First of all you are never, ever, ever to eat what I am about to talk to you about. I accept no liability for the state of your arteries or size of your butt after this warning. This is NOT good for you.
Up in Canada and some of the colder Northern states, they have a food tradition that is made for long months of snow with a mere peep of summer sunshine every so often. They say this fatty diet is to keep insulation against the cold. I suspect it also can be a form of birth control to combat the months with nothing to do but snuggle together for warmth. Not only are you too sluggish from the heavy meals to work up the energy to look at the opposite sex, you are most likely not going to be all that excited when you do look.
But that’s just my opinion.
So we were up in Rochester, NY, and were taken out to the Tap & Mallet Pub. We had just done a loop around the Finger Lakes and tried out some of the wineries, so a break for beer was required. Beer on an empty stomach is not a good idea when you’re talking about pints of the good stuff that runs around 10-14% ABV. There are a few starchy and fatty things on the menu for just these occasions.
Low and behold, we discovered poutine, and our Southern-food-trained stomachs never quite recovered from that joyous occasion. Poutine is essentially french fries covered with cheese curds, and then drenched with gravy. The hot fries and warm gravy melt the fresh cheese curds, and it’s suddenly a delicious orgy in your mouth.
Yes, there’s a growing popularity for this dish that offers “haute” poutine which adds lobster, truffles, caviar, and more. And there’s the low versions you can now buy at fast food chains. I may be new to poutine, but I have an opinion, and neither of the above versions are true poutine. End of story.
The Tap & Mallet is an awesome pub, and if you’re ever in Rochester, you’ll have to go by for a beer or seven. Save room for food. They do elevated pub food, including some vegetarian/vegan options. The poutine had a rich mushroom gravy, and their fries were of the hand-cut from real potatoes variety.
Unfortunately we cannot visit Rochester every time we have a craving, so we’ve looked around for adequate alternatives here in Florida. Mock poutine. A favorite alternative is something we came up with at The Top (picture above). An order of The Top’s cheese fries, which are real potatoes covered in cream sauce and melted cheese, and a side order of their ultra-amazing shiitake gravy poured on top. No, it’s not really the same thing, but it is enough to dampen the cravings for poutine for now.
My word! I need to go work out now just from thinking about this for the last fifteen minutes. I am not kidding you about how yummy and fattening poutine is. So don’t ever eat any.
Thank you for the food:
Tap & Mallet Pub
381 Gregory St.