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Restaurants

Poutini's House of Poutine

Posted by Devon Scoble / Reviewed on June 15, 2009 / review policy

poutini's toronto I've been waiting a long time for Poutini's House of Poutine to open. When I found out that a new poutine place was opening on West Queen West, I was on the case like cheese curds on gravy.

I followed Poutini's Twitter feed and monitored their website. I avoided eating other poutines in an effort to keep my palate fresh and my arteries open. Like a virgin bride anticipating her wedding night, I spent weeks imaging what it was going to be like, how it would taste, and how I would feel after. For you see, like most poutine lovers, my affection borders on the fanatical, a culinary obsession so deep I easily ascribe magical powers to this simple, three ingredient dish.

poutini's counter Now, there's a real risk to getting too excited about big events. As the ever quotable Oscar Wilde once said, "Niagara Falls is the bride's second great disappointment". By the time Poutini's announced their soft opening last Friday, I'd gotten myself so worked up that I worried they'd play awkward groom to my blushing bride, failing to meet my heightened expectations.

But, mon dieu! this is no ordinary poutine.

With gravy gently coaxed from roasted bones, thickened with buttery roux and evenly distributed throughout a generous pail of fresh, French-fried PEI potatoes, Poutini's main dish is a knockout. While franchise poutines toss curds and gravy atop fries like frantic afterthoughts, Poutini's presentation is delicate, gently ensuring each squeaky curd and spoonful of gravy span the depth of the bucket, and rendering every morsel a fresh delight. Maple Dale Cheese Farm curds provide auditory evidence that this is a serious poutine, squeakily serenading taste buds and French (Canadian)-kissing teeth before joining their brethren in a holy trinity of deliciousness.

poutini's reviewI strongly believe that poutine is the quintessential Canadian food, a flavourful link that, deftly served, can unite the solitudes of French and English Canada. And though I admit this may be a stretch for some, Poutini's poutine is at very least a neighbourhood-builder. My friend and I sat on the bench outside--sadly Poutini's has standing-tables only--and quite literally EVERY person who passed mentioned the poutine. Several drivers and motorcyclists stopped to ask about it, too. We met a lot of new people that night, and even though each conversation stole precious moments from me and my poutine, I appreciated the sense of communion and shared interest in a common dish.

Once I'd scraped my bowl clean, I spent a few minutes with friendly manager Katie "Squeaky" Laliberte, who explained that community building through gravy, cheese and potatoes is an intentional goal. A family-operated business, Katie, her husband and his brother all live in the neighbourhood and agreed they would feature local artists in this gallery-turned-poutinerie. They welcome artists to stop by and talk about displaying their work. They're also eco-conscious, scoring bonus points with me for ladling their generous portions into biodegradable containers, and serving them with compostable cutlery.

A simple menu of classic poutine, vegetarian poutine, and baked potato poutine keeps it easy for the Lalibertes to make their dishes super fresh, with curds delivered every second day and all gravy made from scratch. "Squeaky" also informed me that Poutini's delectable gravy is still in development, as the Lalibertes search for a new roux to make the thick sauce a little more transparent, and allow the roasty meat flavours greater play. I'm not sure how they could make this heavenly dish any better, but I applaud their efforts, and look forward to a lifetime of gloriously saucy nights together.poutini's menu

Discussion

107 Comments

Paul / June 16, 2009 at 09:36 am
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I stopped there on my way home from work yesterday. Delicious! Much better than Smoke's. The curds were generously portioned and genuinely squeaky (I don't think I ever knew what that meant before) and I liked the gravy much more than Smoke's glutinous stuff. I didn't feel all bloated and gross after finishing, which is always a risk with poutine. Now I just have to resist visiting too often... my waistline can't handle poutine every week!
PJ / June 16, 2009 at 09:41 am
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this made my day.

can't wait to try it out!
Lauren / June 16, 2009 at 09:45 am
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Great post Devon. Will have to check this place out, sounds delish.
Ryan L. / June 16, 2009 at 09:46 am
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Good choice with Maple Dale's cheese curds. Probably the best cheese curd for poutine west of Ottawa. That alone suggests they know how real poutine is made.

