This seasonal “shack à patates” an hour east of Montreal lies off the highway to Quebec City in backwoods Saint-Liboire. I’ve taken the Saint-Liboire exit many times over the years, since that’s where you can find the cheapest gasoline between Montreal and Quebec. But it’s worth driving beyond the gas station to the town itself. After some 5km through cornfields, you will arrive at an undiscovered gem: Cantine Dave & Dan.
The Knights of Columbus hall next door proudly advertise their next bingo game.
And signs like these remind you that you’re no longer in the city.
And then there’s this, possibly the best classic poutine in the world:
Fries: These are quite good, with a nice crisp. Moreover, they mostly stand up to the gravy and don’t turn to mush. 26/30
Gravy: The sauce is a mix of your standard canned brown sauce with a slight BBQ tinge. There are also some dried herbs thrown in. It works surprisingly well for something with an artificial base, but is a bit salty and musky. No substitute for real gravy, but still quite good. 43/50
Cheese: The cheese is what makes this poutine great. It is squeaky day-fresh cheese made in Saint-Guillaume, some 35km away. The chunks are properly-sized and there’s more than enough to go around. When you order poutine, you’re usually left with more fries than cheese. This is the first time I had eaten all the fries and was still left with a massive quantity of cheese. Two thumbs up! 21/20
Verdict: Despite the fact that I prefer the creamy flavourful gravy at Chez Ashton, the sheer abundance of cheese makes this the best poutine I’ve come across so far.
Price: $9.50 for the poutine pictured here. Smaller formats also available.
Location: Cantine Dave et Dan, 1655 Rang Saint-Édouard, Saint-Liboire, QC J0H 1R0