Craft Burger poutine

The great Toronto poutine challenge: the classic poutine (take 4)

Today was a tough one, if you've ever wondered how long it takes - how much you can abuse your body - before your brain starts trying to make decisions independent of your conscious mind in a last ditch attempt at self preservation. Well it takes exactly 13 poutines.

It took all the effort in my body to toss myself out the door and head to Yorkville for that daily mid-afternoon snack. My legs said no, my arms said no, my eyes, elbows, teeth and tongue - they all said no. My mind said no. They said "Hey Luke, cut it out. This isn't funny anymore; quit being such a prick." Lucky for me, I have a lifetime worth of experience in ignoring the good advice my body tells me. So I hopped on my bike and headed to the second location of Craft Burger (830 Yonge St.). Here's what I found when I got there:

Fries

These are the french fries of compromise. In the illicit debate of thick, steakhouse style french fries versus the dainty Belgian style frites, Craft Burger takes the middle ground. It's a good approach, and while there is merit in them all, if I were to choose one it would be this. There's that crispness, that soft mushy middle and a distant, slight sweetness to the potato. They've sacrificed a little size to maximize surface area, but not so much as to compromise that crucial taste the steaming centre provides. 5/5

Gravy

I'll just come out and say it, it tasted weird; not entirely bad, but weird isn't really something you want to throw around if you're boasting about food. I actually spent most of the time focusing on it because it wasn't an entirely unfamiliar taste either. Savory in flavour, perhaps a vague sourness, possibly still meat related - I don't know. Either way, it was distracting and took the focus off the rest of the dish, plus it wasn't particularly hot. 1/5

Curds

Small, crumbly-looking curds. They must have been around for a couple days because they were quite soft. I'm not so against soft though, soft is ok. It might mean it's past that three day squeak window, but whatever, they're far from "bad." They still have that unmistakable buttery taste, no meltiness though--blame the gravy. 3/5

Portion

More than enough, but that's pretty subjective. How about this: Too much gravy, not enough fries, and the curds hit the mark, but the price is right. I like it when they ring in below the $5.00 mark. 3/5

Price: $4.95

Total Score: 12/20

Things went off the rails even before the gravy. The presentation was all wrong. The poutine comes out on this long metal tray lined with red-checkered paper. It works fine if there's a burger there, but for a poutine you just have this squished mass of muck in the middle and nothing at either end; it looks sloppy. Fries were great though. Come for the burgers, side of fries, maybe a shake, but skip the poutine.


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