Now I'm regretting going on a healthy eating kick.
mrblack / June 16, 2009 at 10:14 am
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I am so looking forward to this!...Smokes is an embarrasment...so good that this is in the hood, wish I could go for lunch though...
lister / June 16, 2009 at 10:32 am
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I stopped by on the weekend. The curds were nice though I thought the gravy was a little bland.
Gravy / June 16, 2009 at 10:42 am
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Stopped in on Saturday night after some cocktails. Maybe it was because we had dinner at Delux, maybe because we lived in Montreal for a few years, but my group was pretty disappointed. The staff was chipper and in a good mood, which was great. The place looks inviting and the biodegradable bowls and forks are a great feature. The poutine itself was served warm, not hot. The curds were plentiful although a little mushy and the gravy was missing any distinctive taste. They may be working out kinks, and location is top notch as this strip is starting to look like the streets of clubland, but we weren't left wanting more.

But what about the name? Poutini's? As in the Italian tradition of poutine?
Soren / June 16, 2009 at 11:36 am
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Went Saturday and loved it. Awesome fries, squeaky curds and light tasty vegetarian gravy. VEGETARIAN GRAVY!!!
Pamtastic / June 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm
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Better than Smokes!!!??!!! Get out of town.

My mouth is watering already. Ugh, I can't wait to try it out! And I agree, Poutine is quintessential Canadian food.

:P:
Kwil / June 16, 2009 at 01:21 pm
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Being from Montreal, I have hard a hard time finding a good poutine here to satisfy my cravings, but this sounds like it might do the trick. Great piece!
Disappointed / June 16, 2009 at 02:02 pm
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Weak.

Went there for lunch today.

Signs up saying that they are only open after 5pm, cuz they'd rather cater to the late night NXNE crowd than the people standing around looking cheated at lunch time.

There were a good handful of people too.

Poutini, the 416 wants to give you business. Stop saving it all for when the 905 rolls into town.
mrblack / June 16, 2009 at 02:04 pm
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"Better than Smokes!!!??!!! Get out of town."

uh, yeah...smokes is TERRIBLE!...this has to be better...and btw, Caplansky's is far better than Smoke's even, so this better be the poutine I have been waiting for in TO.
Bryn / June 16, 2009 at 02:34 pm
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I just contacted the restaurant and I happy to report that they are working on a gluten-free gravy for us Celiacs! Finally I can actually try poutine (I'm new to Canada and have been hearing all sorts of good stuff about it)!
bored replying to a comment from Disappointed / June 16, 2009 at 03:03 pm
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@disappointed - do you make every issue in life about 416 vs 905? I think they are opening for late night as the street traffice is 3 - 10 times as much.
amused replying to a comment from bored / June 16, 2009 at 03:53 pm
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No, I don't make any issues in life about 416 v 905. I spend very little time on the Queen West stretch, but I understand it's a fun topic to really grind people's gears with, so I decided to test the water.

Thanks for being the one to play (and win!) the game.

Seriously though, 3-10 times? That is a huge range! I would like to see the raw data compiled for that study to garner such a hugely variable answer. ;)
Jenny Beeee / June 16, 2009 at 06:07 pm
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I for one am excited to have VEGETARIAN GRAVY!!! because I've been poutine-less since I went vegetarian in 1999.. I think the sky opened up and hit my smiling face with a beam of light when I read that my dark ages of snacking are truly over...
Chris replying to a comment from Jenny Beeee / June 16, 2009 at 09:02 pm
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So, I take it you've never really put any effort into finding poutine in this city. There is a lot of veggie stuff out there.. Hell even Smokes, the local 'hot spot' has veggie gravy and a handful of veggie options for other toppings
Richard S replying to a comment from Pamtastic / June 16, 2009 at 09:34 pm
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Even A&W, Harveys, and New York Fries have better poutines than Smoke's, which has the be the city's most overrated eatery.

I'll not go out of my way to get this. I did exactly that for Smoke's and all I got was one of the worst tasting poutine's I've ever had. I can't believe people have dared to compare it to Quebec Poutines.
Kaleb replying to a comment from Jenny Beeee / June 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm
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Jenny, you've seriously been missing out for nothing. There's some good veggie poutine out there. A couple of my favorites are the Gladstone Hotel, Disgraceland at 965 Bloor, and the Stampede Bison Grill on Brock near Queen. I'm sure there's others too.
helen / June 17, 2009 at 12:56 am
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more veg poutine?? must add to my list. i did a review of veg poutine awhile back:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/576103
helen / June 17, 2009 at 01:14 am
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looking up disgraceland, it's a vegan poutine? do they have a veg-but-non-vegan one (with cheese, not tofu)?
Kaleb replying to a comment from helen / June 17, 2009 at 07:33 am
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Great thread over there, Helen. I'll have to check out some of those places too. On the menu it's vegan, but you can ask for curds and the veggie gravy no problem. I know it's not traditional in any sense but I was there for a birthday once and they made a veggie poutine with tater tots. Now that was an indulgent treat!
Tom Welsh / June 17, 2009 at 07:59 am
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And "Squeaky" couldn't be any cuter.


