The great Toronto poutine challenge: the midtown poutine
For poutine enthusiasts weary of making the trek deep into the bowels of the city for their fix, fear not. Great poutine is hardly exclusive to the downtown sect. If Yonge & Eg is more your steez you're in luck, Bamburger serves up a top notch poutine perfect for the young professional in all of us.
But Bamburger shows restraint in its poutine. It's a deceptively simple, unsophisticated creation that marries taste and texture in near perfect harmony. Read on for the details:
A nicely seasoned nest of skin-on Yukon Golds, with a hint of cayenne pepper. These are thick cut, chip truck style potato spears that exemplify all the traits of a top quality french fry, some of the best we've seen yet. They are entirely satisfying both to the eyes and the tongue. 5/5
Ok, so it's taken a full 12 days to get here, but it looks like we've finally been able to add the much sought after, vaguely mysterious polkaroo of poutine, the element that always seems to be missing by those inclined to complain--chicken gravy... I think! Was it worth the wait? Sure was. This is a unique gravy in the Toronto poutine scene (poutine scene?) where beef is generally king. To say it's better or worse is impossible, it's different, but in a really great way. In reality though, chicken or beef or veal or anything for that matter is pretty inconsequential. What's important is the quality and flavour of the sauce, and at Bamburger they've got them both. 5/5
The curds play two roles in a poutine; the first - and most obvious - is to impart flavour. The second is all about texture: providing that gooey, stringy, melty, squeaky counter to the crispness of the potato. The curds at Bamburger provide just that role, save for the squeakiness. There is a generous amount of cheese in this poutine, partially melted by the hot gravy, stretchy enough to twirl on a fork. Squeaky and flavourful they are not, but enjoyable nonetheless. 3/5
An impressive plate piled up with enough poutine to satisfy. It seems depending on the establishment a poutine is priced either as a side (less than $5) or an independent dish in it's own right (greater than $5). This dish works all on it's own, but I'll definitely be back to sample the burgers. 4/5
Total Score: 17/20
Sometimes the greatest trick is just to keep things simple. The Bamburger Poutine is all about balance. Each ingredient plays it's own role and refrains from encroaching on the others. The fries are the vessel, they provide texture and weight to the dish, the gravy takes care of flavour and the curds are the counterbalance to the fries, providing an alternate texture for comparison, each highlighting the other - no additives required.