A long, long time ago I visited Montreal for my friends’ wedding and was introduced to real poutine for the first time. I say real, because the stuff they serve at Wendy’s in Ontario is…well…Wendy’s. My friends took me to La Belle Province and I suppose you never really forget your first love, because upon my return to Montreal it was all I wanted.
While La Belle Province sounds really fancy, I must assure you that it is not. The French language makes everything sound fancy, but La Belle Province is nothing more than a local, greasy fast food spot with locations around the city. That does not at all take away from the perfection that is their poutine. I got mine straight up, because my years of eating the stuff I have found it very hard to beat the simple combination of fries, cheese curds and gravy.
What I rediscovered was a thing of beauty. The fries seemed to be perfectly built to handle the cheese and gravy, while the curds retained their squeakiness even while melting in the gravy. The gravy itself played a perfect role, adding moisture and meaty flavor to the mix without being overly salty. It was all made even better because of the giant plate the poutine was served on, giving me the ability to eat the perfect balance in every bite.
La Belle Province is the right way to eat poutine. You can take your fancy stuff and strange toppings and I’m sure they’ll taste good. But you’ll never know the truth without La Belle Province.