Friday, January 20, 2017
A guilty pleasure where 3 ingredients fuse into a typically Québécois meal: French fries and fresh cheese curds topped with abundant gravy. It’s decadent, highly caloric and painstakingly good. If you are going to indulge, here are my must-try poutines that are easily accessible by foot within or around downtown.
Brasserie Artisanale La KorriganeBeer lover’s delight
In Québec, beer and poutine go hand in hand. La Korrigane is an artisanal microbrewery that has taken the pairing to a whole new level by creating a thick, lightly sweetened beer-flavoured gravy. Kraken brew in hand –a take on the English pale ale– and a mouthful of fresh cheese curds, this dish is wicked good. Best enjoyed with friends during another true Québécois delight, a hockey game.
Casse-croûte PierrotPopular late night eat
Open 24 hours a day with free delivery until 5 am, Pierrot is a minuscule neighbourhood eatery, exceptionally popular for late night cravings. Here, the cheese curds are uncommonly small and slowly melt with every bite. This version stands out for its dark and oh-so-savoury beef sauce poured onto sweet, caramelized fries.
Chez GastonGreasy spoon par excellence
In downtown Saint-Roch, this tiny greasy spoon dishes up one of the most decadent poutines in Québec. Chez Gaston’s golden, crispy fries are covered in an unctuous and rich beef-flavoured sauce. Choose a seat at the counter, order a Gaston and watch the cooks add mouthfuls of griddled sausages, onions and meat to your plate.
Frite Alors!My favourite classic poutine
This is my favourite classic rendition of poutine: crispy fries, hearty stock and big chunks of fresh squeaky cheese. Forget outrageous toppings, just 3 simple and tasty ingredients. Frite Alors is a small joint set in a quiet, yet trendy residential area. I love the restaurant’s cartoon decor that stands out among the neighbouring condos. It’s the best price-to-quality ratio. Québec’s Frite Alors location is atop my list of best poutines in the province.
Fromagerie des Grondines & ses amisThe artisan’s interpretation
The Fromagerie des Grondines is an artisan and organic cheese producer from Portneuf. They own a deli in Saint-Roch where they sell a wide range of local products from the greater Québec City area. They also serve sandwiches, soups, salads and a poutine made with their Deschambault cheese; it gives it such a creamy taste. With local potatoes and homemade chicken and veal gravy, this poutine gets the locavores' seal of approval.
Le Chic ShackGourmet poutine with style
The Chic Shack is a popular, tourist-friendly destination for gourmet burgers, generous milkshakes and, of course, poutine. Every sauce is made in house and served with smashed Yukon Gold potatoes—yes physically smashed potatoes—that are deep-fried and mixed in with large chunks of fresh cheddar cheese. Their list of toppings is mouth-watering, but the braised beef remains my favourite.
PoutinevilleCreate your own poutine
Years away from the classic a poutine, Poutineville prides itself on imaginative toppings and flavour combinations. You can even create your own mix; add smoked meat, Philly steak, feta or goat cheese, anything is possible. Or opt for the 15-pound Heart Attack plate, the biggest poutine in town.
Chez AshtonThe most popular
We couldn't write an article about Québec City's best poutines without mentioning the most popular poutine in town: the poutine of Chez Ashton. For many locals traveling abroad, it's one of the first meals to eat when coming back home!