Photo by Catherine Downes.

Reviews

French Fry-Day: Blind Butcher

Today we manage to critique fries and hockey.

Since its opening in 2014, Blind Butcher has become known for its stellar house-made sausages, pastrami egg rolls, meat and cheese charcuterie board, and a section of the menu dedicated to poutine. The French-Canadian dish of French fries and cheese curds covered with brown gravy is served across Canada. You can find a version served anywhere from elite, upscale restaurants to unheated hockey rinks in Ontario. How do I know about the poutine served in unheated hockey rinks in Ontario? In another life, I spent many frozen winter nights watching OHL hockey in small towns such as Peterborough, Kitchener, and Guelph. I consumed hundreds of paper bowls filled with greasy fries and some wretched rendition of brown gravy to keep warm. Typing this memory makes my stomach turn.

When the poutine trend hit Dallas a few years ago, I was eager to see how cheffy versions fared. I sampled all the varieties offered at Blind Butcher. To my surprise, they elevated the dish to a super substance absorber, which is code for hangover helper. There’s nothing like a good dose of grease and starch to cure your sobbing stomach.

For future reference, you can find four versions of poutine at Blind Butcher: straight up (fries, cheese curds, brown gravy), mushroom (fries, mushroom gravy, curds, scallions), pork belly (fries, smoky gravy, curds), and duck fat (duck fat fries, curds, confit, egg, brown gravy). Many of the sandwiches and entrées are served with either fries fried in duck fat or regular fries.

I expected Blind Butcher to excel in fries. Instead, after sampling a few, unadorned regular fries I felt like I was back a few decades and standing rink side in Windsor, watching another lopsided hockey game.

If you are a regular French Fry-Day reader you know, it takes a lot of labor and love to make and serve fresh-cut fries in a restaurant. There are many steps involved in taking a whole potato to a crispy golden fry. I thought Blind Butcher would take on this dedication. They certainly take sausage making seriously. I was stunned when the waiter informed me they used frozen fries. No wonder they come with a sassy pickled ranch dressing. Like the poutine toppings, the sauce helps obscure the bland fries.

As I have said before, many restaurants in Dallas use frozen fries. To do so doesn’t always mean they have to be tasteless. Chefs dress them in butter or spicy seasonings to make them pop. The regular fries at Blind Butcher are served without even a touch of salt. They are as dull and boring as a low-scoring, talent-sucking defensive-style hockey game.

Comments

  • Aardvark

    Missed you last week. This is my favorite series. French fries are my guilty pleasure.

    • NancyNichols

      Sorry. I was rushing to get out of town and went to Blind Butcher for lunch. They were closed. Perhaps you can share some of your favorites with me. Thanks!