Yes, it’s possible to get poutine in New York City. Here’s the scoop on a few places.
The first place I visited was T Poutine, a newcomer on the Lower East Side (2011 UPDATE – T POUTINE IS NOW CLOSED). Set in a sleek corridor with orange lighting and obnoxiously bad hip hop, they bling things up a notch with slogans like “pimp your fries” and monogrammed poutinewear. Unfortunately, their poutine doesn’t live up to their quality thongs.
Fries: Too starchy. Lacking crispiness on the outside, but fluffy on the inside. Somewhat undercooked. 12/30.
Gravy: Too thin, it sinks to the bottom of the container leaving you craving more sauce at first until you reach the soupy mess later on. A little too hot. Has an overpowering and slightly unpleasant black pepper taste. 18/50.
Cheese: Nice size. Average quantity (it’s all at the top). Could use a bit more squeak.12/20.
TOTAL SCORE: 42/100
Verdict: T Bad, and T Overpriced, but they do have nice t-shirts and a creative T Burger menu. Still, if I were you, I’d go to Katz Delicatessen around the corner.
Value: Poor, even by New York standards – US$7.25 for container pictured above.
Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs 12PM-2AM, Fri-Sat 12PM-5AM.
Location: 168 Ludlow, between Houston and Stanton, 646-833-7444
The second place I visited was Pommes Frites, a veteran establishment in the East Village that’s been serving poutine for over a decade. My friend Al, who eats there occasionally, tells me the poutine is inconsistent: “The two Asian guys who work there know how to make it but the girls are useless.” This poutine would rank higher than many of its Montreal counterparts with a few minor improvements.
Fries: Close to perfect, lacking just a bit of crispiness and seasoning on the exterior. Tall styrofoam serving vessel and hot gravy means fries get a bit mushy at the bottom. 25/30.
Gravy: Too hot, and a little too runny, which leads to disastrous results at the bottom. A bit bland and generic tasting, though not unpleasant. 27/50.
Cheese: Average quantity, but could use a bit more squeak. Once again, tall container and hot gravy = melted mush at the bottom. 10/20.
TOTAL SCORE: 62/100
Verdict: Close to the Montreal average, but pales in comparison to what you find in the rest of Quebec. Would be better if they got a flatter container and worked on the gravy – until then, stick to the fries.
Value: Okay by New York standards, though there are better value food options in the East Village – US$6.00 for the large poutine pictured above, which is more like a medium.
Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30AM-1AM, Fri-Sat 11:30AM-3:30PM.
Location: 123 2nd Avenue, between 7th and 8th, 212-674-1234.
There are two other places I know of that currently serve poutine in New York. The first is a new restaurant specializing in Montreal cuisine called Mile End in Brooklyn. Apparently, they’ve also introduced the superior Montreal bagel to New York. Poutine is also served at an Australian pub in Brooklyn called The Sheep Station, which has received some good reviews. If you’ve tried the poutine at either of these places, post your review here.