“You need to think about poutine like you think about women,” said one of my friends, musing about Restaurant l’Intuition. “Some women have big breasts, but they also have crooked teeth and a lardy ass. You might hone in on the breasts but you won’t want to go down on her. This poutine is like a woman with nice average-size breasts, a nice average-sized ass, and a nice face. You have to think of the whole package, and in this case the package works.”
“So it’s a girl-next-door kind of poutine,” I suggested.
“No,” he answered. “It’s more like a MILF from Desperate Housewives.”
Intrigued? I was.
I went out drinking with friends in Quebec City last weekend. 1AM rolled around and, next thing you know, we all start feeling hungry. “Let’s walk down the hill to Ashton’s,” suggests Olivier. I suggest going somewhere else, since I have already reviewed Ashton’s. Next thing you know, we’re driving down the hill and across the bridge to Limoilou, the city’s up-and-coming slowly-gentrifying urban neighbourhood, and Quebec City’s closest approximation to Montreal neighbourhoods of tree-lined streets, winding stairs and triplexes.
Pierrot is the only 24-hour restaurant in this part of town, and locals swear by its poutine. I’d eaten them several times before and had fond memories, but I’d probably been too drunk to spot what is in fact a dud. In a way I am happy that this fell below some of the poutines I’ve had in Montreal, as I was beginning to fear my objective punditry would eventually be misjudged as gros village poutine chauvinism. No, my friends, there are scientific criteria which I rigidly adhere to when analyzing the poutine in front of me. I am unswayed by any partisan allegiances to a hometown I have willingly moved away from.
My friends must have been more drunk than I was, as they left with nothing but praise for the meal they’d just had.