Restaurant: Montreal Poutine
Last visited: November 6, 2011
Location: Montreal, Quebec (Old Montréal)
Address: 161 Rue Saint-Paul Est
Subway stop: Champ-de-Mars
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 5 (based on poutines)
- Since 2010
- Popular for poutine
- Local/tourist favourite
- Home made MTL Smoked Meat sandwiches
- Family friendly
- Cheap eats/Budget friendly
- Open late
- Sunday to Thursday: 10am-12am
- Friday & Saturday: 10am-3pm
Poutine! As soon as I mentioned Follow Me Foodie to Montreal & Quebec City I had a million requests for poutine. I don’t want to rain on the poutine parade, but at this point it’s a love hate relationship I have with it. Sure I like it, but it’s fries, cheese and gravy, even a “bad” one won’t be that bad. It’s late night fast food, not a delicacy, although good cheese curds are hard to find.
I was excited to try a “real” one in Montreal, but when you get over the hype, you really get over it. I guess that’s a sign of becoming a true Montreal-Canadienne as well. I’m far from, but I can understand why some Montrealers roll their eyes at “poutine”.
Don’t get me wrong, the locals do like it once in a while, but they don’t seem obsessed with it like the rest of the world outside of Quebec seems to be… or is that just a characteristic of the West Coast Vancouverites? Whatever it is, it is one of Canada’s or Montreal/Quebec’s “national foods”. If you’re in Canada let alone Quebec, you should try one, but seriously there is so much more to explore. Focusing on poutine is like finding the best nachos in Mexico… sure it can be good, but life is short, and Montreal has so much more to offer.
Montreal Poutine opened just over a year ago so it is rather new to the poutine scene. It’s in a touristy area of Old Montreal but the locals come here as well. With a prime location and the name “Montreal Poutine” it seemed like such a tourist trap, but our local host from the Van Houtte Getaway confirmed it was a solid choice for poutine in Montreal.
It felt almost wrong to have poutine for breakfast, but that’s exactly what we did… and no one was drunk or hungover. At least this poutine had some effort though and it could be enjoyed during daylight. I balanced it out by having St. Viateur Bagels with cream cheese and a Schwartz’s Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich for lunch. Yup, I can balance in heels much better than I can balance a diet! After this day I also tried the classic go-to poutine shop Resto la Banquise, but I ended up liking Montreal Poutine better.
On the table:
- 100% Vegetarian – French fries, sauce and cheese $7.50
- In the realm of poutine it was excellent! It’s an authentic poutine.
- It was actually a bit “gourmet” based on the quality of ingredients and execution of the overall poutine.
- It reminded me of the one from La Belle Patate in Vancouver, BC, which is also the best poutine I’ve had to date.
- To be honest, I think La Belle Patate was even better and the cheese curds were even a bit fresher and thus squeakier.
- An authentic poutine should have good quality fresh cheese curds that squeak in your teeth and they shouldn’t melt. If they melt you’re getting mozzarella or white cheddar cheese. This one fulfilled the cheese curd requirements.
- This one had large cheese curds and they were quite generous with them too, which added to the “gourmet” aspect. This one wasn’t that greasy either.
- The fries were hot, fresh, hand cut with the skins on, not too greasy and nicely seasoned, but I found them a bit soggy, even the ones not covered in gravy.
- The fries were cut quite thick and they matched the size of the cheese curds, but I wasn’t keen on them alone.
- The gravy is often a chicken based gravy, but some “poutine masters” suggest that poutines are made with “poutine sauce” and not “gravy”.
- Poutine sauce is vegetarian and it tastes like powered gravy, and it has that gluey gummy texture a packaged gravy would have.
- The majority of people may not be used to this “artificial gravy”, and it may be why they wouldn’t like this, but it’s actually what makes it the “real deal”.
- What makes a “real” poutine is debatable, but from what I know, Montreal Poutine is making it and so is La Belle Patate.
- On the other hand if I prefer La Belle Patate in Vancouver, I wouldn’t be surprised if poutine in Montreal could get better than this.
- They offer home made Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches as well and they smoke their own meat.
- The meat was shredded up into bits and covered with poutine sauce, so naturally it was also a bit saltier overall.
- The meat reminded me of Black Forrest ham and it was peppery and nicely cured. It was no Schwartz’s, but it was not bad.
- It was very good, but you could only have so much before you wanted to take a nap.
- I had to get my veggie intake somehow, so why not with a fried onion and mushroom poutine?
- The fried onions were sweet, but not caramelized and still crunchy.
- Caramelized onions actually take a long time to make if you prepare them correctly and they have to be slow cooked over low heat until their sugars release and naturally brown.
- These onions were just sauteed until soft and not even brown yet, which is different than caramelized onions. I’m getting technical, but just stating my point of view.
- The mushrooms were just button mushrooms and I wouldn’t have minded a bit more.
- Without being technical, it was still a great poutine.
- Seasoned avocado battered with Japanese bread crumbs. Lightly fried. $8.50
- The avocado was crispy and lightly crusted with Panko crumbs and coarsely cracked black peppercorns, which I thought were black sesame seeds.
- The inside was nice and creamy and the addition of sesame seeds in the breading would be nice.
- The black peppercorns really added a peppery kick especially when you bit into one.
- It didn’t even need the salsa, but I was hoping for more flavour besides peppercorns and salt.
- I think the dip was a spicy salsa, but it wasn’t memorable or I would have remembered it.
- They were good, but also standard for avocado fries and quite pricey.