Copyright 2015 SpeakFree Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.
DECEMBER 14, 2015
On the first day of poutine...
We stopped at Resto l'intuition Pizza that offers 100 kinds of poutine. Yes, that's more than you could eat in a year (I hope, anyway). Naturally we stopped by here shortly after 10 a.m. and it is certainly a belly filler that early in the morning.
As Christmas approaches there is even this dish that you can get covered with meatballs. Plenty of flavours in every bite it's unlike anything I've ever had at a Christmas dinner before.
When I heard we were taping our Christmas radio broadcasts in Quebec I knew that we had to incorporate poutine into the mix. This is the famous dish that is taking Canada -- and the world -- by storm and it all started right here in Quebec. For the 12 days leading up to Christmas we are sampling poutine from all over the city and celebrating the famous food.
Get your stomach ready: the #12DaysofPoutine starts right now!
Top of The Charts & The Open Road with Jeremy Bradley: Live from Quebec brought to you by Quebec City Tourism
DECEMBER 15, 2015
On the second day of poutine...
...my stomach gave to me -- well, I'll just leave it at that. Wow, I'm not sure my body can handle another 10 days of this but in the spirit of the season I am willing to give it a shot. Our next stop is at La Fabrique where I enjoyed the braised beef poutine. Thanks to our friends at the restaurant who whipped up a couple poutines for us (we'll talk about the other one in the coming days).
DECEMBER 16, 2015
On the third day of poutine...
We stop at Chic Shack. And it's funny because I would say about 98 per cent of the people I have mentioned this poutine adventure to have said that Chic Shack is the place to go for poutine. In fact, we actually ordered one of every poutine they have on the menu. But let's focus on one of them today. Maybe we'll profile another Shack dish in the coming days. Pictured today though is the Braisee and it is loaded with a bunch of different flavours. Honestly, they aren't flavours I would have expected on a poutine dish. That's not to say they aren't tasty, but it can be a shock to the taste buds!
DECEMBER 17, 2015
On the fourth day of poutine...
OK, so I'll admit the staff here was less than welcoming. I can't even say it was because they were busy because the restaurant was practically empty when I was there. Maybe it was English snobbery. Not sure. Now that I got that out of the way I have to say how great the food is. Chicken is my absolute favourite food. Pizza is a close second. Yes, poutine is rounding out the top 3. Bacon is also in there as a fourth pick. So I was very surprised when I found I could get them all in one at Poutineville! Hands down the best poutine dish so far in Quebec. I love the sauce, the bacon was great, big chunks of chicken. Very impressive. And it's pretty cool that you also have the option to create your own poutine here. I should also note that there are Poutineville locations in other cities so if you are in Montreal or Toronto I highly recommend checking them out.
DECEMBER 18, 2015
On the fifth day of poutine...
It's actually a tradition that I have KFC in every city when we do our on-location broadcasts. Coincidentally it started in Montreal years ago when I was there over Easter taping out spring break shows and was sad about missing my big family dinner at home. The only restaurant that was open for me to get chicken was KFC. So I ordered.
Let's jump over to Quebec City: I ordered takeout. The trouble that I find when I get KFC poutine is that the fries are always so soggy. I love the gravy -- absolutely love the gravy, but I don't find the fries are cooked to be crispy. Maybe I end up always getting old stale fries when I order but that would seem to coincidental since I have ordered it many times. It is tasty but the soggy food makes me less interested once I am eating it.
DECEMBER 19, 2015
On the sixth day of poutine...
We head back to Chic Shack, this time having La Forestiere poutine. Yes, there are only four poutine dishes on the menu here and we are trying them all. This one has a few different textures that certainly makes for an interesting eat. Unlike other poutines that are a combo of fries, cheese and other toppings covered in gravy, this one has the toppings on top of the gravy so it's not completely soaked in when served to the table. I like this idea because if you prefer one ingredient over another, you can pick which ones you want and leave the rest for the people with whom you are dining! (I am kind of a picky eater!) I absolutely love the cheese on this one!
DECEMBER 20, 2015
On the seventh day of poutine...
Still at Chic Shack for the final dish on the menu. OK, maybe we cheated a little bit and had this a few days earlier. Nevertheless, it still counts as one of the 12 dishes of poutine in Quebec! I am not usually a fan of onions (or smoked meat, for that matter!) but I enjoyed Chic Shack's La Fumee. I will admit this was the last of three poutines I sampled in one sitting so I don't have a full review of it! I can tell you that the meat partnered with the gravy was a good combination. Perhaps maybe that's why I enjoyed the meat on this.
DECEMBER 21, 2015
On the eighth day of poutine...
The staff was so nice at La Fabrique Montcalm that we just had to try another dish. This time it is Boeuf Braise, that alas, also contains onions. But this time they are caramelized so they don't seem so powerful. We went here just for a photo opp and a sample and had every intent to pay for the food however Zakaria, the man in charge, was gracious enough to let us eat the whole darn thing. Two forks, please! Even though we just planned to sample and be on our way, we couldn't stop eating. Without time to finish the whole thing we did get a to-go container to enjoy later on. Boy, did the car smell really good today!
DECEMBER 22, 2015
On the ninth day of poutine...
We went fast food again, this time checking out McDonald's. One of the biggest greasy-food restaurants boasts having really good fries. I'll admit, I loved them as a kid. But sometimes a fry is a fry and good enough as a standalone product. You might recall years ago McDonald's did have gravy for fries and it wasn't very good. So I was interested in trying their poutine. For the big brown box the poutine comes in, it is disappointing that it is not full. Many of the other Quebec restaurants we visited have had heaping servings when you order poutine. Also, the gravy is runny and sort of slides right off the fries. I'm not sure what to make of it. It was tasty, sure. Was it memorable flavours? Not really.
DECEMBER 23, 2015
On the tenth day of poutine...
So maybe I had a little too much to drink tonight and decided to try out middle-of-the-night poutine. I stumbled upon -- and maybe stumbled in, but that's beside the point -- to Snack Bar Saint-Jean. And believe it or not, aside from the fast food poutines, this was the first time I had "plain" poutine at a specialty restaurant. Gotta say, I was pretty impressed. Cheese curds, fries and gravy. That's it. Just the basics. It was pretty delicious. I was also surprised how many people were eating this so late at night.
DECEMBER 24, 2015
On the eleventh day of poutine...
I actually had to go back to Poutineville for the same dish I had a few days ago. Maybe I cheated a little but I needed another BBQ chicken poutine.
DECEMBER 25, 2015
On the twelfth day of poutine...
I saved what I was told was the best for last: Chez AshTon. Actually, I think this one was the worst. Sorry to say. This apparently legendary restaurant didn't live up to its hype when I visited. The cafeteria-style restaurant was less than what I expected but while I waited for the food I wondered if the ambiance would be reflected in the mediocre food. And it did. I ordered a regular poutine but wanted some bacon and chicken with it since I tried similar dishes at other restaurants. I found the gravy watery/runny and the large strips of bacon just thrown on top of the order. I didn't care for it. Sure, it was a big portion for the price but I wasn't wowed by the restaurant I heard so much about during my time in Quebec.