Today I am in Montreal and there is really only one thing on my mind — Poutine. For those of you who don’t know, poutine is a not-so-good-for-you Quebec staple that is made of french fries topped with hot gravy and cheese curds. Cheese curds, often called squeakers because of the way they squeak when chewed on, are fresh little nuggets of cheddar cheese before it has been aged and pressed into real cheddar. To be good, they must be eaten fresh from the cheese factory, so if you are not in a region with a local cheddar maker, you probably can’t have any squeakers. The beauty of poutine comes from the hotness of the gravy combined with the curd; the gravy is piping hot, but it somehow doesn’t melt the curd. Combine this with some fries and there is nothing better. This Poutine pictured above is from a roadside place called Pataterie La Belle Province. The day before I had a hot dog from a similar joint in Montreal (on mont-royal and marquette) called Restaurant La Belle Province. I am not sure if the two are related, but the hot dog pictured below is another Montreal delight not to be overlooked. This grilled hot dog is placed in a toasted bun and dressed with pickled cabbage, relish and mustard, resulting in a near perfect dog. One thing you will learn quickly when you are in Montreal is the term “All Dress?”. The first time I heard this, I was in a falafel joint. The falafel maker said to me, “All Dress?” while he was assembling the pita. I responded with a confused face. He said it again with a little anger this time, “All Dress? “. I said okay and was happy to see about twelve toppings grace my falafel. Now, when I go to a joint like this and order a hot dog, I happily say yes when I hear this question. It is the obvious answer for anyone who wants the food the way the chef intends it to be.

5 Responses to “Poutine”

  1. Jop Says:

    I thought I was the only one who called them squeekers! I am jealous. Can you bring some squeekers back with you! Try Patati Patata too—yummy place on Rue Rachel. Lots more…too! Greek food and Bagels are unusually good in Montreal if you get a chance…J’adore Montreal!

  2. Whit Says:

    How was the bun on the peameal sandwich? It looks very very good to me. Can you buy peameal bacon in the US?

  3. admin Says:

    I guess I forgot to talk about the bun. It pretty much makes the sandwich. It was soft and fresh and tasty. Perfect along side the bacon. I am not sure if you can get peameal in the states or not. I do know that what we call Canadian bacon in the states is often just grilled ham and is not Canadian bacon at all.

  4. ANON A MOUSE Says:

    Here in Wisconsin we are well aware of the joys of fresh cheese curds, but I never would have dreamed of putting gravy on them.

    However, once they are no longer fresh, (i.e. non-squeaky) we like to bread them and deep fat fry them.

  5. annie Says:

    I grew up in Kansas and I live in Denver, we don’t see it ever, but it is worth traveling to find!… LOVE poutine. LOVE squeaky cheese! Peameal is a Toronto thang. Best Poutine traditionally found at hockey rinks in Montreal, and anything further south near Lennoxville/North Hatley is lovely too. They even add chicken and peas if you want a real meal and not just a hangover cure!

Leave a Reply