Uncle T
FUR / June 17, 2009 at 08:09 am
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smokes sucks - POUTINI'S RULES !!!
piccola / June 17, 2009 at 02:57 pm
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I'm actually excited about the baked potato option - I can justify eating gravy + curds more often if the spuds aren't always deep-fried.
Anni / June 17, 2009 at 03:20 pm
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i love smokes

but i'll try this place
Jeffrey / June 17, 2009 at 05:23 pm
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I don't visit Smokes as much as my cravings for poutine come come around because i think they can use a bit more subtlety instead of overpowering the fries with their toppings. Unfortunately i dont think i'll be revisiting Poutini's much either for quite the opposite reason. I found it to be kind of generic in taste, no better than what you might order from say Burger King. Sure the curds are better, but seeing as how i was the only customer when i went in i figure it'd be possible to serve it to me hot enough for them to be a bit...melty. Kinda looked like some banana flavoured Starburst squares just sitting there. Would have been nice to have some optional toppings to throw on or some variations like at the Burger Shoppe.

Very friendly staff and the biodegradable bowls as mentioned above are a plus though.
noahx / June 17, 2009 at 05:56 pm
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there are only 3 magic words for me to check this place out:
"non-hydrogenated oil" ???
kaathy / June 17, 2009 at 07:46 pm
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Best poutine i've ever had. and squeaky, shes the best!!!!
foodie12345 / June 18, 2009 at 03:34 pm
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Not good poutine. Maybe a bit better than Smoke's, but lacking in flavour and very skimpy on the gravy. Expensive as well. Don't waste your money, just make it at home instead. St Hubert Poutine gravy is much better that Poutini gravy.
Baby Brar / June 19, 2009 at 09:56 am
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Having read the blog - I was SOOOO excited to try Poutini's. She captured the true essence of what a good poutine experience is all about. I grew up in Ottawa, so visiting a chip stand for some salty, gravy-filled goodness was always available. Having moved here, I've been on the hunt for a good poutine...

This place is NOT it! A good poutine is all about the cheese and the gravy. Sure they use good cheese curds, but the gravy is not hot enough for the chees to melt and become gooey. The gravy also lacks flavour. And finally, a good poutine needs to be built in layers. I was pretty turned off that they measure their cheese curds and place them on top of the cup of fries.... By the time you get half way through the poutine, you're left with try french fries.........BOO! I kind of feel sorry for the blogger, because if this was the best poutine you've ever had - you are definitely missing out in one of Canada's best culinary masterpieces. You need to take a trip to Quebec!
Pouteen replying to a comment from Baby Brar / June 19, 2009 at 10:27 am
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I have to agree, Baby Brar. My vegetarian poutine was lacking in flavour and melty goodness. I think if they alter their gravy (add more salt) and layer the poutine, it would be a huge improvement. I think this place is new so hopefully they will take these opinion to heart and make some tweeks.
helen / June 19, 2009 at 01:27 pm
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got a chance to try the veg version last night and was disappointed.

the fries were okay (though one too many bits of too crispy/dried out fries), but the gravy was very bland and lacking in flavour. it was a good consistency though so they just need to keep working on making the gravy much more flavourful.

the cheese curds were decent - squeaky, but almost too firm (it was almost like eating uncooked halloumi) and did not melt pretty much at all. i like when the cheese still holds some of its shape but is slightly melted and soft.

they skimped too much on the gravy and importantly, did not layer.

seems like some of these issues are easy to fix:

layer the curds and gravy throughout the poutine, and don't skimp on the gravy. if they are indeed looking to improve the gravy, investigate how to make it more flavourful cuz it's really bland right now.

oh, and one last thing: i found something a bit too salty in there.. not sure if it was the gravy or seasoning (if any) on the fries..
helen / June 19, 2009 at 01:28 pm
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p.s. it's not that i think blandness = need to add more salt, but i'm talking about actual flavour.. something entirely different. the gravy tastes like very little except salt.
helen / June 19, 2009 at 01:39 pm
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(sorry, that p.s. up there was meant to come after this comment below.. but for some reason, i posted incorrectly and this one didn't post..?

