I met a friend for poutine in what he claimed was the best spot in Ottawa. S & G Fries & Burgers is a small shack on a strip-mall boulevard in the outer burbs. Unfortunately, my friend only remembered when we got there that the place had no indoor seating. This had not been an issue the last time he’d been since it had been a nice summer day, and there are picnic tables outside on which to enjoy your poutine while looking at the traffic whizzing by. Those same tables are there year-round, but seem a less welcoming option in mid-February subzero temperatures. Today, they were surrounded by 4 foot snowbanks, but it was a relatively mild -5C and the tables themselves had been kindly shovelled off, so we decided to eat there anyway.
Fries: Tasty skin-on fries with just the right amount of salt. They were a little limp, but only a little. 23/30
Gravy: Decent gravy. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s tasty enough as-is. Not too hot, especially when you’re eating it at -5C degrees. 37/50
Cheese: This place uses St. Albert curds, a Franco-Ontarian brand supplying most of eastern Ontario that comes from the town of the same name. The chunks are bigger and squeakier than what you typically get in Montreal (even at -5C), but the curds are a bit too bland–not salty enough for my taste. Portions are decent but could be better. 17/20
Verdict: This is a perfectly good poutine, but is it the best in Ottawa? It’s certainly a more traditional option than the one at the Elgin Street Diner with its questionable dark purple sauce, but there was something I loved about that sauce that I just didn’t find here. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this poutine more if my taste buds hadn’t been frozen.
Price: Fairly decent for Ottawa at $7-something.
Location: S & G Fries & Burgers, 1845 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2A 1C9.