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Best Poutine in Montreal?


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Unfortunately I am still a poutine virgin -- so much food, so little time. Despite ten days in the Province I was unable to fit a poutine into my schedule. There was a point at which I thought I had found the place to lose my poutine virginity, a tiny resto in Bolton Centre (in the Eastern Townships) run by two enthusiastic ladies -- Mimi and Gigi -- who prepared everything fresh and as local as thay could make it, but their fryolator had just gone on the fritz so I had to settle for a cesar salad.

Saturday night at the counter of au Pied de Cochon, an off-duty waitress eating a savourous mussle soup followed by a plate of foie gras, told me that the Pool-Room at St. Laurent and St. Catharine's (I think that was the address) has been in business for decades and maintains the proper traditions of poutine making. A few of the other chefs chimed in with other suggestions, but I was too busy chatting her up to pay them much attention.

I stipulate that Ashton's and other chains are not to be considered, but I am willing to allow a sub-category for franchise poutine. Of course only genuine curds are accepted here. Those who substitute shredded mozzarella will be tarred and feathered.

So now I throw the issue open for general comment, with the caveat that it is restricted to Montreal.

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I don't like poutine... I never really gave it a try. I would definitely check out "frites alors" on Marianne to see if they have one. However, that poutine possibility in Bolton center sounds amazing, I just love biking in Bolton from the back roads of Knowlton, stopping by to make faces at those huge Highland cows... Where is that spot you take about ? Is it right in town after the big speed hill, close to the main church ?

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last night, my wife took the poutine au foie gras at pied de cochon, and it was delightful. it certainly lives up to the name of the enterprise, "c'est ben cochon, ça!"

i hear, although i have never been, that la banquise makes wicked good poutine. but for me, that's just ouie-dire.

"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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"However, that poutine possibility in Bolton center sounds amazing, I just love biking in Bolton from the back roads of Knowlton, stopping by to make faces at those huge Highland cows... Where is that spot you take about ? Is it right in town after the big speed hill, close to the main church ? "
identifiler Posted on Jul 7 2003, 06:54 AM

This snack-bar is located at the intersection of 245 and Chemin Nicolas Austin (the road to Austin) which at this point changes its name to Baker Pond Mountain as it heads to Bolton Glen and Knowlton. Coming on the Austin Road it is on the left, south-east corner of the intersection.

The women who run it have owned for about four or five years and are not sure they want to continue the hard work of keeping the place in business. We had one chef's salad which was excellent, fresh (non-iceberg) lettuces, red and yellow bell peppers. The other orders were a chicken sandwich, made with real shredded chicken that they said they had cooked themselves and a grilled cheese sandwich. The only disappointment was the cesar salad. It was covered with shredded mozarella.

I saw the locals ordering the special of the day, roastbeef and various sides -- it looked edible.

Identifiler, please do let us know what you find when you get there.

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the poutine au foie gras at pied de cochon

riboflavinjoe Posted on Jul 7 2003, 11:31 AM

I should add that the waitress at apdc did recommend their poutine first, but I pressed her to suggest a more traditional version.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Unfortunately I am still a poutine virgin -- so much food, so little time.

I’m sorry to say that I did not try any Poutine as well while in Montreal.

What is poutine? best as I can tell it consists of a plate of fries, cheddar cheese or cheddar curds and gravy.

I do like to try a dish that is “local” which I think I’m safe in saying that poutine is a “local” Québécois dish.

Best poutine (according to the Montreal Mirror)

1. La Belle Province (various locations)

2. Lafleur (various locations)

3. McDonalds (various locations)

4. Green Spot (3041 Notre-Dame W., 932-2340), Burger King (various locations), Valentine (various locations) (tie)

5. Tie: Mondo Fritz (3899 St-Laurent, 281-6521); Shed Café (3515 St-Laurent, 842-0220)

Honourable mentions: Rapido, Chez Claudette, New System, Décarie Hot Dog, Patati Patata.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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What is poutine? best as I can tell it consists of a plate of fries, cheddar cheese or cheddar curds and gravy.

