Out on the lonely northern fringes of Quebec City stands Duberger, an anonymous suburb of small sixties bungalows and tall trees. This is a part of Quebec City where mullets and SUVs never went out of fashion. Conservative politicians are always given a warm welcome. But before the bungalows, before Duberger itself (which only got its name in 1964), there was Casse-Croûte Buffet du Nord, Enr.. This restaurant is as historic as they get amidst the sprawling expanses of strip malls, parking lots and gas stations. Locals swear by its legendary poutine, and its legendary toothless beaver mascot, but this legend has not spread much beyond Duberger’s borders.
53 years actually…
Along with the poutine, you can also eat the traditional Marjo Burger, which comes with bacon, lettuce, tomato and… cheese curds. A friend who ate this burger felt that the silky texture of the curds added a delicately suave touch that took the traditional bacon-cheeseburger a step above its humble origins.
And now for the main attraction!
Fries: These are McCain frozen fries, but they’re fried in oil rather than oven-baked. The fries are slightly limp, others a little too stiff and undercooked, but overall quite good for a frozen fry. The oil gives a nice taste to the fries, and they are properly seasoned, though I did detect a subtle acrid hint on a few of them. 23/30
Gravy: Not too hot, not too cold. Not too much, not too little. Not too light, not too dark. Not too salty, not too bland. Okay, no, it is a bit too bland. The taste could use a bit more punch. 38/50
Cheese: This is fresh cheese with just the right amount of squeak. The problem is that there isn’t enough of it. Most of it is on top and it’s poorly distributed throughout the rest of the poutine. Nevertheless, as my friend said, “even as I am nearing the end, there’s still a good squeak to the remaining cheese.” 14/20
Where’s the cheese?
TOTAL SCORE: 75/100
Verdict: There’s better poutine to be had in Quebec City, but where else can you find a toothless beaver with a baseball cap?
Value: Good – $3.75 for a bébé (works as a side). $5.75 for a mini. Prices and formats are comparable to Chez Ashton, but the poutine isn’t as good.
Location: 2750 Boulevard Pere Lelièvre, Quebec, QC. Forget about getting here on public transportation: you need a car (preferably an SUV).