The lacklustre city of Saint-Jerome (pop. 70,000) sits 45 minutes north of Montreal. The city developed around a shoe factory and has arguably been absorbed into Montreal’s suburban sprawl in the last few decades, so it feels like a charmless post-industrial town surrounded by power centres. Why the hell would you stop here? To be fair, there’s a charming central plaza with a massive cathedral and a few small cultural institutions
And a strange Catholic/Communist sculpture in the middle of the square.
But that’s not the real reason for stopping. The real reason is Chez Johnny, an old-school shack-à-patates that has been drawing in customers from all over the northern burbs for decades.
Fries: Tasty and crispy on their own, but they soon get limp due to the hot gravy. 24/30
Gravy: Too hot. Tasty, but somewhat generic. 36/50
Cheese: Chunks too small, not squeaky fresh, but decent quantity. 14/20
Verdict: A dependable poutine, but not exceptional. Good at first, but mushy at the bottom.
Price: Good price, and not too big, allowing you to eat it as a side dish.
Location: Chez Johnny (AKA Restaurant Johnny), 603 Rue St-Georges, Saint Jerome, Quebec J7Z 5B7