I recently received an invitation to La Boulette from my friend Francisco Toro (New York Times columnist, anti-Chavez blogger and South Sudan development worker). He’s usually even snottier than I am about food, yet claimed they had the best poutine he’d ever come across. My interest was piqued.
The place was packed on a Tuesday night. Apparently it’s always packed. Despite the confusing mess of fonts on the sign and awning, the atmosphere inside is pleasant enough: a mix of contemporary French bistro with some hipster touches thrown in (i.e. recycled wood interior siding).
You can order poutine on its own or as a small side to your burger. Given the fact that this place seems to be more about burgers than poutine, I went with the combo plate. The burger was excellent, but how was the poutine?
Fries: Slightly earthy home-cut fries with lots of skin. Well-seasoned and cooked in flavourful oil. The fries are a bit floppy, they could be crispier. 22/30
Gravy: Sweet, peppery and rich. Generally an excellent gravy, tasty but not overpowering, though there is a slightly regrettable undertone of BBQ sauce. Also, my bowl had too much gravy and things got a bit soupy towards the end, though my dining companions had a more reasonable quantity. They claimed my soupy bowl was not representative of what they usually got. 40/50
Cheese: Nice large chunks, but not enough to go around. They are mostly fresh but could use more squeak. 14/20
Verdict: A decent poutine – not incredible, but certainly better than most in Montreal.
Price: Moderate to expensive. Not bad value if you order a small bowl with a burger. I am told the regular-sized poutine at $8 is decently sized.
Location: La Boulette, 2223, rue Beaubien Est, a 20-minute walk from Beaubien Metro or a 14-minute walk from d’Iberville.