anyway..

got a chance to try the veg version from poutini's last night and was disappointed. the fries were okay (though one too many bits of too crispy/dried out fries), but the gravy was very bland and lacking in flavour. it was a good consistency though so they just need to keep working on making the gravy much more flavourful (i heard they are still trying to perfect the gravy). the cheese curds were decent - squeaky, but almost too firm (it was almost like eating uncooked halloumi) and did not melt pretty much at all. i like when the cheese still holds some of its shape but is somewhat melted and soft. they skimped too much on the gravy and importantly, did not layer.

seems like some of these issues are easy to fix: layer the curds and gravy throughout the poutine, and don't skimp on the gravy. if they are indeed looking to improve the gravy, investigate how to make it more flavourful cuz it's really bland right now. oh, and one last thing: i found something a bit too salty in there.. not sure if it was the gravy or seasoning (if any) on the fries..
helen / June 19, 2009 at 01:52 pm
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oops! sorry about the double posting!

here's a picture of a good poutine from rapido in montreal. i had this a few weekends ago. notice the extreme amounts of gravy and curds, and how the curds are somewhat melted but still hold their shape. my only complaint about this was that it was slightly too salty for my taste, but overall, damn good!

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs095.snc1/4698_88783569146_508759146_1996996_6674894_n.jpg
Dave / June 20, 2009 at 07:15 am
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Just went last night. Why can't anyone in Toronto make a good Poutine? It was a very good try, but the sauce has almost no taste to it. Thankfully the cheese was good. At least they didn't make the classic Toronto mistake of throwing stuff on top of it, like pulled pork or something. If they can work on their sauce, they may have a good thing going.
Dave replying to a comment from helen / June 20, 2009 at 07:18 am
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The Rapido Poutine is in my Top 5 in Montreal. Very good indeed. It was strange when they "classed the place up" though. Same food, same waitresses, but all "cool" looking decor.
Natch / June 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm
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Hmmm, the quality of the individual ingredients were well up there, but sadly the gravy was off the mark. It amazes me Toronto restaurants can't seem to nail the gravy; even McDonald's Poutine "gets" it. Perhaps you can chalk off the discrepancy to regional differences, which I can respect, but it just gives me another reason to crave heading back to Montreal.
ejeb replying to a comment from foodie12345 / June 21, 2009 at 11:42 am
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st hubert gravey better than poutini's? give your head a shake (or maybe your palate)
ejeb replying to a comment from kaathy / June 21, 2009 at 11:45 am
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i agree, the best poutine and squeaky is awesome!!
hg / June 21, 2009 at 01:32 pm
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people who say that this is the best poutine clearly have no concept of good food.

i tried this last night for the first time, and the gravy tasted like kfc gravy that they would use on poutine in montreal. extremely bland and no taste.

as far as poutine is concerned in toronto, smoke's is way better.
Dave / June 22, 2009 at 05:51 am
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St Hubert canned Poutine Sauce IS better than the Poutini gravy. Poutini gravy has no flavour. St Hubert does.
Montreal Born / June 24, 2009 at 08:53 pm
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Went by last weekend and it confirmed for me that Torontonians cannot make Poutine. Beef gravy?...But nice curds.
Ash / June 26, 2009 at 09:58 am
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not worth 7$

the veggie and normal gravy had no taste at all .. very bland.
not enough gravy or cheese
fries were undercooked

will not be returning here unless they decide to start giving refunds.
Tabar-yuk / July 2, 2009 at 12:12 am
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oh non... this is not good poutine. Besides the fact that the entire block now smells like a carnival- I was willing to give it a try... walking by a carnival everyday on my way to and from work, will inevitably make you want to take a turn on the ferris wheel. The gravy tastes like, well, not much, but what makes the entire gravy experience worse, is the the mushy yet under cooked fries that lay below. The cheap amount of cheese kinda sucked, and the lack of meltage on behalf of those same curds irritated me even more- the squeaky-ness was in good form, but could not stand alone. I'm not so sure it's all that important for the Poutini peeps to visit Quebec for a Poutine-gravy 101, so much as they need to visit a cabana a sucre. Good poutine comes from good gravy, good gravy comes from old school habitant recipes and traditions, those traditions still live in the country. Take a trip to the Eastern townships, St-Eustache or beyond... you'll be back with a killer gravy no expat could frown at.
Gloria / July 8, 2009 at 05:43 pm
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$6.19 for poutine?! That's effin' nuts.
Kay / July 12, 2009 at 11:27 pm
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I have never had poutine that can even compete with Quebec's Ashton and daily fresh squicky fromaaaaage. But I would love to try this place and see what Ontario has to offer. More like 418 vs 416 for me. ha!
Poutini's Fry Guy / July 19, 2009 at 06:50 pm
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OK. So I've been working at Poutini's for like 3 weeks now and I have also been trying different poutine's around the city. Our gravy/veggie gravy and squeaky cheese curds....amazing. If you feel like bacon and pulled pork for an addition to your Poutine, maybe even Broccoli. Than Smoke's is where you should go. But $14 for the "LTO" was a RIP off.

