There are an astounding number of things to come out of Canada for which we should be grateful for. To name a few: Alex Trebek, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Dan Aykroyd, peanut butter (true!), and the two of the greatest Ryans ever…Gosling and Reynolds. But of all the essential Canadian imports, the most important is undoubtedly poutine.
In its purest form, poutine is a fairly simple dish with three basic components: fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. These three pieces are absolute requirements for any dish declaring the name “poutine.” But in recent years, this classic dish has been the subject of a nearly limitless number of upgrades, enhancements, and modifications. Today, a wave of poutine popularity has gripped the nation and Dallas has not escaped its clutches. Here’s the 5 most notable poutines in the city:
Duck Poutine at Blind Butcher: This Lowest Greenville staple has fully embraced the poutine possibilities with an entire section of its menu devoted to the dish. But the finest offering found here is undoubtedly the version dripping with duck. The exceptional fries are fried in duck fat, then doused in brown gravy. Along comes the standard melted cheese curds, then a pile of tender, shredded duck confit. Finally a runny fried duck egg finishes the plate. However, if you’re feeling particularly cheeky, you can add a slab of decadent foie gras to really propel you into the lap of luxury.
Pot Roast Poutine at Maple Leaf Diner: This Canadian restaurant has seen a surge of attention after a recent appearance on The Food Network. Waits for a table during the breakfast and weekend brunch hours are getting longer as more patrons partake in dishes which are often an exercise in excess. Of course, poutine is here, and the standard version with cheese and gravy is a top seller. But if you’re eager for a glorious gut-bomb, go for the pot roast poutine featuring a mountain of slow-cooked beef and gravy piled high on freshly-cut fries and cheese curd. Enough to satisfy even the hungriest of hockey players.
Short Rib Poutine at Edith’s French Bistro: This recent arrival to Mockingbird Station employs a focus on French staples such as Croque Madame, crepes, and salad Niçoise, but they’ll often veer off this beaten bistro path with a few non-traditional offerings. Case in point: the short rib poutine. Here you’ll find an adorable miniature cast iron skillet filled with fresh-cut sweet potato fries topped with cheese curds. Upon these lie a lovely helping of piping hot, fork-tender braised short rib dripping with a cabernet demi-glace. It touches all the most important gustatory high notes: crunchy, salty, melty, rich, and meaty. It’s an absolute pleasure to partake in.
Mexican Poutine at Beto & Son: Some might argue that Beto’s version might be pushing the limits on what might acceptably be labeled “poutine.” I am not one of those people, however. Call it what you want, it’s completely crave-able and understandably one of the hottest dishes on their menu. It starts with handmade masa fries, with a soft, almost creamy interior, and golden crusty exterior. To this comes a hearty chicken tinga with tomatillo sauce, queso blanco, queso fresco, pico de gallo, and a runny egg. It’s a noticeable departure from the standard fries/curd/gravy ensemble one expects from poutine, but who’s going to argue with this delightful plate decadence?
Traditional Poutine at Moxie’s: When this Canadian franchise decided to add their first location to the United States, they chose Dallas to make their stand. For their poutine alone, this was a fortunate decision. It’s a traditional, authentic version. As close to eating in Quebec as it comes in this town. They hand-cut Russet potatoes and double fry them until crispy. They throw on some fresh Wisconsin cheese curds, still soft and squeaky. Finally comes the chicken and beef brown gravy flavored with garlic and fresh herbs. If there’s anyone out there who’s not yet had the pleasure of eating poutine, this is a wonderful starting point to introduce the dish.