Where to eat a poutine po' boy in Toronto
La Poutine Week might be officially over, but in Toronto every week is a good week for poutine - especially monstrous mash-ups like this Acadian poutine po'boy (with a choice of side for $9.95 / 6", or $11.95/8"), courtesy of Billy Jack's in Etobicoke.
The Nawlin's interpretation seems like a natural progression considering the shared historical roots with French Canadians. Po'boys, as described by chef and owner Billy Jack, originated in the French quarter during the depression, when unemployed railway workers would beg for food.
Po'boys, short for poor boys, were built on crusty day-old bread with whatever was around; most ubiquitously fried shrimp, oysters or roast beef bits. Dressings vary, but coleslaw or lettuce, tomatoes and pickles are most common, and there is always some type of sauce, a mayo, or more likely a debris gravy, kind of like a chunky au jus.
The Acadian poutine po'boy, being nothing more than a mess of fries, cheese and gravy on bun, perfectly satisfies the definitions of both cuisines. It might sound like an atrocity of carb consumption but it redeems itself in its execution.
Proper, squeaky cheese curds are on point, but it's the rich Cajun spiced gravy that makes this dish a standout. Made from scratch in house, it starts with pulled pork drippings that are reduced with beef stock and red wine until thick and deep brown and delicious.
Know of any Toronto restaurants doing interesting takes on poutine? Let us know in the comments.
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