Poutine Party Monday, Sep 22 2008 

Saturday, I headed over to a friend’s place to create a concoction that has been talked about for weeks. Phenomenal home-made poutine -.a pulled-pork poutine no less. It’s Monday afternoon and I’m in still in awe.

 

It all started Saturday morning with a true barbeque enthusiast, powering this beast up:

 

 

For more info on the actual barbequing, please visit his blog; Swine Flavored Smoke Signals.

 

By the time I showed up most of the Yukon Gold potatoes were cut and soaking and I got there just in time to get the oil (three bricks of lard and a bottle of peanut oil) going. Without a deep fryer, we threw this bitch on his smaller propane bbq.  

 

 

 

  

 

Once nice and golden brown we gave them a pat down and salted them like crazy – when the other dudes weren’t looking I was salting the fuck out of these things! SO GOOD!

 

While the fries were being tended to by yours truly, and the SFSS pulling his pork we had our third musketeer manning the gravy train. A mish mash between two different types of gravy, freshly ground pepper, sugar and some pork drippings, the conductor concocted a mind blowing smokey gravy! CHOO CHOO!

 

Everything had to be on point like we were architects and once everything was good to go, the building started…

 

 

ST. ALBERT’S CHEESE CURDS – the Don P of cheese curds. Hands down my favorite with La Trappe de Fromage in Gatineau with a close-ish second. Sadly, I did not find any English info to link you guys for La Trappe.  

 

 

  

 

I guess I should review this, huh?!

 

 

This is obviously not your traditional Quebecois poutine; thanks to the pork and the gravy style. Regardless, this was so amazingly delicious! The fries were phenomenal, the gravy was glorious and most importantly we had cheese curds. The curds, however, I wish were squeaky, but I got them on my last trip to Ottawa and kept them frozen for this occasion. The kept pretty well but obviously lost there squeek in Hoth, if I do say so myself.  

 

I don’t really know much about the pulled pork – I’m not really one that normally eats meat so I kind of ate around the flesh as much as I could but holy shit! I believe my quote, while chewing was “Man, I don’t normally eat meat at all…cuz I kinda don’t like it…but this…oh man…*shakes a pointing finger at the bbq master while laughing*”

 

The three of us were so incredibly food high. I would do this again in a heartbeat. So much fun and so delicious. Easily the best poutine I have had so far in this city…wow…Toronto eateries need to step their game up if 3 dudes drinking beer hanging out can destroy their poutines. Real talk.

Pizza Italie Saturday, Sep 20 2008 

I used to live, without exaggeration, about a five minute walk from Pizza Italie which can be found at 101 Promenade du Portage in Gatineau (Hull Sector), Quebec. Actually, in my time living in that neighborhood I was definitely vegan for the majority of it. I know – pretty ironic. My girlfriend who I was (and still currently am) living with would get the Pizza Italie poutines and tell me how good they were – I tried to shrug it off for as long as I could and just got fries. Then one day I just definitely swooped in and stole a bite of her poutine and that, my friends, was the end of my vegan days. Good riddance!

 

On the recent trip to Ottawa it was decided that we would hit up Pizza Italie when we got into town before going to my parent’s place for drinking and hot tubing. Good call, M&N. Good call. Great call, M&N. Great call.

 

 

I don’t even know if you guys are ready for this shit…

 

 

BAM!

 

There’s nothing else to say but this has nice thick fries that aren’t Belgian or taste like they’re frozen or any of that (read: perfect), smothered in a gloriously delicious gravy and an insane amount of fresh squeaky cheese curds.

 

 

It’s also beautifully layered all the way through. Just looking at this is making my heart hurt and my mouth water – I’m so incredibly hungry right now…

 

TAKE NOTE, TORONTO! THIS IS HOW IT’S DONE! Oh! And maybe I should mention that it’s only about $5 to get this beast. No matter how full I am, I never leave a bite.

 

In my ESD post I mentioned that a trip to Ottawa would be complete without hitting up ESD – and I still hold true to that. Now, my friends, I have to say that not trip to the Ottawa area is worth taking without stopping in my old hood to visit Pizza Italie.

 

For the record: Mom, Dad and in-laws, you know that I love visiting you guys and that it’s my reason for going nine times out of ten, and you know that I wouldn’t really consider it a wasted trip if I saw you guys and didn’t go to Pizza Italie, but I you guys know just as well as I do that this poutine is the bomb-shit!

 

That’s right it’s the bomb-shit. It’s the Cadillac of poutines. I would award it a gold medal if I could. I would give it the Stanley Cup of poutinery if I could. Come to think of it – I should make an official curdsade certificate for these guys giving them 97/5 golden curds. Yeah I said it. Damn Skippy.

Burger King Thursday, Sep 18 2008 

The day after I was advised of the chip trunk poutine on the University of Toronto I went on the mission to find if before going to a party on the UofT campus…but to no avail. I assumed that I was either lost or they just shut down for the evening. Upon further investigation, it was the latter. Anyways, jonsing to get my ‘tine on we walked around the campus and side streets looking for a spot that we could eat at that could curb that poutine craving.

 

About 25-35min later, we settle for a Burger King. Just the thought of how we went to BK for a poutine is totally bumming me out – was there seriously no other spots?! We were almost tempted to ditch the curdsade for the evening and getting pizza or falafel – but we passed on the pizza because it wasn’t poutine and we passed on the falafel because who wants to smell like a walking garlic clove at a party. So here we were at Bloor and Bathurst walking into a sketchy looking BK for a fucking poutine. Ugh – the things I do…

 

 

“Caution: Hot”? Thank you, Dr. Obvious! I did not realize that the gravy that melts the cheese on top of the fries that just came out of the deep fryer would be hot! /sarcasm.

