Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mike's Place, Tel Aviv, Israel

This just in from my friend Whitney who lives in Florida.

I was in Tel Aviv visiting with my high school friend, Avia, who has been living in Israel since college. We met up with some of her friends and spent the afternoon on the beach. After a day in the scorching July sun, we were all in need of some refreshment and a TV to watch the Germany/Argentina soccer game.
We made our way up to Mike's Place, a recommended beachfront watering hole that would surely give us North Americans a sense of home. As we were walking in, I noticed a patron chowing down on a dish that looked suspiciously like poutine.

But, poutine in Israel? Nah, couldn't be.

Upon further investigation, the menu revealed that Mike's Place did in fact serve their own version poutine. Crazy! The menu reads: Our homemade fries baked with cheese in a stone brick oven, topped with gravy.

I was too excited by this unlikely melding of cultures not to order it, not to mention my sense of duty to your study of poutine. I learned that the owner of Mike's Place hails from Canada, not surprisingly. So, how do you like that? It's going international.

I love it! Thanks for the overseas report Whitney. Looks like yummy poutine!

Mike's Place, Herbert Samuel 86, Tel Aviv, Israel
Phone: 077-6550054
To see their website, click here: Mike's Place

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chez Sisy

The fourth and final chip stand my sister and I tried on our "Alfred poutine discovery tour" was a place called Chez Sisy on the main drag in Alfred, Ontario

Nice exterior seating.

And a complete menu devoted to poutine!

The fries were hot and unpeeled but unfortunately a tiny bit soft. The curds weren't as squeaky as we would have liked but they melted in the delicious gravy. We gave it a solid 4 out of a possible 5 curds. Oh, and it got an eco-curd for being served on a piece of wax paper with a reusable basket underneath.

Chez Sisy, 569 St-Philippe, Alfred, ON K0B 1A0
Phone: 613-679-0908

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miss Alfred

My sister and I were on our poutine tasting trials in Alfred, Ontario and the third joint we tried was Miss Alfred.

It's won all sorts of awards, including best sauce and best fries in Eastern Ontario.

It has plenty of outdoor, covered seating...

...and even more in case you're bringing a crowd.

And wonderful, giant "fries" made out of wood...

...which folks have autographed and commented on.

The service was friendly and fast and the fries were fresh.

Even though the poutine here was recently rated the best in the region (click here to read more), we rated the poutine as just okay. The fries were on the soggy side and the gravy was okay. Curds were fresh but neither of us said WOW. We rated it as a 3.5 out of a possible 5 curds.

143 St Philippe St., Alfred, ON K0B 1A0
Phone: 613-679-1216

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Landriault Snack Bar

Our second stop on my sister Marci and my "Let's Taste Alfred's Poutine Excursion" was at a place called Landriault's.

They had a menu sign board exclusively for poutine.

The place had indoor/outdoor seating. Indoor at the ordering counter and when the weather is fine, picnic tables outside.

The poutine? There was a plethora of curds and they were mighty squeeky. The fries weren't very crispy though. The gravy was not too salty and tasted very chicken-y which I loved. We both rated it as a good 4 out of a possible 5 curds.

Landriault's Snack Bar, 230 St Philippe, Alfred, ON K0B 1A0
Phone: 613-679-2989

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Sister's First Poutine

My sister Marci came to visit me from Ithaca, NY over the weekend. We headed to Alfred, Ontario (the French fry captial of Eastern Ontario) to try some poutine.

Marci had never had poutine before! It was an exciting moment.

She loved the fries and kinda liked the poutine. This was a good one too from La Kennebec, on the main drag (see review below).

Crisp fries, curds and gravy. What else could a gal ask for?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

La Kennebec

Over the weekend, my sister and I headed to Alfred, Ontario (known as the French fry capital of Eastern Ontario) to try their poutine. Our first stop was La Kennebec.

Don't you just love the handle on the front door?

They have an extensive menu...

...and lots of specials too. We ordered a small poutine.

They made the fries to order in their busy, clean kitchen.

Fantastic and hot fries! (My sis thought they were just about the best fries she had ever tasted.) Delicious gravy. Only complaint was it was a bit light on the curds. Otherwise, pretty close to a perfect poutine.

We decided on a 4.5 out of a possible 5 curd rating. And it got a bonus eco-curd for being served on a piece of waxed paper on a reusable flat basket and washable cutlery. Well done!

La Kennebec Restaurant, 472, rue St-Philippe, Alfred, ON K0B 1A0
Phone: 613-679-4092

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jack's Fish & Chips

This just in from our poutine correspondent Josh in Prescott, Ontario.

In Brockville, I found a small place in the food court at the mall called "Jack's Fish & Chips." It's run by the same couple that run the "Asian wok" on the other side of the court.

I got a small poutine for $4.25 but it was still quite generous in proportion. It was in a Styrofoam take-out container, used real curds, copious quantity of sauce and cheese, and the fries were fresh cut (in appearance anyways) and had a great texture and taste, none of that fast food type junk.

All in all I would rate it a 4.5 out of 5. Happy to help in your quest to find the best poutines in all the land -- it seems like a worthy cause :)

Thanks Josh! Sound fab!

Jack's Fish & Chips, 1000 Islands Mall, Brockville, ON K6V 3G9
Phone: 613-345-2588

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New York Fries

My friend Pam from Ithaca, NY was curious about poutine and on a recent trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake, came across a New York Fries stand. Her son Joey and friend Olivier were her travelling companions and all were happy to try the poutine. Pam says, "Olivier pronounced it good, but not enough cheese. I thought it was delicious; they can add veggies, bacon, and more, but I went for the classic. Yum. A great little dish right before we crossed the border back to the poutine-less USA."

Thanks Pam! I'll have to give it a try. And...what sort of rating would you give it out of a possible FIVE curds?

BTW, even though it's called New York Fries, it is a privately owned, Canadian franchise and has locations across Canada and is growing internationally. To see their website, click here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pirate's Lunch

Another review from our roving poutine eater Jack D'Mestiere. This time he was in British Columbia! Read on...Jack here. While motoring around Vancouver Island on an outing from Victoria, Dolly-girl and me ran into Pirate’s Lunch. We stopped quicker than a ’59 VW going up hill. “This is it, Jack, I just know this is it! Great road-side food, by the water!”

There were all sorts of signs advertising Pirate’s food offerings...

...and then one special one caught my eye. Yes, indeed, I was looking at a chance for poutine. Here was a chance to have a 5-curd poutine from a roadside stand, just like Ronna and Richard talk about! Great decor and poutine, too. I ordered it. Dolly-girl was right! This is it! But, I should have known: Pirate pronounced it "poo-teen."

The “Poutine” arrived. My excitement faded fast. While the fries were fresh cut and cooked just right--in fact, delicious fries--and the gravy, while likely from a can or mix was tasty--although not salty enough--the curds were--WHAT? Strips of American cheese (wait, I guess that would be Canadian cheese--or would it be? I think Canadians have more taste) had been torn up and laid to rest on the fries and gravy. IMPORTED AMERICAN CHEESE! Strips!

Sorry Pirate, poutine ain’t poutine without curds. Final score? 0, zero, nil, naught.