We All Scream For Poutine!

Posted: February 25, 2011 in 13 Blog On The Road, What the hell?
Tags: , , ,

Taken at a jewelry store in London, ON.

I’ve been someone who’s admired our friends in the Great White North for many a year. It started when I didn’t know that I was watching Canadian Television on Nickelodeon…Fifteen, You Can’t Do That On Television, Degrassi Junior High, SCTV, Kids In The Hall…then I got older and became a serious hockey fan, and that just made it worse.

I’ve been a hockey fan for years and years. For awhile, I used to buy the NHL Center Ice package on Dish Network. Then I’d watch every Canadian broadcast I could find. In doing this, I saw about a thousand commercials for places like Boston Pizza, Pizza Pizza, and Tim Hortons. So for years I’ve had these images swimming in my head…Poutine…Tim Hortons…and I’d never had them…then having Canadian clients talk about them…it just made me want them even more than I already did…well I was up in and about Ontario this past winter…

My Timmy's Breakfast.

Now, Tim Hortons was the one that really struck my fancy for some reason. I really didn’t know exactly what they were, but then getting my current job and talking to Canadians and they all raved about Timmy’s. My friend who lived half her life in Ottawa kept telling me, oh I’ll get you some of their coffee…well she never did. It wasn’t until I went to Buffalo, NY last year for my best friend’s wedding t hat I got my own damned self some Timmy’s coffee…and it’s spectacular. It’s no White Castles… but what is? I’m happy to say that Tim Horton’s coffee didn’t disappoint me. Now when we left, we went through Canada Proper instead of going back through Canada Minor…

Here I had to get the holy grail of Canadian foods…POUTINE. I’ve spent too much time watching Canadian melodramas to pass up this tasty treat…or at least I hoped it was tasty.

Canada's food?

I was told that New York Fries was where to go to get poutine. New York Fries…Boston Pizza…I think there’s a Texas Steakhouse chain too…I’m noticing a pattern…you?

So, we took our GPS’s advice and by the time it was lunch time, we were in London, ON and ended up at a shopping mall. Apparently there’s no stand alone New York Fries up there…but I digress. My wife had no desire to sample this Canadian delicacy…but Craig on Degrassi the Next Generation loved it…so I was determined…


So..here it is. Poutine is: fries, gravy, and cheese curds. For some reason I wouldn’t eat any till I got to Canada…and well…color me disappointed I don’t know what else I was expecting…the placemat seemed to say quite a bit more about it…and how spectacular it is.

Well I really think I can make this stuff myself with no problems….I had been wanting to try this in Canada before I ate it…well, I did, and it’ just wasn’t that great. A bag of fries, a jar of beef gravy, and a smattering of cheese curds and you too can have this  Canadian delicacy.

Because I’m a fool, I will be trying Schalfly’s Poutine with mustard gravy at the Tap Room the next time I’m there.

  1. You expected good poutine from something labeled “New York”?! How very American. Next time you want something Canadian, go for a Canadian spot.

    • battra13 says:

      New York Fries is a Canadian Chain based out of London, ON. The name was chosen after the owners went to New York and the rest was history: http://www.newyorkfries.com/about_nyf

      New York Fries was recommended to me by several people including friends of mine from Canada.

      • Athanos says:

        I have had the poutine at nyf before. It was not great. It was a pale imitation of what they have in Montreal. Try not to go to a chain when you do since the poutine I had in Quebec city at a poutine place was also sub par. You can’t really expect to go to a fast food place and have a food revelation, although it can happen.

  2. Right, but they went to NYC to find out what real fries taste like. Poutine is a French Canadian treat, and you must go to Quebec to try the real deal. Homemade fries in a wax paper cone with cheese curds and fries while walking the streets of Montreal…sounds a little better than on a fast food tray in a mall?

    • battra13 says:

      It certainly does, however, I wasn’t going to Quebec on that trip, so I consulted my Canadian friends where to go, and I was told New York Fries…which is where I went.

      The fact still remains, regardless of the name, New York Fries is Canadian, and not American.

  3. And my point is, regardless of them being Canadian, New York Fries chose to bring American style food to Canada.

  4. Hilary says:

    The poutine at Harvey’s isn’t too bad either. I wish there were more St. Louis options for poutine than the Tap Room!

    • battra13 says:

      What’s Harvey’s?

      I still wish we had real poutine here…but hey. I’m still gonna give it ago at the Tap Room…besides…I hear Schlafly has good beer. 🙂

      • Hilary says:

        Oh sorry – Harvey’s is a fast-food burger chain in southern Ontario (might be all over Canada – not sure about that). It’s pretty good for fast-food burgers too. My husband is from Hamilton, Ontario so we go up there once a year or so. While there we treat ourselves to Harvey burgers & split a poutine. We live dangerously like that. 🙂

        Mmmmm … beer ….

      • battra13 says:

        Well…I should be back in Ontario this Fall or Winter…will have to give Harvey’s ago.


  5. Mägi says:

    You are making me very very very very VERY HUNGRY!

  6. Athanos says:

    you want to go here for poutine id you visit Montreal http://www.restolabanquise.com/

  7. Teresa says:

    We stumbled upon some really good Poutine here in the states. Granted it’s just south of the border but still some dang good stuff. Schwabl’s outside of Buffalo (789 Center Road, West Seneca, NY) is the place that started the beef on weck that is so popular in western NY and they make Poutine using the gravy that comes from their very own famous beef. So you don’t have to leave the US to get a good version of the popular Canadian dish.

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