When in Canada, Eat Poutine {Potato Heads}

by Cate on November 6, 2017

Warm gravy, melted gooey cheese, crispy fries … let’s dig into some traditional Canadian food and have poutine!

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Once of the (many) perks of participating in National Blog Posting Month, where bloggers post daily for a full month, is that I can tackle many of the topics that I’ve had on a running list on my phone for the past … um … few years. The good news is, I have no shortage of topics; the bad news is, sometimes I get a little more behind than I’d like.

So let’s go back to Spring Break this year, when we visited Canada!

When it comes to visiting anyplace new, I always make a point to seek out the “must eat” food items of that area, to really get a taste, no pun intended, on what it’s like to be a local. And when I started searching the food items that were not to be missed in Canada, poutine kept coming up.

And with good reason.

Poutine is a popular French-Canadian dish that is comprised of french fries, hot brown gravy, and melty, gooey, cheese curds. I mean, really, what’s not to love? The dish has been around since the 1950s, and legend has it that besides being a great hangover cure dish the day after a bender, it was a popular meal amongst truck drivers because it’s hearty and not as greasy as you’d expect.

But if you’ve been a visitor to my site for any length of time (or especially if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat), you know I was in as soon as I heard cheese.

Because #cheeseismyhappyplace.

Poutine’s popularity, of course, traveled beyond the Canadian borders, and if you’re in the US, particularly in the New Jersey area, an adaptation of poutine is more commonly known as disco fries. The biggest difference between the two dishes is that disco fries features melted mozzarella, as opposed to the original cheese curds of the Canadian version.

Now that we’ve covered the what, onto the where.

Just as I’ve said before, if you want to know where to find the best local eats, ASK A LOCAL.

And so when we were in the middle of a downtown grocery store, I asked a store clerk where to go for the best poutine. Not where she sends tourists, but where SHE would go.

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Which is exactly how we found ourselves a few miles away, hunting for the bright orange Potato Heads food truck in a grocery store parking lot.

For a food truck, the menu is pretty extensive, but when it comes to trying new local things, I’m a bit of a purist, and went with the classic order of poutine. It was pouring rain while we were there, so we waited in our car until the orders were ready, about fifteen minutes.

It might have been the fact that we had a very small breakfast and it was 2 pm and we hadn’t had lunch yet, but my kids actually ate the poutine. Since both of them are pretty ambivalent when it comes to french fries and cheese (either or), the fact that they dug in surprised me … and says a lot about how good the poutine was.

The rich gravy quickly melted the squeaky cheese curds, and the fries still managed to retain a mostly crispy exterior. It was a big ‘ol sloppy mess, but it was a big ‘ol sloppy delicious mess, and totally what I wanted for our Canadian trip, and our first poutine experience.

So if you find yourself wanting a delicious rendition of poutine, the way locals enjoy it, hunt down the Potato Heads food truck on Lundy Lane in Niagara Falls, and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Hungry for more?
For more on poutine’s rich history, check out this Wikipedia entry for everything you’ve wanted to know, and then some.
This was our visit to the nearby Bird Kingdom.
A brief recap on our first trip to Canada is here.

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