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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Montreal Poutine- Montreal, Canada

Simone and I just got back from another trip to Montreal, Canada. I love going to Canada for this reason-  Poutine. Although it sounds kinda dirty to say it, Poutine is actually a food.
French Fries (preferably fresh cut) topped with Gravy and Cheese Curds. Simple and yet one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth - and I'm not telling you what other things that list includes. In my opinion (which of course is always right) the best place in the city to get Poutine is in the old city, on 161 Rue Saint Paul, at the smartly named Montreal Poutine.

The restaurant is divided into two areas, one for seating and one for take out, and its oddly separated by a gift shop in the middle. In the summer there is also outdoor seating along the street.  The day we went it was 20 degrees outside so inside dining was the only choice.  When we got to the door we tried the latch and couldn't open it. Obviously we thought the place was closed. However as we started to walk away a gentlemen (who was either homeless or worked there) let us know to just give the door a push, so thus we did and we made our way inside.  Once in the door we looked around for a minute at the empty place and waited to perhaps see a waitress, after a few moments a rather attractive young lady popped her head out from around the corner and offered us a seat. She apologized for not hearing us come in and I explained to her that it was okay and that she had just missed our wrestling match with the front door. She informed us that not only did the door not work, but neither did some of the lights, the toilet or most of the windows and because the restaurant is divided into two sections she was actually going to have to walk through a window to the outside and around the building to place our order and then bring us the food. Not noticing her wool hat and heavy sweater, I laughed and thought she was kidding.  She informed me that she was not at all kidding and that "being an old building, the waitresses get screwed" Wow ! After the honest opinion that she shared with us I could only think one thing- lets eat some Poutine !

The menu is pretty simple. There is about ten kinds of Poutine, a small sandwich menu ( including Montreal's other famous dish smoked meat) salads, and  very good Pizza flat breads. For my choice I went for the classic Poutine, and a smoked meat sandwich. Simone got a little crazy and had her Poutine topped with Mushrooms and Onions. When the waitress opened the window and stepped through with our order I thought it may be a good time to take a picture. I however decided not to do this because people don't usually enjoy being screwed and having it captured on film. Later in the meal , I did manage to get a photo while she did some entry window insulation repairs and I must say she looked good both entering and exiting the window.  Now back to the meal !

My Poutine and smoked meat sandwich arrived and both looked great. The home made French Fries were topped with vegetarian gravy ( that tasted like some really fresh roasted chicken pan drippings) and loaded with a generous portion of mild cheese curds. The dish was not at all salty and the cheese had just started to melt into the gravy that was coating the crispy hot fries. YUM,YUM,YUM.  The smoked meat sandwich was also delicious, It had a mountain of thinly sliced pickled beef brisket resting between to slices of moist Rye bread.  It was tender and smokey and served with mustard . I finished every last bite. The plate also came with a small salad on it, which was a bit of a waste for me, but Simone took care of eating it.

Simones mushroom and Onion Poutine was like mine, with a vegetarian ( still tastes like chicken) gravy and cheese curds. I thought the onions were a bit overpowering and took away from the flavor of the rest of the dish , but i did enjoy the mushrooms.

I love this place. It definitely has an old city vibe. The brick wall are falling apart, the windows rattle, the door is broken and the waitress have an honest but fun attitude. Its the real Poutine experience with no frills, just really good food. The doctor probably would not suggest this as part of your daily diet ,however, when you are in town, don't  miss this place in the old city. Five stars *****

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