Saturday, 21 April 2012

You say Poo teen, I say Pu'tin

Yummy! Mmmmm!

There’s no wrong way to say delicious and there’s no wrong way to say poutine, however I do get a kick out of the various ways folks pronounce the dish and the equally various accents. By accents, I’m referring to every meaning of the word.

This month, I returned to the Halifax area and, of course, stopped by Smoke’s Poutinerie. I actually tried a poutine italienne however I should note that at Smoke’s they put gravy on everything, including their italienne, so I made sure to ask that it not be included.

Maybe I’m just weird, but the idea of beef gravy and meat sauce coalescing over French fries and curd cheese disturbs me.
That being said, I also took a trip over the harbour to the Dartmouth side of the HRM to partake in the newest craze over there called Cheese Curds, Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie. Well, it’s no wonder that the New Brunswick burger chain Relish is setting up a Shoppe in Halifax.

There were 18 people in front of me when I entered on Wednesday! I also saw at least a dozen people come in and leave rather than wait as I progressed toward the cashier to place my order.

If you’re looking for a great burger – this is the place to go. But “poutinerie” they are not!

First, while some people enjoy really salty fries, I am not one of them. Secondly, after four bites, it was done. The gravy was delectable, but it was overpowered by the saltiness of the fires and there were so few cheese curds that they melted into stringy goo before I even got to my seat. 

To place so much emphasis on cheese curds in the name of the restaurant and on the names of many dishes, it’s too bad I didn’t get a chance to actually see any. Have I had worse? Oh, certainly. Were my expectations too high? I don’t think I can over-emphasize that when a restaurant names itself after the main ingredient of a dish, you expect that it will serve that dish as near to perfection as possible.

The burger was fabulous, but if it’s poutine you’re after – pay the bridge toll and go to Smoke’s in Halifax.

Before signing off, I want to thank everyone for sending me their poutine stories last week – keep on sending them in. I see a number of themes emerging that I will certainly touch on over the coming months.

Now I need to walk off some of my excess over the last couple of weeks. Pants are starting to feel tight!

May your curds stay squeaky.

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