I'm originally from Belleville and I say Duffer's Chip Wagon makes the best Poutine in Ontario...they use the same curd as Poutini's too. Maple Dale Cheese (Tweed ON)
Slow Down There / July 29, 2009 at 04:34 pm
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i can not now or ever see reason why an Oscar Wilde quotation or descriptions like "delicate" and "gently coaxed" should be used to describe disco fries.

go back to the library nerd!
Stefan / August 15, 2009 at 01:55 pm
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Being a dedicated "poutinerie", I had definitely expected a better experience from this joint. Following most of the other negative comments here, the cheese and gravy, regardless of flavour, simply did not achieve the right consistency. For all it's seeming simplicity, getting the textures of melted cheese, hot gravy, and crisp fries is apparently no cakewalk.

While anathema to most BlogTO readers, I have to say the best (albeit with no veggie option - though if we're talking authenticity, that's hardly a consideration) poutine in the "city" can be found at The Real McCoy in *gasp* Scarborough. The ownership there is aging - I'd hit it up soon lest a changing of the guard ruin the place. And at $4.50, the difference can go towards your TTC fare.
Stefan replying to a comment from Stefan / August 15, 2009 at 01:58 pm
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Almost forgot the address: 1033 Markham Rd.

http://www.toronto.com/restaurants/listing/129761

A solid contender for all your greasy spoon needs.
Nattles / August 29, 2009 at 08:41 pm
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I went to Poutini's last week. I have to say that generally, the quality of the product is very good. Delicious hand-cut fries. (I didn't have the problem of tiny, left over bits of fries, luckily) I enjoyed the rich gravy (I actually like it better than both Smokes and Craft.) The cheese curds are what makes this poutine outstanding. They are large, chewy white curds, that definitely squeak in your teeth.

I have a bit of a problem with the presentation though. The cheese curds are just plopped on top of the fries and then the gravy is ladled over. I personally think that the cheese should be distributed throughout the fries. And, since the cheese is sitting on top, it doesn't get an opportunity to hang out long enough with the gravy to get all soft and melt-y, the way it does at Smokes and Craft. I also think that they should definitely add an extra half ladle of gravy... imho.
Jason / August 31, 2009 at 06:40 pm
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Nice review, Devon, as usual, but I don't agree.

I live right around the corner from this place, love poutine and was eager to try Poutini's. When I did, I was pretty disappointed. The product is expensive and doesn't get some of the basics right. First, the fries were soggy. Poutine fries should not be soggy. They should have a bit of a bite and should stand up to the gravy. Second, the poutine was not layered, which meant that for $7 bucks, I got a few curds at the top and a bowl full of soggy fries. After I ate off the top layer, my treat got pretty boring and I felt like a chump for paying $7 for a bowl of soggy fries. Third, the gravy was just not that flavourful.

Poutine isn't risotto or souffle, which is to say it's not that complicated. A place that only makes poutine should be able to figure it out.
Hanna / October 2, 2009 at 02:37 pm
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Love love Poutinis, the REAL squeaky cheese does it for me, but I would suggest to add extra cheese, as the bowls are quite large and you'll need more cheese, if you can afford the extra fat that comes with it!

My favorite in Toronto, smoke's is gross
trad / October 4, 2009 at 11:08 am
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I never really understood why people liked poutine untill I lived in Quebec. Truth is Ontario food joints have been making poutine at a sub-standard level for years and these new quasi-classy dedicated poutine joints designed to capitalize on ignorant drunks have not bothered to raise the standard.