 

 

 

We got fries. We got gravy. We got cheese curds. I immediately gave them points for getting it right! I was kind of disappointed with the size, but it was only $1.89 to add it on to a combo – so that’s actually not bad. In all honesty, nothing to really complain about. So on to the taste test.

 

As a self-proclaimed poutine connoisseur, I will tell you all right now that I’m a little embarrassed to say this…the poutine was actually pretty good. Maybe it’s because I was really hungry, or maybe its because it was actually tasty – I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. What I do know, however, is that I was pleasantly surprised at what I got at what was possibly the sketchiest BK that I have ever been to.

 

While they did use good curds (sans squeek mind you) and really tasty gravy with a near perfect consistency, the fries sucked (obviously) and no layering. In their defense, the container seems a little small to layer, but regardless this poutine could have greatly profited from it.

 

Speaking of layering, on top of the above (see what I did there?), I was apparently pretty lucky because my girlfriend who also got a poutine did not seem to have the same quality that I did – despite the aforementioned caution it was barely warm. Kind of a bummer. However, on my good experiences, she went to another BK (King and Dufferin) last night and got a poutine – not only was it about $4 on its own but it was “meh” at best. While I had a pretty positive experience, they apparently need to work on being consistent.

 

In closing, I would only go out of my way to get a BK poutine if the king himself was serving it. The King: what a great dude.

 

Elgin Street Diner Friday, Sep 12 2008 

Two weeks ago I went down to Ottawa over the long weekend to get sweet with friends. No trip to Ottawa is complete without a disappointing trip to the famous (I guess?) Elgin Street Diner (aka ESD) for, as per their menu, “Ottawa’s Best Poutine”. Located at 324 Elgin Street in Ottawa, this 24hour diner is a hot-spot is favorite for late night eats in a desperate attempt to either a) sober up, b) avoid a hangover the next day or c) both.

 

 

Whoa. That just reminded me. While we did go to ESD two weeks ago, we went for brunch…which means these pictures are from my previous trip to Ottawa where I was more than likely wasted after hitting up The Dirty Oak in an attempt to either a) sober up, b) avoid a hangover the next day or c) both. For the record, I didn’t sober up and was still hung-over the next day. How do I remember? Because every Sunday that I am in Ottawa is the day after I go to The Dirty Oak for Dre’s Metal Nite where a drunken gong show inevitably ensues as my Ottawa friends come out and see their Torontonian brother. Especially two weeks ago…but that’s a story for another day.

 

 

This “review” will be really short. The only reason why I have decided to “review” ESD is because I feel that the poutine is arguably the most overrated poutine in the National Capital Region – but, without fail, I get it just about every time at ESD and am disappointed not only in the poutine itself but because I always think that eating one will help me either a) sober up, b) avoid a hangover the next day or c) both.

 

I’m not a fan of the fries at all – never was and presumably never will be. They are just so stringy and seem like they have been deep fried a myriad of times before being served. The gravy is super salty and way thick. My man Loziloz would say that there is no such thing as too thick, especially with the ladies, but he’s higher than an eagle’s ass half the time and can’t be taken seriously.

 

On a positive note, the cheese curds are always awesome and the gravy is vegan friendly – so you can’t be mad at that! The portion as well, even for $6.50 is pretty filling and a pretty ok deal.

 

I guess my main issue, other than the lack of fulfilling my need to either a) sober up, b) avoid a hangover the next day or c) both at 3am, is that every time I eat one I either a) get a tummy ache, b) feel like I’m going to shit my pants or c) both.

 

 

All in all, the ESD poutine is relatively good for what you’re getting, I guess – but I still find it mad overrated. I do recommend, however, if you’re feeling adventurous, to take a look at their menu and see their poutine twists; the four cheese poutine, the onion ring poutine, the smoked meat poutine, etc. But not because they are particularly good – just because.

 

Bottom line, I will keep calling it overrated but guaranteed I will ear it again. It’s still way better than some of the ones I have eaten in the past few months whilst on this mission. Believe that.

THIS JUST IN! Wednesday, Sep 3 2008 

This evening while I was on the street car on my way to the season opener of Ten Frame Fight‘s (temporary, but hopefully not that temporary, name) inaugural bowling season, I received a text message from my honorary big sister. Well, maybe I’m more accurately her honorary little brother. I’m sure that I annoy her enough to merit the sucking up for brownie points. In any event, I digress…

Her message read “Chip truck on campus uses fresh cut fries and curds but beef gravy. Still pretty good”

I responded excitedly that I will try to hit it up tomorrow as I’m supposed to be in the area. Then I received the response “Small is decent sized for $3.75”.

OH SNAP! Things are getting a little interesting…as I am typing the message saying that if she were to have taken a picture I could have put up a post from her as a correspondent I get a notification that I have another message waiting for me….what is it?

BAM!

So apparently the “Truck is called ‘Ideal Catering’ in front of Sidney Smith Hall” – expect a full out review from either big sister or lil brother in the damn near future, kids!! Also, just in case you don’t know, Sidney Smith Hall is one of the main buildings on the University of Toronto campus. SAY WORD.