Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Favorite Poutine in Montreal

(Or at least of the three that we had)

As promised, I am sharing with you all the three places where we had poutine in Montreal.  As some of you may know, poutine is the signature dish of Montreal. When I asked for suggestions of what to eat in Montreal, I was told by many people that poutine was THE food I had to try.  The basic version is french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.  Sort of the wacky Canadian cousin to New Jersey’s discos fries.  But all over Montreal, you can find shops that sell poutine with all kinds of toppings ranging from sliced hot dogs to foie gras.  Here the ones that we tried (click on the names of the restaurants for their websites:

Planete Poutine


Poutine with Duck Confit                           the Classic Poutine

This was by far the most underwhelming of the poutines that we had.  We stumbled upon the place one day while we were walking to get to the Jean-Talon Market.  With a name like “Planet Poutine” we thought it would be promising and made a point to come back to it. The menu looked promising too, with fancy toppings such as duck confit.  But honestly, I found this poutine to lack character and felt mass-produced.  As I was leaving the restaurant, I found out that it was actually a franchise, which explains the mass-produced feeling.  On a positive note though, the portions were huge, what you see above is the “mini” size.

La Banquisse

I received recommendations from both locals, travelers, and reviews to go to this place.  And it’s definitely worth the trip, as they have some of the most interesting selection of toppings that I had seen in Montreal.  Here’s a look at their menu:


Pretty impressive, huh?  You can also view it here on their website, if you can’t read the small print.

J. ordered “La Savoyarde,” which he thoroughly enjoyed. 


The toppings were sour cream, onions, and swiss cheese  - so it was basically a baked potato, but only with french fries instead of a potato. 

I ordered “La Mart” which was “hot-dog sausages,” bacon and mushrooms, which I really liked.


It still cracks me up that the Montrealers call hot dogs “sausages.”

Another cool thing about La Banquisse is that it is open 24 hours.  While we went in the middle of the day, I could imagine that if I were out at 2AM in Montreal, I would definitely be craving some of this!

A.A. Restaurant – this place is such a hole in the wall, they don’t have a website.  But it had my favorite of all the poutines!

When you first walk into A.A. Restaurant, it doesn’t look like much… the décor is shabby, tabletops and chairs are chipped and cracked.  It looks like it hasn’t been changed since the 70s.  But it had my favorite of all the poutines I tried.  Our friends, who are native Montrealers, brought us to this place, which was a good thing because we otherwise would have never known about it. 

Their selection of poutine is limited – only four choices, but what really makes it is the gravy. 


As you can see the poutine is is smothered in gravy.  And the gravy had a different consistency than the other places.  At borh Planet Poutine and La Banquisse, the gravy was thin and glossy, while this poutine had gravy with substance (but in a good way).  It was a close call between La Banquisse and A.A for my favorite poutine. If I lived in Montreal, I would take out-of-town guests to La Banquisse because of the “neat” factor of all the different toppings.  But A.A. would be the one I would go to again and again. (A note to any of you traveling to Montreal and want to check it out – it is located in a developing neighborhood in the city, so be careful when traveling there!)

Stay tuned for when we try duck in a can and other adventures in Montreal!

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