I curse whoever had the dumb idea of moving Université Laval to the suburbs in the 1950s. This not only facilitated the old city’s gradual transformation into a tourist theme park, but also produced a really ugly university campus. Basically, the so-called oldest university in the country is now a big parking lot with the odd ill-conceived modernist excrescence jutting out from the asphalt. It gradually morphs into more parking lots, this time with big shopping malls, as you move westward. The whole thing is depressing, indicative of the sprawling mess that Quebec City has become.
One of the newer, less appalling buildings houses the Pub Universitaire. Its decor is reminiscent of 90s eurotrash with a dose of contemporary purple LED bling. It was recently ranked the best university pub in Canada. I wasn’t in the mood for poutine when I went, but they let me pimp up the fries that came with my (nasty) processed chicken burger for 3 bucks. Here’s the verdict.
Fries: Wow. This is a really good French Fry, coated for extra crispiness that withstands the assault of hot gravy. A wee bit thin for poutine, but nearly perfect. 28/30.
Gravy: A distant cousin to what you find at Chez Ashton’s, with those unctuous veal stock undertones. Quite rich, with a tinge of salt, could get a bit too rich in a larger poutine. 42/50.
Cheese: Lacks a bit of squeak, but still seems relatively fresh and moist. Good size, good portions. 16/20.
TOTAL SCORE: 86/100
Verdict: A good poutine in an otherwise bleak part of town. Better than their burgers.
Value: Fair: $16 for a processed chicken burger and poutine is not great value by Montreal standards, but it’s almost okay by Quebec City standards. The poutine alone is $6.95, though they also sell an XXXL version for $19.95.
Opening Hours: Kitchen open 11-10 on weekdays, 5-9 on Saturday, closed on Sunday.
Location: in a sea of parking lots.