Squeaky cheese curds. Thick, salty gravy. Fresh, crispy fries. It's so magical when all these elements come together in harmony. During a recent trip up north, we found the mecca of all poutines at La Banquise in Montreal. We've always stuck to basic poutine at La Belle Province, a run-of-the-mill chain by my folks' place, but J and I decided to venture out on our own this time. After repeatedly seeing La Banquise featured on Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, it was time to stop salivating and experience this much hyped-about poutinerie.
We were starving from a not-so-great wedding buffet and really needed a late night snack to cure some hangry grumps. Lucky for us La Banquise is open 24hrs a day. Now that's dedication to poutine. You know the food will be good when you have to wait in a long line. We opted for the takeout line for a shorter wait. La Banquise takes its poutine very seriously. Here you'll find 30 different kinds of poutine. You read that right. The Canadian delicacy ranges from a classic version to a Montreal favorite with smoked meat and even takes on Mexican flavors with guacamole and tomatoes. For us gluttons, "La Trois Viandes" was calling our names.
Meet a mess of deliciousness in all its meaty glory. It's not pretty but man did it hit the spot. The ground beef had some crispy bits mixed in with bacon and the hot dogs were brilliantly cut to match the size of the french fries so every forkful had a bit of everything. This poutine had everything we wanted and more. The cheese curds squeaked so much it almost brought us to tears. We're always so disappointed whenever we come across a 518 poutine swimming in a thin gravy or melted curds. We've never gotten the whole trifecta with the exception of The Montreal Poutine Truck and Creo. The Canadians really have mastered the art of assembly. The gravy was just hot enough to coat the fries but not turn them into complete mush or melt the cheese. Even the fries tasted amazing, retaining some crisp despite the mound of toppings and gravy. How did we know it was the best poutine we ever had? The next day, we had it cold for breakfast and the flavors still held up. Looks like we'll be taking more road trips up north this summer.