Tag Archives: Poutine

Chez Tousignant

24 Jan

In Quebec, the casse-croute is a tradition. That little neighbourhood joint where you get a nice simple breakfast, a greasy lunch, dinner or even just a coffee and a doughnut. Nowadays for most of us, we think of casse-croutes as those greasy spots by the highway or the Belle Province you go to grab a bit after a late night outing. Not exactly the highest of quality.

As an unabashed fan of Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita – and their drive to make everything homemade within their restaurants GEMA and Impasto – All the “test” pictures of burgers, bread, hot dogs and doughnuts that Michele has been posting on Instagram for the past year or so have been killing me. When would we be getting this ideal old school casse-croute? Finally, just prior to the holidays, it finally arrived: Chez Tousignant run by Impasto’s previous chef de cuisine (and originator of the idea) Yann Turcotte. I was away for 2 weeks but as soon as I came back, it was clear that I needed to finally satisfy the cravings from all those pictures.

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Located on Drolet near the Jean Talon market, Chez Tousignant has a great old school diner look – the neon sign in front, the ceramic tiled floor, the metal-topped tables and counters, the stools. Everything even down to the menu signs fits the old style.

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Foodwise, this is a casse-croute through and through. On my first visit, I went classic – a Michigan hot dog and some fries. The fries were great – as you need at a diner – but right now, we NEED to focus on that hot dog. Homemade all-beef dog. Homemade potato bun. Topped with homemade meat sauce and cheese curds. Good lord this thing was amazing. Officially the best hot dog I have ever had and it’s not even close. The all-natural beef frank is such a change from the usual industrial variety. Cooked on the griddle, it had a nice crunch to it while still having a nice tender texture inside. And that bun….. oh that bun. Man, they nailed it. When you add the buttered grilling on the griddle, that dense yet soft bun gets a nice rich crunch to it. Rare is the time where one hot dog would fill me up but this one hit the spot. When you’re doing hot dogs with ingredients with this quality, that’s what you get apparently.

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The second time around, I went for some other classic casse-croute staples – cheeseburger and poutine. The cheeseburger – served with special sauce, lettuce, onion as well as tomato and pickle if you wish – was another hit for me. The potato bun was once again spectacular – god I need to learn to make these – with that same buttery goodness off the griddle. The meat was meaty with a nice crust, the cheese was nicely melted on-top and the sauce added a nice little creaminess. A classic yet spectacular burger.

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The poutine was a beauty as well. First off, curds at the bottom. Not just on-top. Big hit with me. A very nice touch. Anyway, we’ve got here a generous portion of fries with plenty of curds and some amazing gravy. This wasn’t some off the shelf St-Hubert gravy mix. So dark and rich, the gravy ties the whole thing together. It’s amazing how given all the ways that people feel the need to dress up a poutine now if you just use the best elements, the classic one is simply the best.

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On top of all this goodness, there is even more! Chez Tousignant also does a pie of the day and some doughnuts for dessert. I went with a doughnut because I couldn’t resist the beautiful stack of doughnuts on-top of the counter. An old-fashion cake doughnut with a vanilla bean glaze. The doughnut itself was dense but nicely chewy – sweet with a touch of cinnamon. The glaze though was the impressive part to me. The vanilla bean came through nicely and the glaze was firm – no stickiness whatsoever – but cracked nicely once you bite into it.

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Lastly, I went with a milkshake because of course I did. Chez Tousignant does chocolate or vanilla. I tried one of each on my two visits. Rich and smooth in both cases with nice deep flavour. You actually got chocolate or vanilla flavour – not just milk with a hint of either one.

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Chez Tousignant was a blast in the past in the best way possible. A true casse-croute where care is taken to make everything homemade because that is how you provide the best to your clients. All through the process of testing, chef Forgione labeled all his pictures with #ParceQueVousLeMeritez – that’s the essence of what Chef Turcotte and the Chez Tousignant team are about – it may be lots of work but as a client, you cannot help but appreciate the craftsmanship on display.

Cheers!

Chez Tousignant
6956 Drolet
438 386 6368

Chez Tousignant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Poutine Week MTL 2013 Recap

10 Feb

As I am writing this, we are 40 minutes away from the end of the first ever Poutine Week MTL. The brain child of Na’eem Adam from the Mechant Mangeur and his team at Food Week Montreal Inc., this week long event is a continuation of the 1st ever Burger Week he organized this past fall. 30 restaurants stepped up and provided us with many wonderful plays on poutine to try out. My work schedule and location limited my opportunities but I managed to check out 4 different places over the course of the week.