The poorly cooked fries, the insufficient amount of gravy, the disposable bowl and forks, the luke warm temprature, the cheese curds that don't squeak might all be easier to over-look if they just used the right kind of gravy. Beef gravy is absolutely NOT traditional. If it is not made with hot chicken fat it is just not the same and in my opinion not even worth tasting.
biggestchops replying to a comment from Ash / October 30, 2009 at 08:42 pm
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i got a refund
Parmentier & Fritz / November 5, 2009 at 11:20 pm
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Both Poutini & Smokes (especially the latter) are way below par when it comes to poutine. The reason, I gather, would be because neither ownership group has the slightest idea how to cook?
Cooking can be an integral part of running a successful food & bev operation.
That being said, the lesser of the two (smokes) has opened 3 locations and a fry truck in one year so it doesnt say much for this cities palette.
Don't fret everyone, i will be opening a poutine shop that will provide us all with the quality, service and FLAVOUR that this city so desperately needs.
Stay Tuned!
Really. I am going to do this.
Z replying to a comment from Kay / December 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm
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I agree with Kay... poutine at Ashton in Quebec is the real deal!!!! http://www.chez-ashton.com/

Poutini's or any other poutine joint in Toronto is definitly frowned upon by all Québéquois. The main problem is that you just can't get fresh squeeky cheese curds in Toronto! Poutini's say that they get the cheese curds delivered every morning... but then they refridgerate it? Refridgeration completely destroys the cheese's squeeky effect! Fresh cheese curds only need to be refridgerated after 24 hours.
Meera / January 13, 2010 at 12:21 am
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Really, there's vegan poutine at Disgraceland? Thanks for the head's up; a bunch of us have been looking *everywhere* for a place we could try this treat!
salty / January 13, 2010 at 05:33 am
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unfortunately as cute as this place is and while i appreciate a new food destination to go on queen the poutine was a bit disappointing...the gravy was not hot enough to melt the cheese and it was so salty we had to stop eating halfway through....two people couldn't eat one portion because of the saltiness. it needs more flavor and less salt.
Square / January 19, 2010 at 04:22 pm
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Overrated and not cheap
Duncan / February 13, 2010 at 05:19 pm
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Good poutine although not enough gravy or cheese curds. Quite expensive as well. So fat one of the best poutines I have had in TO.
Mediocre at best / February 14, 2010 at 09:03 pm
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They really have to work on their gravy recipes, very bland and not the right kind of salty. Without a good gravy, can you possibly have a good poutine?
Jo / February 17, 2010 at 02:19 pm
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K...I'm not sure if you'll believe this, but I've discovered some research that can actually explain how eating Poutine at Poutiny's can be good for your personal health, as well as the health of the planet...Seriously!

http://thumbshift.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/poutine/

The third-hand research is linked near the end, but I'll try to explain this "French Paradox" concept better in future posts/edits..

Salud!
Jo
adam / February 23, 2010 at 12:55 am
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The Poutine at the Corned Beef House is amazing, in my mind its the best in the city. Sqeaky curds homemade gravy and baked fries...mmmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it and only 5 bucks
david / March 10, 2010 at 11:03 pm
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I also think the poutine at the Corned Beef House is the best. The homemade gravy makes it for me, and the sqeaky curds are amazing. For an extra dollar try it with smoked meat shavings....mmmmmmmmm
dioraimondo / April 16, 2010 at 03:01 pm
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Ive been craving real poutine for so long and everyone i know suggests the costco poutine- havent tried it yet.. I thought though that the curd is not supposed to melt? also, they do offer a layered poutine.. but for an extra charge... which going by everyones reviews should be standard. Im going down there to shop so i think I will still try it out. As for smokes- just plain too much! Why is it when something simple and delicious is made, people have to go and totally go over board with these 'creations'? im all for the creativity in cooking- i get it i really do- but when it comes to something like classic poutine, or something like a classic tomato sauce- leave it alone!!!
dioraimondo replying to a comment from dioraimondo / April 16, 2010 at 03:05 pm
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an example of a faux poutine- the bymark lobster poutine..... delicious, but NOT a poutine at all!
Johnno replying to a comment from Z / June 16, 2010 at 01:47 pm
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Unfortunately, that's a wholly useless comment. We're looking for the best poutine in Toronto; everyone's pretty aware that the real deal is going to be in Quebec, but that's sort of out of the way.
gigg / July 12, 2010 at 01:09 am
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Total f**king garbage. Don't bother. Same applies to Smokes
nick d / July 13, 2010 at 05:50 pm
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I just tried Poutini's this weekend.... and was let down. No surprises there.

