French-Canadian Junk Food on the LES

11/30/2009 11:56 AM |


As a Canadian (who went to college in Montreal) I feel particularly qualified to talk about poutine (I’ve done it before), that wonderful drunk junk-food mix of French fries, cheese curds and gravy, invented by Quebecois wood fairies in the 18th century. (And no, these aren’t disco fries, simply grating cheese WILL NOT DO.)

It’s been hard to find authentic poutine in New York, and there have been times—sad, drunk times—when I’ve shamefully allowed disco fries to substitute for the real thing; forgive me oh great Snow Queen of the North. So I was obviously pretty excited when a restaurant called “Tpoutine” opened up on Ludlow Street a few months ago, bringing a little piece of Montreal to the Lower East Side. I was so excited it took me a few months to get myself over there…

But I did, finally, over the weekend, and I had a plate of their “classic” poutine. I was disappointed: for $7.25 the serving was way too small, the cheese curds were too big (and failed to melt because of this), and the gravy lacked a good peppery kick. I confess, though, that this is probably the first time I’ve ever had a plate of poutine while sober, so maybe you shouldn’t take this review all that seriously. Poutine is pretty much always delicious, and I guess I just felt this was a little too pricey, because I’m sure if I’d been drunk I would’ve just slapped a $20 on the counter and told em to keep it coming, and I would’ve liked it.