Poutine: pronounced “poo-teen” is comfort food to me. The mastermind to this heart attack on a plate is some crazy Canadian. Go figure. I should both thank and curse the creator for making such a fattening meal. Most of my American friends have no idea what this dish is and most have gawked at the idea until they have tried it. The traditional variety consists of french fries topped with cheese curds (squeaky cheese!) and then smothered with brown gravy. Unfortunately, it isn’t a common menu item in Portland yet. The places that do sell it don’t quite do it justice. I didn’t realize how easy it was to screw up this dish but some places have managed to do so. How you might ask? It’s only 3 ingredients but by choosing the wrong cut of fries (no shoestrings!), using small chards of curds (you need big chunks!) and bad tasting gravy (it happens), one can easily disappoint any Canadian that knows how it should look and taste. So if you want good poutine, I must refer you to go just about anywhere in Canada. Even the drive thru A&W’s will make it better than most places in the States. When I’m in Vancouver, my poutine fix is satisfied by a trip to Belgian Fries on Commercial Drive. They make a terrific vegetarian gravy that doesn’t have a weird aftertaste like the one served at Potato Champion here in Portland. I don’t encourage eating this often but every once in a while it is good eats.
Location: 1803 COMMERCIAL DR, VANCOUVER, BC
Cost: $5.69 + tax for a medium order of poutine