Regardless of the fact that I am originally from Quebec (now more Ontarian than Quebecois) their cheese/gravy to fry ratio was way off, and the fries were just plain starchy and not good.

I have fond memories of LaFleurs in Montreal.

La Belle Province rates highly also.

So until they start serving "un hot-dog steamé, all-dress" as a side, Toronto's poutine scene will remain second-rate.
Shrug / July 23, 2010 at 01:55 pm
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As a lifelong vegetarian (yeah, never eaten meat), I can't make any comparisons to gravy made with hot chicken fat, but personally I love the veggie gravy at Smoke's. And I don't care how unorthodox it is, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and peas are wonderful in with a mess of fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Seeing as Poutini's is far out of my area, and the reviews seem to be mediocre at best, I'll stick to Smoke's when I feel like a veggie poutine - despite its flagrant disregard for "authentic" style. Be that as it may, I'm not the pickiest of eaters so if I ever find myself out on West Queen West in search of meat-free fare, I'll probably give Poutini's a shot. It really is hard to go wrong with potatoes!
Reub / August 13, 2010 at 01:52 am
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I'm at this place all the time.
Layered Poutine for life
The girl who works there and had her head shaved is the cutest of life!...... she's so sweet! -

Yum
Poutine
Belinda / September 9, 2010 at 03:31 pm
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I wasn't a fan, disgraceland wins hands down.
amy / October 20, 2010 at 09:47 pm
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i have gone a couple of times. first- poutine was bland. second time poutine tasted great but half way through i found a hair.
smam / November 12, 2010 at 02:56 pm
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OVERRATED!
I went a few times. The first time it was unnaceptably bland and the two other times it was nothing but pure salt.
Some of the staff are quite rude and the skinny guy with the ponytail doesn't wash his hands.
jvan / February 26, 2011 at 09:01 am
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overpriced, bland gravy, small portion. unless their veggie gravy is good i won't be back.
michelle / March 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm
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i recommended daiya to them so long ago and they ended up using it. i never even got a free poutine. so sad.
B / March 25, 2011 at 08:48 am
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Maybe I went on the wrong day or time (I was there right when they opened) but it was terrible. Made me regret wasting 45 mins of my life on transit to get there. In terms of food, the fries were soggy and unseasoned. The vegetarian gravy was bland (a splash of soy sauce and couple scoops of nutritional yeast would go a long way). The curds did not squeak even a little and were near tasteless. Aside from the food, the "chairs" are ridiculous, they are some kind of knobby tree-stump deals with no backs. Finally, I know it's environmentally friendly, but eating off of gritty bio-degradable forks is a bit of a turn-off for me.
dame / April 24, 2011 at 06:54 pm
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I love this place! I found it with some friends on a late night out and have been in love ever since. The works poutine is great with nice large strips of bacon, mmm soo good.
Mel / June 17, 2011 at 07:17 pm
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The fries taste great, but for all the celiacs out there, they are less than attentive. I used to love eating here, but twice now I've been given the wrong gravy and gotten sick. This last time I took a friend who is also celiac and we both ended up popping the glutenease like candy before an hour was up. So if you're gluten free avoid it unless you like the bloating and nausea that comes with it.
Jo / June 17, 2011 at 08:19 pm
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Hmnn...that's awful Mel
I'm looking for any positive side-effects to what you endured...

Perhaps...
This could be a chance for Poutini's to update/review their processes, and find any gains for improvement it seems (at least in terms of what's gluten-free

...Perhaps this lapse could result Poutini's introducing/updateing a recipe ?!?!

