Monday, June 9, 2014

Cantine le Relais 202 Poutine

Some dishes don't need all the bells and whistles; simple is best. Simple and found on the road side? Even better. You know how much we love poutine, especially Canadian poutine. So on a recent wedding trip to Plattsburgh we made a 20 minute detour to the Canadian countryside for a snack at a little cantine in Lacolle, just a few miles across the border. When asked by border patrol what we were doing in Canada, we got a little chuckle from the guard when we said it's because we craved good poutine. We weren't kidding!

We've had numerous American poutines--from The Montreal Poutine Truck out of Saratoga; Creo; City Beer Hall; Shirley's; Jonesville Cafe; to Capital City Gastropub--but none have truly lived up to its Canadian counterparts. We've even been to La Banquise in Montreal but there's just something about this particular roadside shack. For the longest time we didn't even know what it was called until I Google-mapped it. It's called Cantine le Relais 202. What a name right? But don't judge a book by its cover. La Cantine serves Canadian comfort food at its best and that translates to poutine with all the right elements.  These are fresh, crispy hand-cut fries fried to order and smothered with the perfect balance of salty, hot gravy to squeaky cheese curds that are barely melted. So what if the gravy tastes right from a powdered mix. To be able to share this classic dish from my childhood with my guy in the middle of nowhere was a special moment. The greasy goodness also helped with a slight hangover from a certain crazy, late-night bachelorette party the night before.

Our mini-trip was even sweeter when we stopped by the ice cream shop next door. They had a poutine ice cream sundaes! So the real thing is nothing like the ad but it's a pretty genius idea: vanilla soft-serve with rice crispy cubes, chocolate wafers, marshmallows, peanuts, and a caramel swirl. Needless to say, our double dose of Canadian poutine was the best wedding detour ever.


  1. Ever go to Leblanc Patates in Huntington, QC? My first & best experience with poutine.

    1. thanks for the tip! we'll have to check it out on our next trip north.