An unofficial rating of Poutineries in Montréal

This post is long overdue since I visited Montréal a few weeks ago. Easily one of my favourite trips in 2015 has been a weekend trip to Montréal. Montréal is a charming and romantic city, rich with many historical sites, magnificent churches in nearly every neighbourhood and equipped with a truly thriving culinary scene that would make an epicure out of anyone.

While I certainly indulged in the fine dining and patisseries of Montréal’s many gastronomic offerings, I admit I was particularly enticed to eat poutine for every meal.

Potatoes. Gravy. Cheese Curds. What is not to like about this heavenly yet simple concoction? It is truly the ultimate Canadian comfort food.  As a poutine enthusiast (I was at the birthplace of poutine (Québec) after all) it seemed highly logical at the time to eat at 3 different poutineries in the span of two days.

If you do a Google search of “Montreal Poutine” you will find the following establishments that specialize in poutine, though I didn’t really plan on turning my weekend getaway into a poutine expedition.

The criteria are: the crispiness of the potatoes, flavour of the gravy, how well the gravy melts the cheese and overall satisfaction. Yes I clearly put some thought into this.

Here it is, the 3 poutineries I visited and my ratings out of 5 stars.

Poutineville (1365 Ontario Est, The Village)

A late and rainy arrival into Montréal, my travelling buddy and I were starving after a slightly uncomfortable 6.5 hour bus ride from Toronto and poutine was just the ticket. We originally decided to go to Montréal Poutine but it was closed and the cab driver took us to his favourite place.

The service wasn’t incredible but there was a DIY component to ordering where you fill in a “Create Your Own Poutine” template and choose the type of potatoes, cheese and gravy (among other toppings) and hand over to the server.

They are known for their red wine gravy. However, I did not stray too far from the original and ordered their house special “crushed potatoes” with regular cheese curds and the usual beef gravy. Overall, I was disappointed, the gravy was not hot enough to melt the cheese and the crushed potatoes just did not work for me.

[There is a Toronto location that opened up in the Annex if you would like to try for yourself]

**  2.5/5 stars.

Montréal Poutine (Old Montreal)

A late Saturday afternoon snack between lunch, drinks and dinner, this poutinerie was light, delicious and incredibly satisfying. Located in the quaint little streets of Old Montreal and a beautiful old building with many rustic indoor and outdoor seating options – this place was awesome! What made this gravy very light is the chicken-based and therefore it was significantly less heavy than its beef counterpart.

**** 4/5 stars

La Banquise (Plateau Mont-Royal)

A cult-classic and local favourite, this joint is open 24 hours a day and was my favourite of the three. The wait was about half an hour but oh so worth it! The fries were just the right crispness, the beef gravy was the perfect consistency and not too thick and it was piping hot to melt the glorious cheese curds. While they excel at the original poutine, they draw in the ‘after-hours’ crowds because of its unique topping combinations and fun names (La T-Rex anyone?).

Definitely worth it.

**** 4.75/5 – near perfection.

What is your favourite poutinerie? What is the best one you have ever had?

a picture of a very apt postcard I received as a gift

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