Saturday, December 24, 2011

15th Avenue Hophouse

Jack's back with another review from Oregon! Thanks Jack!
The 15th Avenue Hophouse is a great place to get a beer, particularly an Oregon microbrew. But, it turns out to be a great place to get a little taste of Québec, as well. The poutine on the menu is worth the trip, even if you aren't after great beer.

It's full-holiday season in Portland, so we were all in a festive mood. I went to this pub prepared to have a burger, when, What to my wondering eyes should appear, but poutine on the menu among all the beers...OK, I'll knock it off.

I was skeptical given the menu description: a vegetarian gravy and cheddar curds. What gravy can't use some meat drippings, and generally, "curds" is good enough. Plus, I live a long way from the mothership of poutine. On top of that, I am fighting the "battle of the bulge" so poutine is an unusual treat and I want it to be great. But, it's the holiday season, so what the hey? I ordered the wasabi deviled eggs as a backup.

The small order arrived with more than enough for one person (although this person managed to finish it). The fries were crispy and stood up to the gravy to the very end. The gravy could have been a bit saltier, but, it's easy to add a little. And, even though the gravy was missing a key ingredient in my book--meat--it was very tasty. The curds were yellow, I suppose to emphasize the "cheddar" part, and tasty, however, there was no squeak. I'm here to tell you that if those curds had spoken, they would have said "FIVE CURDS!"

But, I have to withhold a half curd for squeak. I'll add a quarter since it came on a nicely heated china plate. So, 15th Avenue Hophouse...drum roll please...4.75 curds out of 5. It will stand up to almost every poutine I've had in Québec. Now, if the waitress can just learn to pronounce it like Richard... 15th Avenue Hophouse, 1517 NE Brazee, Portland, OR Website:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ladybug Cafe

Another review from intrepid reporter Jennifer in Southern Ontario. Thanks Jen!

In Brighton it is hard to miss the jaunty ladybug Beetle in the parking lot by the Ladybug Cafe. We just had to drop in for lunch. My hubby Marty enjoyed his hamburger soup and club sandwich. I enjoyed the Fiestaware dishes! They always make your food look special. But I digress.

I ordered a small poutine to share. It was okay but lacked a generous serving of cheese curds and wasn't very hot. We agreed on a 2.5 curds out of five.

Ladybug Cafe, 46 Prince Edward, Brighton, ON K0K 1H0
Phone: 613-475-9249

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This review from Jennifer in Prescott. Sorry it didn't turn out so "Rosie"!

While in Brighton, the hubby and I tried out a little diner called Rosie's for lunch. It is a nicely appointed little restaurant right near the main intersection on highway 30/Young St. To begin, the battered cod and the club sandwich were very good. Good prices too. I thought it would be fun to upgrade the fries with the fish to a poutine to see how they did in this neck of the woods. I am sorry to say it didn't meet most of the requirements for a good poutine.

The fries weren't super hot, the sauce was a thick, salty, beef gravy and there wasn't a curd to be found. Grated mozzarella took their place. We each tried a bite or two and left the rest. The main thing about an indulgent treat is that it must be enjoyable. Well, not this time. 1.5 curds out of a possible 5.

Rosie's, 1 Prince Edward St, Brighton ON K0K 1H0
Phone: 613-475-4705

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Serendipitous First Poutine Experience

Brett H. is a guest writer on the subjects of healthy living, eating, and lifestyles.

A couple of weeks ago, my associate asked me if I wanted to write an article about poutine for the Poutine Chronicles. I had never heard of the dish before, so I didn’t feel fully equipped to write about it. This past weekend, though, I had the pleasure of actually experiencing the glory of poutine. It all started when my friend called me to tell me he was in town and asked me if I’d join him for dinner at a specialty hot dog restaurant downtown. I’m trying to eat healthy meals on a consistent basis, but I find that sometimes it’s all right to reward myself with a few decadent meals a month. So, I agreed to join him for dinner.

I arrived to the restaurant fashionably late and my friend and his girlfriend had already ordered an appetizer. I sat down at the table and saw a big basket of waffle fries covered in what appeared to be, at first glance, a strange sort of chili and cheese concoction. My friend was kind enough to offer me some of the appetizer. I hadn’t eaten much that day and was starving, so I obliged. A few bites in, it occurred to me that I had no idea what the waffle fries I was eating were covered in. It definitely wasn’t chili. And it was definitely delicious. I asked my friend what it was. He said, “It’s a Canadian thing. It’s gravy and cheese curds and maybe some other stuff.” And then his girlfriend chimed in, “It’s called poutine. I used to eat it all the time when I lived in Canada.”

When I realized I was eating poutine, it reminded me of how delightful coincidences can be. It was like one of those moments when I have a song stuck in my head, and then I hear that song a few seconds later when I walk into a store. Except this was even better and it seemed even more serendipitous. I live in Texas and poutine is definitely a rarity here. What are the chances I would actually have the opportunity to try it where I live? Slim. I’m really glad the universe gifted me the opportunity to try out this Canadian delicacy.

