Who here likes fries, raise your hand? And how about some brown gravy, raise it up high! So what would you expect would happen when you combine the two?! We’re talking about pure deliciousness here and by gum, they call it poutine! Brought to you by the people north of our border, this Canadian treat (Quebecois, to be exact) has been landing on menus all throughout the Triangle! And I’ll confess to loving this meaty treat and I’ve been searching around the Triangle to find the most delicious version of poutine around.
Out in North Hills you’ll find the 41Hundred located in the Renaissance Hotel. Part bar, part lounge and part restaurant, the 41Hundred offers an array of small plates, sandwiches and appetizers at very reasonable prices. But what caught my eye (and stomach) here at the 41Hundred is its oxtail poutine, whoa! While I first tried this dish for a media event, I came back for a second go-around and it was still great! Thin skin-on fries covered in a deep brown, oxtail-laden gravy with pieces of white cheddar?! Sign me up, please. If you haven’t tried oxtail before, you’ll be blown away by its deep meaty flavor and luscious richness when slowly braised. And it works perfectly for this poutine, don’t miss out! I just wish that I didn’t have to walk by the 41Hundred every time I leave my gym, way too much temptation.
Further west you’ll find the very under-rated Bottledog Bites & Brews in Cary! Why’s that? It’s a humble little bottle shop on the side of a plaza so unless you’re looking for it, it’s very unlikely you would stumble in on the place. But here’s where things get better. While Bottledog offers up some stellar craft beers, it also has some of the best poutines around along with delicious flatbreads, hot dogs and beaver tails. They’ve got 5 or so poutines on the menu ranging from your basic fries, gravy and curds along with some spin-off options that include Montreal smoked meat (pastrami-like) and even hot Nashville chicken. But whatever version you’ll choose, you’ll love the rich gravy over tender potato. They even offer poutine as a extra cost side for their sandwiches. Give me a fork and I’ll jump right into this platter!
Brisket poutine at Doherty’s Irish Pub in Cary – $9
This Irish pub in Cary is as good a restaurant as is a bar so I had high hopes for their brisket poutine! Guiness braised brisket with white cheddar and brown gravy makes for a classic treat! A good portion size to be shared as an appetizer!
Poutine at the Jack Tar and Colonel’s Daughter – $10
Well we’ve covered poutine in Raleigh and Cary, but what about Durham? Recently I tried the poutine at the new Jack Tar and the Colonel’s Daughter in the Bull City. This nouveau-diner is doing quite a few classics that have been twisted up in gourmet fashion but their poutine stays pretty true to form. Thin, skin-on, nicely browned fries covered in a light gravy and yellow cheese curds, yum! While this version is pretty solid, I would have like a more hot gravy to cover and melt the cheesy bits, more effectively. And a bit more depth and savory to the gravy would have also been nice. But still a very tasty starter at the Jack Tar and Colonel’s Daughter for a reasonable price.
Masala Poutine at Parts and Labor in Durham – $8
Inside of the Motorco music venue you’ll find Parts and Labor, the casual eatery offering food truck-like small plates along with great beer. Parts and Labor has a couple of poutines on the menu including this spicy, masala poutine! Covered in think melty cheese and this thick red sauce, the masala poutine spins the classic dish up a bit without straying too far. Very tasty!
Fried oyster poutine at Locals Oyster Bar in Raleigh – $8
A spin on the classic poutine, Locals Oyster bar takes thin, skin-on fries and tops them with oyster gravy, corn-meal fried oysters and hot sauce! Located in the new Transfer Co. Food Hall, Locals Oyster Bar offers up a variety of seafood in a casual setting.
So if you’re dying for some fries and gravy, what are you waiting for? Time to visit one of these great restaurants for a big ol plate of poutine. There’s a handful of other places I need to check out for this list (Milltown, Townhall Burgers) so I’ll be adding to it! Which I am certainly looking forward to because who can resist potatoes and gravy?!