What's your current recommend for gravy Mel?
Mel replying to a comment from Jo / June 17, 2011 at 08:28 pm
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The recipe itself might be fine, I'm guessing the problem is the staff forgets to use the GF gravy instead of the regular. They sit in 3 pots side by side, so my guess would be the wrong gravy just gets scooped, but its pretty serious for us GF folks. It's only the thickeners usually that make it unsafe for us. Potato starch instead of flour in the recipe would likely make it safe for everyone. Still the best poutine I think I've ever had though.
Ethan / July 26, 2011 at 02:05 pm
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i thought this poutine was simply amazing but......they were not very generous with the gravy but other than that it was really good
pkcup / August 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm
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For a quick (maybe not so quick since the line-ups are so long...) and dirty poutine at 2am -- this place is the best out of all of them. Considering they have GF gravy and a vegan option, Poutini's knows where it's at. Not too long I tried the bacon poutine with maple syrup -- omg heaven.
Noah / October 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm
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After seeing it's rated best in Toronto and hearing such good things, the wife and I decided to drop by. We know some great Casse-croute Poutines from a all over Quebec, so we were quite excited. Didn't even finish half!!! Not real poutine. Horrible gravy!!! One of the worst most un-authentic poutines in the city. People here have no idea what real poutine is. I've had Poutine, my wife and I still talk about 3 years later. It's not the think gravy from Faketini's that's for sure. I wish someone in TO would make a real authentic Poutine gravy!
lou / October 20, 2011 at 09:08 am
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this product is horrible, so is smokes, is this still open? if it is they do all thier business at 2am when no one cares
Ken / December 6, 2011 at 04:42 pm
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I sell Spudniks potato chips, we make a kettle chip that would taste out of this world with your curds & gray !
Contact me, we can take Spoutine to the next level!
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2D2nun / January 20, 2012 at 02:57 pm
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Anyone been to the new poutine shop in downtown Brampton called 'POUTINE Dare To Be Fresh!' Heard it is awesome!
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Michael Jagdeo / February 27, 2012 at 02:27 am
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Why am I torturing myself by reading this at 2:28am??
Kelly / March 29, 2012 at 01:08 pm
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Nothing compares to a poutine from La Belle Province. Being born in Quebec, I can tell you that I have never tasted a poutine that comes close to the perfection and amazing taste of Quebec made poutine's.

I miss them.... :(
Trevor / April 6, 2012 at 06:56 pm
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I'm from Montreal and I too have a though time finding decent poutine in Ontario. I've had the poutine here and while its decent it leaves me wanting something better. If you're ever in the Eastern townships make sure you try the poutine at Chez Ben in Granby. Hands down the best poutine in the world. I can remember as a small child in the early 70s driving to Granby to go to Chez Ben when it was still just a fry truck (actually just a camping trailer) on cinder blocks.
These days when I visit family there I make time specifically to have poutine there with my wife and daughter.
If I could only get my hands on their gravy I would start a business in the GTA. I'm sure I'd have people lined up for blocks...
Martin / May 10, 2012 at 04:42 pm
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I'd have to agree with some people on this review board, that the gravy in the poutine is bland...not much flavor at all.
With that said, I absolutely loved the fries! I could eat them on their own and I can't usually do that with any other fries.
Martin replying to a comment from Martin / May 10, 2012 at 04:43 pm
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I forgot to say that the poutine itself was pretty damn good.
Just wanted to give my two cents on the gravy, which was my only complaint.
sashaknowland / August 29, 2012 at 03:13 pm
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Amazing poutine, I'm not sure why so many people dislike the gravy, i've tried a lot of different poutine places when i lived in Quebec and this ranks right up there with the best of them. Poutinis is the best in the city, and i recommend it for every poutine lover to try this place before all else. pfft it does not even compare to smokes.
Ellen / September 19, 2012 at 02:09 pm
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It was just alright. Not worth the $10 and service was... alright, too.
katarina / September 10, 2013 at 08:33 pm
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One of the girls working there told me to get off my phone while smirking if I wanted to be served after I had been waiting for over 5 minutes with absolutely no body in the store. She told me that I was exaggerating and that I had barely been waiting. I emailed Poutini's and nobody got back to me. Absolutely disgusting
jason replying to a comment from katarina / November 6, 2013 at 04:49 pm
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Hey Katarina, GET THE FUCK OFF THE PHONE. It's rude.
jason replying to a comment from lou / November 6, 2013 at 04:51 pm
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Their poutine always gives me the shits.
Michelle / November 24, 2013 at 04:01 pm
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Meh, definitely not as good as Montreal. Not impressed.
notme / December 29, 2013 at 03:19 pm
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It used to be great!! This year i try it a few times just hoping it was only once, but lately has been terrible! Really dissapointing! It used to be soooo good!!
notme / December 29, 2013 at 03:27 pm
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"Poutini’s Traditional Poutine 6.99/4.99
Served with Fresh Cheese Curds and Beef, Vegetarian or Gluten-Free Gravy"
In this one the BEEF is not existent!! At first used to be very rich! The last times couldn't find the beef! And as usually i take out, live close by, couldn't complain at the moment.
It will be awesome if they go back the way they started! But right now i'm telling people not to go!
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