Dec 03 2012

I had poutine and lived to tell about it

I thought poutine was poutine until I visited Canada and every single person at the restaurant ordered a different kind. Larry Moran and I were caught in the act; also, he reviews my talk.


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  1. 1

    I LOVE poutine, but I also skip the middleman and insert the fries directly into my coronary arteries.

  2. 2

    “Chili poutine” appears to be what I’ve been eating down here in California for decades.

    That’s funny, I don’t LOOK Canadian…

  3. 3
    chigau (違う)

    Ottawa is about as far out of Quebec where it is safe to eat poutine.
    Most places around here use *shudder* beef gravy and *shudder* mozzarella.

  4. 4

    I never understood the horror at poutine. It’s just brown gravy and cheese on fries. I know that some places do it with weird cheese curd stuff and other oddities. I even had it once with Chicken fingers on a plate big enough to feed a family of four.

    But, the real danger with poutine is getting addicted to it. I can take the cheese or leave it. But, there are nights that I wake up at 3:30AM craving french fries with brown gravy. DAMN IT!, now I’m hungry.

  5. 5
    chigau (違う)

    chips and gravy ≠ poutine

  6. 6

    So–did you LIKE it?

  7. 7

    @ericoug, I thought the weird cheese curd stuff was de rigueur?

  8. 8

    Sorry, erichoug. I’ll shut up now.

  9. 9

    Yeah, there’s some variety around here:


  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    It was…OK. I could see how you could learn to like it, for sure.

  11. 11

    Hope you liked your trip to Ottawa PZ was great having you here ^.^

  12. 12

    How could you possible think there was only one kind of poutine?
    What the hell IS poutine?

  13. 13

    Nacho fries? That’s poutine?

  14. 14
    chigau (違う)

    Nacho fries? That’s poutine?


  15. 15

    Ottawa is about as far out of Quebec where it is safe to eat poutine.

    You can go even farther out of Quebec and get great poutine in the town where I live at this little place.

  16. 16

    Au Pied du Cochon in Montreal has foie gras poutine. Of course they have foie gras everything except dessert. We actually didn’t try it, although we had lots of other stuff with foie gras in or on it.

  17. 17

    @16 – tbp1

    Foie gras dessert is certainty possible though, even if Au Pied du Cochon does not serve it (possibly thankfully, see below).

    I was at a physics conference at Grenoble in 2011, and at the opening drinks/get to know everyone event various savoury and sweet items were served. One of these was a foie gras dessert that consisted of a lightly sweetened foie gras/vodka mixture base topped with sweet crumbly pastry. I am a pretty adventurous eater, but did not have very high expectations for this … and those expectations were met.

    Foie gras + sugar + vodka ≠ good dessert

  18. 18

    @17: I adore foie gras, and organ meats in general (although my cholesterol doesn’t allow me to eat them very often). I also admire adventurous cooking, but I honestly can’t imagine a foie gras dessert working. I applaud you for trying it when you had the opportunity, though. You never know…

  19. 19

    “I had poutine and lived to tell about it.”
    That’s because you weren’t aware of the delayed reaction. One day in 30 or 40 years your just going to keel over in your tracks. That’s the day that the poutine will have it revenge. Mwahahaha!

  20. 20

    I had to google putine. Yeugh. Replace the cheese with cheddar/similar on top of the fries, and melted under a grill. Then add garlic mayo, and you’re talking palatable.

  21. 21

    Not in the Great White North(east), you’re not, DaveM.

    Squeaky curds, good gravy, that’s what’s great. Until the coronary hits, of course.

  22. 22
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    It was…OK. I could see how you could learn to like it, for sure.

    Why would you want to? I mean, it’s not like the ambrosia that is scrapple*.

    * Oh, come on, firefox, scrapple is too a word!

  23. 23
    Dr. Strabismus

    You should try Springfield, Illinois’ “horseshoe”. This is a relative of the poutine, and I think even more artery clogging.

  24. 24
    Dr. Strabismus

    I would have commented earlier but it took me a long time to come up with that ‘nym.

  25. 25

    My arteries and poutine avoid each other totally. Even if the steel of stents doesn’t catch the cholesterol, I don’t need the lipids or the calories.

  26. 26

    @ #9 Thanks for the link. I discovered that there is a Smoke’s Poutine outlet hidden away only a few blocks from me. Must try it I just love poutine. Shouldn’t have it as I am trying to lower my blood pressure. The sodium level is phenomenal.

  27. 27

    I’m a native of Chicagoland, and although Poutine seems to only occur north of Milwaukee, I know of it’s pleasures (and pitfalls…)

    However-not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten.

    Late night, small diner on the south-western side of Chicago after a concert-serious case of the munchies (gee, wonder why…) and I was served their “ultimate” breakfast.

    A patty melt (cheesburger minus a bun) floated in a pool of chilli topped with fries and gravy, served with over-easy eggs and toast (that would be the “breakfast” part, I guess), hash browns optional.

    As late-night post-concert hangover-avoidance food goes-pretty good.

  28. 28

    This probably doesn’t qualify as Poutine, but by do I ever love slightly overcooked (i.e. crispy) Tater-Tots with salt and pepper and dipped in A1 Steak Sauce.

  29. 29

    Poutine basically stops at the border between eastern Ontario and Northwestern Ontario. Western Canada is too sane to go for it, however they go for such gems as Prairie Oysters.

  30. 30

    In regard to foie gras desserts, there’s a high-end burger place in Atlanta called Flip which serves a chocolate-and-foie-gras milkshake called–I swear–”Offaltine.”

  31. 31

    It was…OK. I could see how you could learn to like it, for sure.

    Not until The Book is out, thank you very much.

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