Friday, November 13, 2020

Poutine in Toronto

Poutine is a Canadian dish of french fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. It was originally a snack food found in small diners and pubs but was elevated over time by serving it with finer ingredients. When we visited Toronto in September 2018 one of my goals was to try some high-end variations of what is now considered by many to be the national dish of Canada. I looked up some specific spots ahead of time, but unfortunately we were not able to get to them all. 

We visited a restaurant just a block or two from the Royal Ontario Museum and I got poutine with either cod or haddock, I don't recall. The french fries were nice, soft inside and with a nice flavor, but the fish laying over the top was just that, fish laying over the top. It didn't feel like it was part of the dish.  
We visited Prohibition Gastrohouse to get what they called "haute poutine," a poutine with duck and duck gravy. It was much better than the fish version, although I was not as taken with it as I expected, because I love duck. I would have liked it more "ducky." The duck flavor was quite mild. 

At Utopia Cafe and Grill we tried poutine with smoked lamb and bree cheese. Lamb is another one of my favorite foods and bree is wonderful, but again, it was just not as good as the sum of its parts. It could have been more lamby, again it was mild, and the bree was too cold, I would have liked it melted more. 

We learned that McDonalds had poutine and had to try it out. It was not the same level as the other poutine we had, but it was actually pretty good. 
However, none of it measured up to my all-time favorite poutine, and by a significant margin, double lobster poutine with green onion sauce we had in Moncton, New Brunswick, earlier that year. It was smothered with thick whitish gravy and big chunks of lobster and all of the ingredients worked very well together. Three of us were eating it and it disappeared very quickly.


  1. While none of these were super stand outs, I think it is hard to go very wrong with poutine. Some versions are better than others, but none so far is awful, even (surprisingly) the McDonald's version.

  2. Double lobster poutine sounds awesome