Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew

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tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Pickles and Poutine

Motzei Shabbos I was exhausted, and planned to trek home to sleep. Instead, I was convinced to make an appearance at a friend’s going away party. He’s a good enough friend to not mind me saying that I was won over by the promise of deep-fried pickles. Seriously. To say I was intrigued would be a gross understatement. So after we separated Shabbos from chol, welcomed the new week, we walked over to Dive Bar.

We were pleasantly surprised by the numerous vegetarian offerings to be found on the menu. Then, while debating between a veggie burger and beer chaser for the deep-fried pickles, or just a beer, my friend spotted it: poutine.

A well known Quebecois comfort food: A heap of Dive Bar Fries studded with farm fresh cheddar curd cheese that melts under hot, thick gravy! Tremendously satisfying. Goes well with a cold beer! Vegetarian gravy available.

The menu said everything it had to. We ordered a side of poutine for our pickles.

The pickles were good, but not great. I’m not a huge fan of salt (the flavour that is; I certainly am a fan of its chemical reaction in cooking and baking), but even I was giving the salt shaker a work out. They were lightly beer battered then fried. The pickles were still crunchy on the inside, while the batter was golden brown. I’d order them again, but maybe from another establishment (you know, in hopes of finding a better purveyor).

And then the poutine. Oh, the poutine. It was not poutine. It was possibly passible as disco fries. Maybe. The gravy was clearly from a vegetarian gravy mix; I could recognize and taste the dehydrated peppers, onions, and celery in the sauce. And the gravy was under the fries, not spooned over the whole dish to help in the cheese melting process. But no worries – the cheese was melted in an oven (gah!) or under the heat lamps (oy!) so it didn’t need the gravy’s assistance. And the cheese. Certainly not cheese curds. Probably not of the cheddar variety either. (We guessed it was mozzarella.) So entirely disappointing. Lacking the necessary components, it had no hope of tasting good, let alone tasting like real poutine. They should not be allowed to call it poutine on the menu. I feel quite strongly about this. I mean, what if some unsuspecting New Yorker ate this alleged poutine, not understanding the dish to be an imposter, and then never sought out the real goodness in Quebec? Tragedy. (The above picture is what poutine should look like. Saturday night’s poutine was nothing at all like this yummy concoction.)

In honour of the lack of squeaky cheese (cheese curds squeak, when you bite them, oh yes), I revive danse la poutine:

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Filed under: america, canada, friends, good eats, wtf?

3 Responses

  1. blahgette says:

    I’ve recently rekindled my love affair with pickles! Fried ones are some of my favorites. I recently had some bread and butter friend pickles with a saffron aoli at a frequent haunt of mine that were pretty darn delicious. I think they are best sliced, breaded, then fried, not whole pickles. You should look for that! And the dipping sauce is key, very important.

  2. Ericka says:

    I have to say, I would be fascinated by the deep-fried pickles, too, though perhaps not fascinated enough to order any of my own.

    -E

  3. […] doesn’t do knishes. NYC doesn’t do poutine. (No matter what they say.) That leaves us with deli sandwiches. NY’s pastrami and Montreal’s smoked meat are […]

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