La Poutinerie is a relatively new place in Saint Sauveur, the most run-down part of Quebec City. It is located in the former premises of Quebec Hot Dog, a legendary purveyor of trashy food that featured WWF wrestler Mad Dog Vachon in their 1980s ads.
The decor hasn’t changed since 1989. There are harsh fluorescent lights, marbled turquoise laminate tables, and pastel pink walls. This is probably the least appealing casse croute in town.
Surprisingly, there’s also some art. I’ll let you judge whether it adds to the decor.
We were assaulted with the constant noise of death metal throughout our meal, the music of choice in “La Capitale du Métal.” The restaurant was tuned in to Quebec City’s favourite station, the right-wing populist Radio X. The onsite reading material was also edifying.
The chef was air-drumming away next to his frier, most likely high on coke. The cashier did not share his enthusiasm, her supply of uppers having probably run out. We asked her questions about the sauce. Her eyes drooped, and she pointed to the chef: “Ask him,” she grunted. The chef instantly leaped away from his frier, bounced off the walls, and launched into an incoherent spiel about his different sauces: “I also have something called the 9-1-1 sauce, but it’s not on the menu,” he explained, chuckling furiously, “The first time I served it turned out to be a health disaster, but I’ve since adjusted the spice levels.”
When our meals arrived, we realized that he had gotten two of our orders wrong. When one of us pointed this out to the cranky cashier, she scowled defensively: “C’est pas moi qui les a montées!” (“I did not perform this montage!”). The chef executed a new montage of said poutines, which turned out to be a suitable assemblage of the requested constituent parts.
The Poutinerie prides itself on serving 100 different kinds of poutine. It has a wide array of sauces, but most seemed to be variations on tomato-based BBQ sauce. My choice was simple: a classic poutine – After all, you need to get the basics right.
Fries: The fries were pleasantly crispy, though a little more crisp wouldn’t hurt. They lack a bit of seasoning and taste. 23/30.
Gravy: The temperature and texture of the brown sauce are OK, but it is tasteless. The other alternatives have more taste, but are a little too tomato-heavy. 25/50.
Cheese: The cheese is a little too cold and also doesn’t taste like much. It squeaks, but just barely. The chunks are tiny – “it looks like they’ve gone through the pack and cut the chunks with a nail clipper,” commented one of my friends. Quantities are generous, with a bed of cheese at the bottom of the poutine. 14/20.
Verdict: Tasteless poutine in a grim atmosphere.
Price:$11.00 for a poutine and a cheeseburger strikes me as a bit pricey, especially considering the atmosphere
Opening Hours: MON-SUN 11:00AM-9:00PM
Location: 292, rue Marie-De-L’incarnation, Québec, Québec.