First up, I felt it was my civic duty to visit Blackstrap BBQ to vote on my personal favorite poutine in the city even prior to this week. I have already sung the praises of this poutine before so I will keep this short. Just perfect combination of great fries, solid gravy and cheese with the added smokiness of the burnt ends. I could literally eat this poutine weekly…. Which is why I try to avoid visiting Verdun too often. If you haven’t visited Blackstrap BBQ yet, there are numerous reasons to check them out but this poutine ranks as one of the major ones.

Blackstrap BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Next stop was Burger Bar Crescent for their jack Daniels BBQ pulled pork poutine. This was a solid entry overall. The pulled pork was quite good with a nice sweetness in the sauce. The fries were very nice and the cheese had the right level of squeakiness. However, the gravy was pretty flat to me and my friends. It left us with a poutine that was good but not great.

Burger Bar Crescent on Urbanspoon

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Our third spot was on Super Bowl Sunday for a little brunch at Fabergé in Mile End. I had never heard of their breakfast poutine before but I most certainly do now. A creative play on a poutine with roasted potatoes, caramelized onions and peppers, cheese curds, hollandaise sauce, a egg and your choice of ham, sausage and/or bacon. All the elements mix together perfectly to create almost a breakfast hash. The key things to me were the sweetness of the caramelized onions and peppers as well as the relative lightness of the hollandaise sauce which did not overpower everything else. This was a monster of a meal – one that really set the tone for the Super Bowl Sunday feist that followed many hours later.

Fabergé on Urbanspoon

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The final poutine was the Italian Sausage poutine over at BEVO pizzeria. In full disclosure, I won 2 free poutines from them through a contest on twitter so I invited some friends and used those poutines as starters in a group meal. Containing mild cheddar, confit onions, peppers and obviously an Italian sausage, this was a very good poutine. The onions were particularly enjoyable.

BEVO Bar + Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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Poutine Week was a wonderful week in all areas except for the waistline. Congrats to the whole team who sets this up and to all the restaurants who let their creativity fly. I am certainly looking forward to next year and I hope those of you who missed out can join in the fun next time around!

Cheers!

Some 2012 Reflections… and Poutineville

15 Jan

The new year is a opportunity to reflect, to look back on the past year and determine what new years’ resolutions you want to make. Within the perspective of this blog and what it covers, 2012 was a great year in that I succeeded in starting up this blog for the umpteenth time and ACTUALLY sticking with it with some regularity. I channeled my love of food and used that to discover plenty of wonderful restaurants in Montreal in the past year (many of which I had long been anticipating) which providing a nice creative outlet from a writing point of view.

Is my writing style that great? Well… No. Not yet anyway. I don’t have the smoothest nor the most detailed and structured style. Part of that is my lack of writing practice (outside of sterile physical therapy documentation) but my hope is that through further writing over the coming year, I succeed in improving those elements and create my better overall reading experience for you the readers. I am also quite thankful that there are actually some people reading these. I am doing this mostly as a fun outlet and a good excuse to try out some good food on a semi-regular basis. If through that, people discover nice places to bring friends, family or loved ones, then wonderful. And if you’re not sure, just feel free to ask me for recommendations! I like a challenge. Anyway, here to 2013 – and to hopefully another great year in Montreal food!

And with, a quick note on my first MTL outing of 2013. Through the “benefit” of a weekend professional course, I found within 3 blocks of Poutineville for a quick lunch. I had been there once before about a year before within the same context. Saint-Edouard is not a neighborhood I have much reason to visit otherwise, although I have a few places to check out nearby eventually. Anyway, back to the restaurant. I am a big poutine fan. It is very hard to me to resist the pull of a good poutine if the chance presents itself. My go-to in Montreal has been La Banquise – 2am poutine never tasted so good. Poutineville is a similar premise. You can order one of their speciality poutines or you can build your own to your tastes. This is the way to do it.

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For this particular visit, I went for a meat heavy poutine because well…. vegetables have no business in a poutine in my opinion. Anyway, I went with pogo, pulled pork and Italian sausage with cheese curds, the house gravy and the crushed potatoes (the house speciality). Behold this behemoth..

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Everything worked perfectly well here. The crushed potatoes creates a nice texture difference, the cheese curds were perfect and plentiful – always a key factor in a good poutine. The house gravy had the right consistency – not too liquid and not too thick. A but of saltiness to balance everything off nicely. The pulled pork and Italian sausage weren’t very special on their own but within the mix with the pogo and the base poutine, it created a very nice, filling poutine. A great lunch that was most certainly needed.

Personally, I still prefer La Banquise but if you are looking for a good poutine, Poutineville is a great option for you to consider. It may not have the cache of La Banquise but it most certainly has a poutine to match up favorably. Quebec is the land of the poutine. We most certainly have restaurants which celebrate it properly.

Cheers!

Poutineville
1348 Beaubien Est.
514 544 8800

Poutineville on Urbanspoon

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