It takes a lot to drag me out to the wasteland of elevated highways around Cremazie metro station, but Patate Rouge seemed to be worth the trek. Two different people told me it may have the best poutine in Montreal, both of whom are usually as dismissive of the city’s poutine options as I am. Once you’re out of the station, it’s a dismal five minute walk east alongside the elevated highway to get there – enjoy!
Patate Rouge looks like an old Dairy Queen outlet recycled into a cheesy pastiche of a 1950s diner. The most interesting aspects of the interior decoration are the leatherette couches with red potato motif. The rest is unconvincing cheap faux-50s diner crap – Betty Boop metal signs, laminated photos of Elvis, etc. If you’re not into the fifties decor, you can also choose to eat outside to enjoy the sweet rumbling sound of barrelling trucks against cracked asphalt.
We tried the small and the big poutines.
Fries: Limp, home-cut fries. The flesh is sweet and the skin is bitter, creating a somewhat unpleasant mix. Perhaps the potatoes need extra washing. The inappropriate container for the small poutine means the fries at the bottom turn into a pulpous mush. 16/30.
Gravy: Way too hot. I burnt my tongue on the first bite. When it cooled down enough for me to taste it properly, I noticed a pleasantly light BBQ edge to the brown sauce, but it was ruined by an overpowering saltiness. At the end, there was a soupy boiling mess at the bottom of my poutine container. The large poutine seemed to have a more appropriate quantity of sauce. 22/50.
Cheese: This may be the best poutine in Montreal for cheese, which leaves me hopeful that there are other cheese suppliers than whoever provides the useless crap that passes for curds in most Montreal casse-croutes. These chunks are fresh and have a great squeak. They are decently sized compared to other poutines in town (but Fromagerie Victoriaville still gives this place a run for its money). There’s a generous amount of cheese that is well spread out through the dish. The chunks retain their shape and squeak despite the onslaught of the boiling hot sauce. 19/20.
Verdict: I couldn’t even finish my small poutine. The sauce was too strong and the fries were a mush. This place is definitely not worth the trip.
Price:Good – $5.27 for the small, $6.19 for the large. Decent value considering the size and the quantity of cheese, but the sauce and the fries ruin it.
Opening Hours: SUN-WED, 8AM-8PM; THU 8AM-10PM; FRI-SAT, 8AM-11PM.
Location: 755 Boulevard Crémazie Est, Montreal. See their website.