Now that I’ve tried poutine, I definitely want more of it. Whoever thought of putting gravy and cheese curds on top of fries must have been a culinary genius. Whenever I need a break from healthy eating in the future, I think I’ll take a trip downtown to get some hot dogs and poutine!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

O Vieux Phare

Oops! I neglected to post this earlier. Richard and I visited this place in Hawkesbury in the heat of summer and sat outside with a view of the Ottawa River.

It's a cute place with okay food. We ordered wraps and shared a side of poutine.

Pretty good. Real curds and good gravy. Fries were okay. I guess we'd give it a four out of possible five curds.

87A John St., Hawkesbury, ON K6A 1Y1
Phone: 613-632-6513

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hometown Cafe

Last week we headed to the Hometown Cafe in Norwood, New York...

...very close to the border with Canada.

It was croweded with lunch goers and I was delighted to see poutine on the menu.

So I ordered it.

I was disappointed that there were no curds but otherwise, the gravy was yummy and the fries crisp.

I guess a 3.5 out of 5. Pretty good.

Hometown Cafe, 3 N. Main Street, Norwood, NY 13668
Phone: 315-353-2852

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Lakeview Restaurant

The Lakeview Restaurant in Toronto is an old diner (c. 1930s) that's open 24 hours.

My niece lives around the corner and thought I'd like the place. She was right. It's pretty funky inside...

...and the menu offers a variety of poutine choices. Yippee!

We chose the Poutine Lakeview...

...Sweet potato and fresh cut fries, cheese curds, peameal and bacon bits with house gravy.

We loved it. Nice fresh curds. Gravy wasn't too salty and very flavourful. Great addition of bacon.

All in all a good rating. A 4.5 out of 5 curds I think. Went very well with a Caesar salad too!

The Lakeview Restaurant, 1132-1134 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON M6J 1X2
Phone: 416-850-7005

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tail O' The Pup

I always wanted to go to this little joint, nestled in the Adirondacks halfway between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid in northern New York.

Tail O' The Pup just yells "summer" and thankfully last week it was still summery enough to sit outside and enjoy the ambiance.

How can you resist a place with a giant lobster?

The menu features smokehouse stuff but lookie here...

...upon further inspection, it had poutine!

And not too bad at that either. Waffle fries (a first for me I think) and delicious chicken gravy. The only place it fell short was the curds but shredded mozzarella.

Still, Richard and I really enjoyed it and along with the wonderful atmosphere, helped rate this poutine as a 4 out of a possible 5 curds.

Tail O' The Pup, Saranac Lake on Rte. 86, Ray Brook, NY
Phone: 518-891-0777

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

International Plowing Match

At the International Plowing Match in Chute-a-Blondeau this week, many food kiosks offered poutine. We tried some from this tent.

It only came in one size and was $6.50.

We both liked the rich, dark gravy and the hot fries but it had very few curds. Mine only had 6 or 7 curds!

All in all we agreed that it was okay and gave it a 3 out of a possible 5. Tasted nice but needed MORE curds please!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bob's Fries

My sister Marci, friend Jen and I headed to Merrickville, Ontario and came upon Bob's Fries.

Nice looking place with coordinating colours. Even the garbage pails were purple!

The menu was nice and simple.

We decided to split a poutine to get a taste of it. Here my sis is taking a photo for her own poutine album.

We were all disappointed. The fries were soggy; the curds, although they were ample, were cold and therefore not squeeky; and the gravy was okay. We were disappointed. We all agreed on a 3 out of a possible 5 curd rating.

Bob's Fries, St. Lawrence Street, Merrickville, ON K0G 1N0
Phone: 613-258-3652

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leduc Snack Bar

With our friend John from Oregon visiting, a poutine aficionado from out west, we figured we'd try Leduc Snack Bar in Hawkesbury.

The little potato guy is cute and looks like he might even be ready for Christmas with his lights hanging off him.

There's a nice 3-season eating area on the side.

We split a family-sized poutine and shared it. John looks pretty happy to dig in!

And dig in we did. Tons of curds, great gravy and crispy fries.

We all deemed it worthy of a 5 out of 5 curd poutine. Wowza! Well done Leduc's!

Leduc Snack Bar, 551 Main St. E., Hawkesbury, ON K6A 1B3
Phone: 613-632-1080

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hume Hotel

This review is from my friend Peggi who was recently visiting Nelson, BC and had to have a poutine fix. She was delighted to find it on the menu at Mike's Place Pub, located in the Hume Hotel.

I ordered the poutine and the waitress asked if I'd like the poutine warmed up to melt the curds. I said, "Oh, no, that's heresy!" and she laughed and agreed, but added that some people prefer it that way.

I don't know how you rate your poutine, but I found it a little salty - could just be me. The yam fries were wonderful, crisp on the outside and soft inside, nice and sweet. Curds nice and firm and the gravy pretty good. All in all, a pretty darn good poutine.

Hume Hotel, 422 Vernon Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4E5
Toll Free: 1-877-568-0888
Phone: 250-352-5331