Poutine Review: Cinko Tempura Green Bean Poutine

Cinko is one of a slew of $5 restaurants popping up around town. They serve cheap food that is a notch above your usual fast-food fare, and make up for their slim profit margin with comparatively pricey cocktails. Cinko has an original menu, nice colorful interior design, and the place mats have been replaced by old vinyl records (in my case Genesis’ And Then There Were Three, an early glimpse at some of the horrors that Phil Collins would inflict on us during the 1980s–it was a pleasure to render it unlistenable by scratching away at it with my utensils). The actual background music was even less inspiring than my 70s prog rock placemat, consisting of the same dated 4/4 MC Mario beat that did not change for the entire duration of our meal. Thankfully, the volume was kept low.

There are two poutines on Cinko’s menu: one made with sweet potato fries that has become less interesting now that it is no longer served with the braised beef gravy it used to be served with, and the bizarre tempura green bean one that I review below.

Cinko
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Review: Resto Richard, home of the Interfromage

Resto Richard Ancienne-Lorette, on the fringes of Quebec City (and briefly part of it from 2002 to 2006), has a history dating back to the 1600s, but it is mostly known as the uninspiring suburb by the airport. When I asked a friend who lived there to tell me the most interesting thing about the place given its nearly 400 years of history, he didn’t mention its massive church.
Resto Richard

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Poutine Review: Casse-Croûte Le Relais Enr

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A few months back, I took a drive along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence river between Quebec City and Trois-Rivières. Once you’ve made it past the burbs, things get scenic. The town centre of Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly has a beautiful church, a charming creperie, and upscale shops. The next town, Saint-Croix, is not as quaint but it’s still nice. There’s still hope that this trip will be interesting. But it slowly turns to shit. Every subsequent town gets progressively uglier. By the time you’re in Saint-Pierre-les-Becquets, you can’t wait to get on the highway.

Casse-Croûte Le Relais Enr. looked as uninspiring as everything else in town, but it is often these uninspiring stops that have the best poutine. Moreover, the parking lot was full.

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Poutine Review: Chez Tousignant

Chez Tousingant, Montreal, Petite Patrie

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Celebrity chef Stefano Faita, famous for his exagerrated permasmile, just opened a third restaurant in Montreal’s Little Italy with his comparatively non-hysterical-looking business partner Michele Forgione. First there was the well-reviewed gourmet upscale Italian restaurant Impasto, followed by an excellent Neapolitan pizzeria called Gema. Now, they’ve moved away from Italian toward traditional Quebecois fast food classics at Chez Tousignant.

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Tousignant opened up yesterday in the former digs of Café Espresso Vittorio on rue Drolet near Jean-Talon Market. There’s a clean 1950s retro look to the place, with a hand-painted menu, white and turquoise tiling, and stainless steel tables. The unnecessary-yet-seemingly-mandatory big screen TV in the background played The Offspring videos on MuchRetro, (not quite the same kind of “retro” as the decor).
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Poutine Review: Fromagerie Lemaire

Lemaire

People have been raving to me about Fromagerie Lemaire for years. Located just off highway 20 near Drummondville, they are right in the heart of Quebec’s poutine heartland. They also make their own cheese curds.
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Poutine Review: Nouveau Système

Nouveau Systeme

There used to be loads of these classic no-frills Greek-run places around Montreal, but they are either fast disappearing or have suffered one too many modernizing makeovers. This place, which has been around since 1962, still looks the part. It is dripping with grease, has the original sixties booths, a great decor with alternating white and red stripes, broken jukebox consoles, and a hand-painted menu on the wall.
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Poutine Review: Cantine de la Gare

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Rimouski, located six hours northeast of Montreal, is a small port city with 45000 residents. A lovely salt water breeze wafts through the town. Unfortunately, its fine seaside setting has been ruined thanks to the work of some shockingly bad urban planners.

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Filed under Bas-Saint-Laurent, Designer Poutine Reviews