“You need to think about poutine like you think about women,” said one of my friends, musing about Restaurant l’Intuition. “Some women have big breasts, but they also have crooked teeth and a lardy ass. You might hone in on the breasts but you won’t want to go down on her. This poutine is like a woman with nice average-size breasts, a nice average-sized ass, and a nice face. You have to think of the whole package, and in this case the package works.”
“So it’s a girl-next-door kind of poutine,” I suggested.
“No,” he answered. “It’s more like a MILF from Desperate Housewives.”
L’Intuition sits next to Enfant Jesus hospital in Maizerets, where suburban Beauport meets the urban triplexes of Limoilou in Quebec City. There’s no real reason to end up here unless you enjoy hanging out near mental hospitals or happen to live in the area, but why would anyone want to do that? You may also be drawn by this restaurant’s promise of 100 poutine varieties.
This is a run-of-the-mill kind of restaurant that showcases the worst of early 1990s design. Don’t miss the fake-marble bluish-brown laminate counters and tacky patterned benches. It feels vaguely like a cafeteria in an old folks home. But then there’s the sci-fi “beam-me-up-scotty” fluorescent lighting fixtures in the middle of the restaurant.
Fries: These skinless fries have a decent crisp that repels the moistness of the sauce. Some are a little overdone. There is a barely perceptible bitter edge to the oil. We spent a long time debating whether these were frozen fries. I thought they were. A friend pointed out defects in some fries, which he saw as a sign that they were freshly-cut.
The debate was sealed when another friend said it didn’t matter whether the fries were industrially-produced or home-cut, as long as they were good. 24/30.
Gravy: The brown sauce is clearly an industrial product, but it’s tasty. It’s not too salty, nor too hot. A friend tried their pepper sauce, which was a little too peppery for my taste. 37/50.
Cheese: This restaurant uses cheese produced by Fromagerie La Chaudiere in Lac Mégantic. It’s good stuff, and there’s plenty of it. “I generally go through all the cheese halfway through my poutine and end up with loads of fries and gravy,” said my friend, “but this time I had some cheese left over at the end!” The chunks were of a proper size and served at room temperature. The squeak could have been a bit more prominent but it was still there. 19/20.
Verdict: A good poutine, especially for cheese-lovers who don’t mind paying a bit more than usual.
Price: Poor – nearly $10 after tax + tip for the “small” portion. The cheese portions are generous, and the “small” is big enough for a meal, but nothing justifies paying this much for a poutine in a generic restaurant with paper placemats.
Opening Hours: SUN-WEN 7:30AM-11:00PM, FRI-SAT 7:30AM-1:00AM
Location: 1515, 18e Rue, Quebec City, QC.