La Poutine has finally arrived. Their early-to-market website, along with pretty consistent talk on twitter had many in this town waiting very anxiously. For fries and cheese you say! Would it be any better than what’s available? Sarah and I knew we should head down tonight after voting and find out what opening day had in store. And if you can’t tell by the above, there was a solid queue; one that didn’t ease during our stay.
Located at the north end of 109th ave, La Poutine sits beside the lovely T2, the ever sweet Whimsical Cupcakes and the average Kabuki Sushi. The menu is straight to the point. Not only can you get a bowl (small or large) of traditional poutine (gravy & curds), but there is almost something for everyone. From spaghetti sauce to sour cream, bbq sauce to onions & peas. I started to wonder if they just tackled a pizza menu and subbed the fries for dough. By the time we got into the restaurant, Sarah and I realized why the line up was so big; the interior is very small. The counter is front and center, with just a few bar stools to sit if you’re lucky.
We knew that we’d have to order a traditional, but what about our second choice. After narrowing it down to Quebecois and Cowboy, we played a game of paper, rocks, scissor to find the winner none other than the Quebecois. Both were ordered in the large format, as the small container just doesn’t even seem worth the effort. Go big or go home. With the huge lineup inside, the wait for our order was pretty close to what I expected. I even had time to go to Transcend. There was no ticket system in place, which meant that with so many similar orders in waiting, you have to be certain you are listening for your order to come.
Heading outside to eat, the bowls of delicious fried goodies looked quite good. The fresh-cut fries were golden, while the curds were plentiful and not turning into goo. The one big disappointment was the amount of Montreal smoked meat in the Quebecois, as the few thin slices of meat was the only difference at the end of the day. I had to wonder if we really did order the wrong second choice. Even with some photo time, the cheese curds retained the quality squeak that I come to expect from such things. I wonder if they are from The Cheese Factory who also does a mean poutine. The golden fries were quickly turning into mush, and probably ended up being the biggest surprise as they looked quite good when we walked out. The gravy, which all but slipped to the bottom of the container was rich without being over the top.
I have to say that La Poutine puts together a good package. Or at least the sum of the parts are quite good. If anything, I wish the containers weren’t so vertical (allowing the gravy to sink), the curds were mixed through out, and the fries could retain some bite. Then again, it was opening day for the team and they were moving as fast as they could to keep people happy. I look forward to going back on a slower, more relaxed Saturday. And really, if you are going to go all out, this block might be the perfect place to jump-start a blind date or kick that diet to the curb. Grab some poutine for an appetizer, sushi for the main, and finish with a cupcake and cup of sweet black gold. Seriously, this is one tasty building!