You’ll have to excuse the sass, I’ve just recently viewed the works of J.C. Calciano (eCupid and Is It Just Me?) and have found myself suddenly inspired to draw from for my inner stereotype.
I’ve worked in various kitchens before and I would say that at times I can even be a pretty decent cook. I may not be the most beautiful man in Montreal, but at least in the morning I can promise you fresh coffee and probably one of the best omelette’s you ever had. Not to mention as a recently labelled, “Male Oriented Postmodern Neo-Romanticist” (Thanks Catherine!) I’m sure my skills in impromptu-lyricism can keep you satisfied if only because no other queer man can wax-lesbianesque poetic like I can. But regrettably dear reader, my attempts at flirtatious promotion must end here for we have poutine to discuss. Also I’ve been told I’m a great kisser.
Truth be told, I know my way around a kitchen and as such I would consider myself somewhat knowledgeable in the art of cuisine. So when I was told by my friend and co-eater JP (Go Team Dalek Poutine!) that 30 different restaurants in Montreal were celebrating “Poutine Week” I knew I just had to join in on the frenzy. If only because I’m pretty sure that the ancient Greeks, in celebrating the Dionysian way, would have included poutine in their diet if French Canada had existed at the time. After all, poutine is the perfect cure for a hangover.
Speaking of Hangover’s, this brings me to my first poutine:
Crescent Burger’s REAL Hangover Poutine:
Opposed to the other Hangover Poutine to be discussed following, the Crescent Burger’s REAL Hangover Poutine was certainly a great way to start Poutine week. The mushroom inclusive sauce (Truffle oil is your friend!), was aided greatly by the addition of sautéed wild mushrooms. Poured on top of freshly hand cut fries and those oh so lovely cheese curds, this poutine would have been heavenly save for the fried egg placed on top. I’m sure this work of art would have been gratified by a runny yolk but the chef on duty had my egg less sunny side up and more like a slightly spongy hockey puck. But I was forgiving, because the kitchen pot they served it in was quite endearing and I was quite hungry.
Overall they scored better than their sibling poutine:
M:BRGR’S Hangover Poutine:
This poutine suffered the most from a sauce that was nearly inexistent on the palette. They had gone for a Portobello based sauce but really they should have been honest and had called it a Portobello based soup or better yet, pure mushroom broth. In tasting the sauce, I could hear my tongue practically begging for a hint of peppercorn if only to give this flat monstrosity a hint of life. Aiding the poutine was a topping of French fried Onion, supposedly named French because it made me wish it would retreat right back out of my mouth (Okay, I admit even that was in bad taste. But come on, I’m trying my best to be sassy here! You know I love you Montreal). I admit the crunch was satisfying, but the breading they used to make those little onion curlies was a mix between salty and unfulfilling. The cheese curds were cheese curds, the French fries were fresh cut, the added grilled Salami was actually quite enjoyable, and thank god for those ingredients because otherwise I would fear for what I would be tasting.
Alright, so it wasn’t so bad, and I admit that the addition of grilled Salami was pretty good. But either way, next time you decide to make a Hangover poutine why not leave it to the evidently better pros?
Miss Prêt à Manger: Pulled Lamb Poutine
Getting the award for prettiest poutine, this little dish was most certainly the belle of the ball. It’s too bad we’re talking about Poutine Week here and not a Miss Poutine Beauty Pageant. Although I’ll admit that presentation always helps.
Like the best of drag queens this beauty came with balls. Fortune favours the bold, and in this case the use of whole leafs instead of chopped parsley holds no exception. If only they could find a better name for the pedals added into the parsley leafs instead of, “edible floral garnish.” Either way, M: Brgr could learn a thing or two about how to include parsley in their poutine from this both bodacious and darling poutine.
The pulled lamb was mouth watering at every bite. Although it was different it certainly wasn’t unwanted, and I found the lamb worked well with all the included ingredients. Where the poutine sauce itself was a bit weak, the strong flavours of both the lamb and large bits of parsley compensated enough for its fallings.
However, although her smile might be cute and her attitude might be bold, she was no champion. The use of what were obviously bag-sealed fries detracted from the overall experience. Where so many other poutiness were using fresh cut, it made you wonder why they thought they could compete with anything but. I admit the mix of sweet fries and regular fries was endearing, but in the end, our darling belle turned out to be less like an Oscar Winning Performance and more like Manic Pixie Girl.
Méchant Boeuf Bar & Brasserie: Méchant Poutine
Where Miss Prêt’s dainty poutine was like a pre-coming out high school romance, the Méchant Poutine was like my first kiss at a gay bar. If only because of how badly I desired its sausage. This rough and gruff poutine acted manly enough but once I got my fork in, it wasn’t long till I had my tongue around its beer-battered onion ring. But those deep-fried delicacies were nothing compared to its sausage patty, which I had failed to mention before came with a bit of inside surprise: a gooey shot of Oka-cheese stuffing. Throw in Grelot potatoes instead of French fries, a Poutine sauce beyond heavenly, and of course cheese curds and you have what I refer to as sex in poutine form. The Méchant Poutine might had been just at one time thing, but after the wonders it did to my mouth I can’t help but stare at my phone wondering if it will ever call back again.
And so ends my adventures in Poutine week. I would have tried more except for the fact that I am a poor student, and my borderline Yaoi-boy figure could only take so much abuse before I began to crave leafy vegetables. Overall, despite the cheese factory burning down, I think my time spent gluttonously feasting on the worst in caloric intake was nothing but full-belly bliss. Thank you to all the restaurants that fed me their inventions and I hope my attempt at sass isn’t action enough to get me lifetime banishment. I’m already excited for next year! Of course till then there is always the Montreal Beer Festival a couple of months from now…