So today, November 20, 2008 is the grand opening of Toronto’s first all-poutine restaurant, Smoke’s Poutinerie. There was a lot of talk in the blogosphere about how awesome this was going to be but, despite my blog’s content I never acknowledged the news of it’s opening because I just assumed that it would be ok at best and I was not going to start telling everyone about it before I even had a chance to get in there.

Knowing that today was the opening day, a week and a bit ago I told my work that I would not be in today as I had some appointments and what not. At 10:20 AM I called to find out when they opened. The answer? 11:30. I booted it to 218 Adelaide Street West (just east of Adelaide and Simcoe) and showed up at the door at 11:32 and was first in-line and seemingly the third customer.  I was there 6 minutes (without exaggeration) before the line went to the back of spot, out the door, down the stairs and spilling onto the sidewalk.

What you see here is the “Traditional” – one of Smoke’s many poutine variations. I figured that it would be important for me to try the traditional first since what I always complain about here is how Toronto has been bastardizing the simple idea of delicious poutine.

What I cannot complain about here is the fries. Wait. Before I go there…notice the cheese curds? You should. It’s also worth noting that they were really fresh and made a wonderful squeaking noise when chewed. Ok back to the fries – this were basically the way that poutine fries should be! They were almost as good as Caplansky’s fries.

The only bummer, to be honest, is the gravy. The “Traditional” gravy, as per the menu, is a hybrid of chicken and beef gravy. While the above looks perfectly on point, it tasted a little weird and it was a little off-putting that, even going early, there was some parts of the gravy that were strangely “thicker” than other parts. I can’t even put my finger on the taste – there is something that just was not agreeing with me.

For $5.95, however, you get a lot of food. I had a day of things planned on my day off, instead I had to come home to chill out and write this because I was so full that it hurt.

I’m kind of torn right now – is this the best traditional poutine that I have had in Toronto (despite not being into the gravy)? Or, as my friend suggest that I have “succumbed to Toronto’s pitiful standards of poutine that even a mediocre joint throws [me] off key”?

Whatever. I know for a fact that I will go back and try some of the other concoctions that Smoke’s has to offer.