are buying poutine sauce. Maybe Mathieu can eventually put up a map and we can follow along?
To check out his site, click here:

Monday, April 5, 2010

La Bonne Assiette

With temperatures soaring to a record breaking 29C on Saturday, Richard and I headed to a poutine joint in Grenville, Québec. On the right of the photo you can see the bridge that takes you over the Ottawa River to Hawkesbury, Ontario.

We decided to park our brake, as our friend Jack D'Mestiere would say, at La Bonne Assiette and try their poutine. Looks like the cartoon chef on their sign has had a few too many poutines himself!

We split a small one. Richard didn't like the inconsistent fries. Some were burnt and all were mushy. I took offense to the ice-cold curds. Once curds are refrigerated, they lose their squeak, which is part of their charm. The gravy was hot and pretty good.

Richard gave it a 3 out a possible 5 curds. I was teetering on a 2.5. We both agreed it was pretty average. Not great but not horrible.

La Bonne Assiette, 41 rue Maple, Grenville, QC J0V 1J0
Phone: 819-242-9000