The great Toronto poutine challenge: the triple pork poutine
So Smoke's Poutinerie has this thing called a Triple Pork Poutine. It's basically your standard poutine, only once they're finished making it they put a big pile of pulled pork on top. Then they add a big pile of bacon. Then, just as a joke, they throw in a sausage and laugh at you.
The Triple Pork Poutine is more of a dare than a dish. It's a no win situation where you either regret ordering it, or envy the guy sitting next to you who did. It's like a bucket of KFC; it starts out good, but turns into shame and regret far to quickly - almost as soon as the order is placed. There's a bit of reprieve when you first take possession of the monster, but that never lasts long. Soon you're looking around to make sure no one saw you. Do you risk leaving with it? No, it's better to eat it there and get it over with. At least there, if you're spotted it will be by another weak willed soul; just don't sit near the window. But underneath all that meat there is a poutine, right? Lets see:
It's good to see so many high scores for the french fry quotient. Good fries are, in fact, an exact science. There is really no excuse for fucking it up. Sure, decisions can be made over cut and type of oil, even in prep, but the process has been perfected. There is one way to do it and it should be done that way by everyone:
Fry at low heat first.
Fry at high heat.
Smoke's does this. Everyone should do this. However, Smoke's messed up the last step, the easiest one. As soon as they're done you've got to serve them, otherwise they start to do all sorts of nasty things like dry out or go soggy. I suspect mine were under a heat lamp for a bit. They were a little hard. 3.5/5
The problem with the triple pork poutine is that although there is a ladle of "Smoke's Signature Gravy" underneath all that dead pig, I'll be darned if I can taste any of it. The pulled pork has this sweet sauce of its own that when combined with the sausage and salty bacon, completely overpowers everything else in the dish. It's decent gravy, and when I managed to find a corner untouched by all that pork product weighing down on it, I enjoyed it, but it was hard to get to. 2/5
Ditto for the curds - there weren't many of them to begin with. When I first picked up the dish I picked out a few just to make sure I got to sample them. They were fresh and flavourful, buttery with that hint of saltiness. It's just; those were the only ones I really experienced. I think the pig ate the rest of them. 3/5
This is another one of those way too big places. They're using American sizing here for sure; the small is more than enough for a grown man. The large, well, I don't know. I'd be curious how many actual potatoes are used in a large Smoke's Poutine. My guess is five. 5/5
Final Score: 13.5/20
Is 13.5 a low score? I don't know, it's still a C+. I'd have been happy with that back in high school. The thing is, the Triple Pork Poutine is the kind of thing you're supposed to kind of regret afterward. It's a gluttonous dish and isn't designed for high scores. Is it good? Sure, yeah, it's good. The first half of it is really good, but that enjoyment is fleeting and to be honest, this was the first poutine so far that's actually given me a bit of a stomachache. Whether that was a result of Smoke's itself or nine days of poutine beforehand is up for debate. That being said, I would bet real money Triple Pork is one of their biggest sellers.
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