I do like to try a dish that is “local” which I think I’m safe in saying that poutine is a “local” Québécois dish.

Best poutine (according to the Montreal Mirror)

1. La Belle Province (various locations)

2. Lafleur (various locations)

3. McDonalds (various locations)

4. Green Spot (3041 Notre-Dame W., 932-2340), Burger King (various locations), Valentine (various locations) (tie)

5. Tie: Mondo Fritz (3899 St-Laurent, 281-6521); Shed Café (3515 St-Laurent, 842-0220)

Honourable mentions: Rapido, Chez Claudette, New System, Décarie Hot Dog, Patati Patata.

Beware the Mirror's Best of Montreal survey results. The respondents tend to belong to a very narrow, very anglo demographic and the results tend to be skewed toward the big names, not necessarily the best. That has to be why McDo's made it into third place; most self-respecting poutine lovers in my acquaintance would put it on the bottommost rung. And how else does one explain the absence of Frite Alors!, which many connoisseurs consider the crème de la crème (great fries make great poutine), or the gourmet offerings of places like Au Pied de Cochon and Globe?

For some background on poutine, check out this post I made on another board.

Edited by carswell (log)
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I would also add that the Montreal Mirro is more likely read by a younger (student?) audience who might lack the worldiness and the dollars to sample the offerings of Globe and Pied de Cochon (the fries were wonderfull there hier soir...love that mustard mayonaise).

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Carswell

The respondents tend to belong to a very narrow, very anglo demographic

The issue Carswell raises about the Mirror poll is one that has often troubled me about this forum, in general. The fact that it is in English does reduce the pool of Montrealers who might participate. What affect does that have on the nature of the comments and the breadth of the culinary experience?

As far as I know there is no Francophone site that is comparable, anywhere. I have checked out French based sites, but they are weak by comparison to the range of comments this site can gather.

Ideally I wish the forum would be bi-lingual, with Francophonie welcomed. I can think of any number of ways to develop that, but I realize many others would feel excluded from the exchange.

To be sure many who already post here are not Anglos, but expecting them to post in English may diminish their participation and discourages others from joining.

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Mcdonalds serves poutine in Quebec?

So does Burger King. In Ontario too. Not sure about the rest of Canada. It's far from authentic but BK's poutine is a fantastic pick-up on the way home from the bar.

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This poutine thread brought back painful memories from I when I lived in the Maritimes. Poutine is now easy to find in New Brunswick and PEI restaurants (Acadians go berserk when they see that the poutine they are now served in their province is the Quebec thing, not the traditional Acadian dish, but that's another story).

Anyway, I realized that, while poutine is a very simple dish, it is also very easy to botch. Once, in a truck stop near Moncton, I had poutine made with roast beef gravy. Yuck! But the "best" one was the one I was served in Charlottetown: mushy fries, good ol' roast beef gravy, topped by a slice of Kraft Single orange process cheese, melted in the microwave. Truly a classic.

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i used to visit montreal quite often whilst in school, as i had a friend at mcgill. I pretty well lived on poutine and litres of labatts then.

i'm embarrassed ot say i have tried the mcdonalds poutine, and even more embarrassed ot say it wasn't that bad. probably more salty then necessary, but mickey d's fries do taste wonderful with gravy and cheese.

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I've heard of--but never tried--an Italian version that is apparently available in Montreal, involving some spiced up tomato sauce concoction. Is it at all edible?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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The poutine to try has to be the poutine with smoked meat. That will really gum up the works.

And yes it really exsists just like pizza with smoked meat on it.

I am too affraid to try it!

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Mcdonalds serves poutine in Quebec?

So does Burger King. In Ontario too. Not sure about the rest of Canada. It's far from authentic but BK's poutine is a fantastic pick-up on the way home from the bar.

They did in Regina Sk.

Living hard will take its toll...
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