Stampede Bison Grill Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

This week my parents were in Toronto to catch a flight to B.C. to visit my sister. I feel bad for my sister – the poutine is apparently terrible out there and she is almost as much of a poutine lover as I am. I say almost because she isn’t writing a blog about it now is she! Wait – is she? I should ask. Regardless, my parents are wicked enough to be bringing 2 kilos of cheese curds from Quebec to her to make her own poutines. Yes I said 2 kilos – No it’s not a typo. Yes I’m positive. For those who don’t know, a kilo is a thousand grams. It’s easy to remember. All around the world today, the kilo is a measure.

 

 Anyways, even though they were in Toronto they had to bail on our dinner date because of my dad’s work commitments.  Being not stoked, I decided that I was gonna make a run to the LCBO for a couple beers and I stopped into this new joint in Parkdale called Stampede Bison Grill for their poutine as suggested to me by Nick

 

Stampede is at 5 Brock Avenue and has taken over the once popular fried chicken joint “Rosie’s”. I never had the chance to eat at Rosie’s because when I moved to Toronto just over a year ago I was still vegetarian – by the time I loosened up my dietary restrictions, it had closed down. In any event, this was the second time I stepped into this place, but the first time I ordered something and both times I was really stoked to have this spot in the neighborhood – it’s clean, interesting and great vibes in my opinion. There’s a better review of the spot by Taste T.O. here – bottom line, I hope it sticks around.

 

 

 

At first glance you see this take-out menu and it’s rad – fresh cut fries, cheese curds and made-from-scratch vegetarian friendly gravy for $3.50. It’s a no brainer at this point order that shit and the package – and I don’t mean the kind of package they run in The Wire or in R. Kelly’s Trapped in The Closet! I’m talking about this package:

 

 

Then you open that shit and it’s like Christmas!! Delicious, delicious Christmas!

 

 

The first issue I have is the size. The poutine is really small. I mean for $3.95 (I know that the above menu says $3.50 but in-shop it’s $3.95) I guess I can’t really complain. It was really gone before I knew it.

 

The fries are pretty rad – a little thin, but with the small container there sadly is not really any other option. However, at least the are fresh cut and made to order! Can’t be mad at that!

 

Of course – it’s topped with beautiful Quebecois cheese curds. Bonus points for the proper cheese, but I have to take away some points for not being a whole lot of cheese curds. This was one of 2 things that I was vocal about while eating my poutine and sippin’ on my St. Peter’s Organic.

 

The second thing was the gravy. Before I go on, I must admit that this is the second time that I tasted Stampede’s poutine. A few weeks ago my girlfriend had one and I stole a bite. With that bite I was ale to concur that it was tasty enough for me to say that I would come back and try my own for the blog– no frontin’! This time the homemade gravy seemed very rough in texture, almost sandy, and had a weird East Indian curry type flavor – like they decided to make it with cumin. Kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but it the portion was small enough for me to inhale it and stop complaining…for the most part.

 

While not some sort of stellar award winning poutine, but it’s basically as close a taste of Quebec that I have found I would eat the poutine again – I mean it’s not only on the way to/from The Beer Store and the LCBO but I might also contemplate hitting it up on the walk home from playing basketball weekly just a little north of Stampede. I have had better and I have had way worse, but this aint bad.

Poutine Anthems Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

My last post was basically a shout out to some friends – and this is kind of the same. My good friend…scratch that…one of the best dudes that I know, Big Baby Campbell, has this sweet (and hilarious) blog that illustrates his eclectic love of music. I’ve become a big fan as of late and am throwing together this pseudo-homage to Youth Anthems with a poutine flavoured jam.

In this first installation we have is Omnikron featuring Parisian crew TTC with thier jam Danse La Poutine.

I realize that most people won’t get what this is all about since it’s all in French but all you need to know is it’s people eating legit poutines. Not only do I, for some inexplicable reason love TTC jams, but this track is all about making/eating one of the best things to ever come out of Quebec, along with Mario Lemieux, sirop d’érable and 40s of 50!

To be continued…

squeeeeeesh squeeeeeesh

 

FRIENDS! Saturday, Aug 23 2008 

So! In my opinion, if you’re reading this, you’re either a fan of food and/or food reviews or you are my friend who enjoys reading your favorite borderline functional alcoholic French Canadian tear apart poutines made by the Anglos who are constantly trying to destroy my culture. Yeah I said it. How serious am I? I’m not telling…

 

ANYWAYS! Believe it or not, there is an actual purpose to this post; two for my friends have recently started food blogs. A hamburger review blog and a barbeque blog. The dude that runs the barbeque blog is a BBQ master – he may or may not have gotten vegetarians to break veg! It’s also worth noting that the lady who runs the hamburger blog may or may not have a ginourmous hamburger tattoo. If those aren’t credentials, then I don’t know what are.

 

If you have a moment, take a peak, subscribe, enjoy, whatever.

 

Thanks!

Gorilla Monsoon Saturday, Aug 23 2008 

On a hot summer day, once again, wondering around Queen West looking for a spot to hit for some content. We went into this one spot where we sat for fifteen minutes (without exaggeration) and our presence was not even acknowledged. Most people would be really upset, and I guess we were, but we just chilled in their air conditioned and used the table’s supply of napkins to wipe our brows and then busted out. Hope you assholes had fun cleaning up my sweat.  

 

So after we leave this spot we stumble into Gorilla Monsoon at 372 Queen Street West. At this point I don’t even know if they have poutine but I’m just jonsing for either a 50 or a pitcher of long island ice tea – or any other refreshing beverage that will make me piss and stagger. It’s a beautiful day, it’s my day off, don’t judge me.

 

So we grab some seats and I naturally order a 50 while my accomplices are ordering water and/or Shirley Temples instead of beers to dehydrate (read: to harsh buzzes). It turns out that they do have a poutine on the menu. I have looked up their menus (yes, plural) online so that I can remember how much it was but the two different menus posted online do not have a poutine listed…and I may know why…and you soon may as well. Just sayin’.

 

 

The fries are pretty on point. While they aren’t fresh cut they are as close to fresh cut as I think I’m going to find without going to a chip truck. Huge draw back is the obvious grated cheese. At least Gorilla Monsoon was “creative” enough to use marbled cheese instead of straight orange cheddar. I’m actually surprised I haven’t stumbled across a spot yet that does not just crumble white cheddar or mozzarella or some shit and try to pass it off as curds. Take note, cooks; do not try and poo in my mouth and call it chocolate. I mean this both literally and metaphorically…but especially literally. Because that’s gross!  

 

Unfortunately, another draw back, as I trust that you can see above, we’re not taking about a huge portion here. While it may look like a nice phat stack of poutiney goodness…it isn’t. When I say it isn’t, I really mean that it’s not a phat stack (see below), actual poutine or good. Strike three; you’re out like Alpha Chino around a campfire.

 

 

Oh yeah – the gravy. It was ok. By no means award winning. While somewhat tasty it definitely needed work in the viscosity department. There’s nothing more that I can really say about this poutine let alone the gravy. Just not into it at all.

 

After this debauchery and seeing all of the shitty reviews I have given to spots on Queen West, I obviously need to walk in a different neighborhood and diversify my bonds! There is one or two spots left on (or just off of) Queen West that my pal Nick recommends – but after that, Queen West….you’re fuckin’ dead to me, you poutine massacring whore.