The Unvegan

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‘Poutine’

A Touch of Canada at The Kroft

Canada goes down south.
Canada goes down south.

There can be no doubt that I am a man who loves his poutine. In a lot of senses I am a purist, but when a place gets the right kind of creative I can get behind it. The Kroft in Tustin, Orange County started lighting up my social media feed months ago with some beautiful food pics. It took a while to find an excuse to get down there, but when I did I couldn’t help but make a stop.

Pasadena Poutine at Spudds

So much good stuff.
So much good stuff.

Sometimes life beats the crap out of you. Other times, it gives you exactly what you want. So when what I wanted was some good new food in Pasadena, Spudds suddenly appeared and fulfilled the latter. You see, Spudds specializes in poutine and I am a man who loves his fries with gravy and cheese curds. Plus, as far as I know, Spudds is the only original (unlike Smoke’s Poutinerie in Hollywood, which as you probably know from reading up here has a number of outposts in Canada) poutine spot in all of the LA area. 

A Brewing at Les 3 Brasseurs

Some classic poutine.
Some classic poutine.

In need of some food to soak up the booze of the night before, we found ourselves at Les 3 Brasseurs in downtown Montreal. Of course, in English this translates to The 3 Brewers, so it seemed like a good place to get our fill before leaving the lovely city of Montreal. Because it seemed necessary, we started with a couple orders of poutine for the table – including one non-traditional that had pulled pork and bacon.

Perfect Poutine at La Belle Province

Nom nom nom.
Nom nom nom.

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.

Kinda Canadian at Rohrbach Brewing Company

Sample me!
Sample me!

What would you do if you had a few drinks and found yourself face-to-face with a menu item filled with steak and poutine for only $19.99? If you’re anything like me, you order the crap out of it. This lovely scenario is exactly what happened when I found myself at Rohrbach Brewing Company in the Gates neighborhood of Rochester. Of course, I had already enjoyed some of their beers, including their delectable Scotch Ale.

Layering Up at Poutini’s

So curdy.
So curdy.

No trip to Canada is complete without at least one stop for poutine. Yes, even outside of the French side of Canada. The internet told me that Poutini’s in West Queen Street West had some of the best in town and I was eager to see if they could live up to the lofty expectations. Like other poutineriess, it had a few different options, but I was most intrigued by their Layered Poutine. This included an extra layer of cheese in the middle, and as much as I like bacon and other such things, this seemed best.

Strangely Canadian at New York Fries

So braised up.
So braised up.

New York is known for many things. One of these things is not fries, especially the poutine variety of fries that is much more closely associated with Canada. So while driving through Ontario, Canada between Detroit and Buffalo, I was surprised to find a chain called New York Fries slinging poutine. Despite my reservations, I decided to give the place a chance instead of grabbing poutine at Wendy’s instead.

Street Eats at Station Street (CLOSED)

Mine are the brown ones.
Mine are the brown ones.

In the year 1915, World War I was in full swing, women still couldn’t vote in our fine country and Thyphoid Mary was doing her thing. Oh and Station Street opened in Pittsburgh. But considering the place is run by local celeb chef Kevin Sousa, it’s safe to assume the place has changed. In fact, it even seems to have changed recently, adding street food like tacos and bibimbap (both of which probably didn’t exist in the Pittsburgh lexicon in 1915) to its list already extensive list of hot dogs.

In Park Bruges

The eggs are just staring at me.
The eggs are just staring at me.

It seems like oh so long ago that I paid a visit to Point Brugge, a nice little Belgian spot in my neighborhood. At the time, I was perfectly aware that the place had a sister restaurant called Park Bruges (so tricky with those mixed up spellings) in Highland Park, but saw no reason to drive to a place so similar to one in walking distance. But, when attempting to grab brunch at the former on Saturday, we were informed that the two restaurants split up their brunch days and only Park Bruges would be serving brunch that day. So, like any brunch seekers, we packed into the car and made our way to the park side of Belgium.

Seeking Franktuary

Like poutine, but not quite.
Like poutine, but not quite.

In an afternoon filled with wandering around Lawrenceville for food and drink, a group of us finally found ourselves at Franktuary. With a church-esque theme, Franktuary fits right in to Pittsburgh, which seems to have more churches per capita than Vatican City. And it’s not just a little hot dog joint. Franktuary is a full-on restaurant specializing in hot dogs, but with a lot else to offer.