Maybe you've heard of it, maybe you haven't. I'm talking about poutine (pronounced 'peu-tin'), that amazingly delicious and equally unhealthy Canadian dish that seems to be steadily creeping its way here into the United States. Traditionally, poutine consists of french fries buried under cheese curds and thick gravy which is probably why Americans are welcoming it with open arms. According to my in-depth poutine research, this tasty dish is French-Canadian, was invented in Warwick Quebec back in 1957 by Fernand Lachance. According to legend, the best poutine can still be found in Warwick but in my opinion, a few restaurants right here in Boston, MA might be able to give ol' mister Lachance a run for his money.
Most recently I discovered a little restaurant/bar in Kenmore Square called The Lower Depths Tap Room. I went there fully determined to get some rumored $1 hot dogs and maybe a giant pretzel with some beer on the side. When I sat down and examined the menu, I was thoroughly surprised to see the wide variety of options. They have everything from beer cheese dip to a green monster salad to gourmet grilled cheese, or even pulled pork sandwiches. Another standout are the Lower Depths's hot dogs that range from $1-7 and can include any "pimp" toppings, "extra pimpin'" or even "big pimpin'". But back to my main point, the poutine. I of course ordered the poutine tater tot platter. How could I not? And let me tell you, this may be my new favorite food. Theses addictive little tots include gravy, fried cheese curds, melted cheese and scallions to create an enormous platter of delicious-ness. I think that what makes this poutine stand out among the rest is the gravy. While it may not be authentic at all, I love that they used white gravy instead of brown. Coming from Texas, I love white gravy and think that it can pretty much make anything taste better (especially chicken strips or biscuits). Don't agree? Try it these tots or go to the South.
Another great location in Boston for a decent poutine is Saus in Government Center. I've mentioned this Belgian street food eatery before, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to rave about it. The poutine at Saus is vastly different than the poutine platter at Lower Depths. This Belgian-style dish is made up of pommes frites with chunky cheddar cheese curds (try and say that five times fast) in a dark brown homemade gravy. Personally, I like to get my frites extra crispy when I order this, to avoid any potential soggy-ness. This poutine is definitely tasty and incredibly filling so I would recommend planning beforehand so you can actually enjoy the whole thing, along with a nice cold beer now that Saus has its liquor license.
Lastly, I have heard rumors that there are poutines hiding in various Boston restaurants. Apparently The Gallows on Washington Street has traditional poutine with housemade gravy on the dinner menu. I also heard that Harvest in Harvard Square has poutine with hand cut french fries, cheese curd, bacon & chicken velouté, if you feel like getting fancy with your poutine. The All-Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square and Gargoyles on the Square in Davis Square also have their own poutine versions if you happen to be in those areas. I personally have not tried any of these places, but if you happen to go, definitely be sure to let me know how they measure up!
I will always love poutine. As a snack, as a midnight munchy, it's perfect. Fried potatoes, cheese, and gravy, how can it get much better? My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And yes, I do realize that this is not an actual ode.