Monday, June 10, 2013

Cheap Comfort Food at Mean Poutine

Mean Poutine on Urbanspoon It's a take-out window! There is a counter on the left. For seating, you could sit on the nearby steps or the single bench up the block.

The prices (as of the evening of Friday, June 7th) are 50 cents more than what's on the website. The cheese curds are out of a bag. Not sure how that would match up with your definition of "fresh". My Quebecois friend frowned that they weren't white, but yellowish.

Although each poutine has a slightly different mix of ingredients on top of the basic $6.50 poutine, most of the time it doesn't really matter because the gravy smothers all the other tastes, unless you isolated them first (e.g., ate a meatball or a chunk of chicken instead of stirring your poutine together). Unless you are paying close attention to what you are eating, your order will probably taste like fries in gravy, plus a $2 or $3 side of whatever else you ordered. Also, the menu doesn't say, but they all come with a sprinkling of green onion.

The fries are really decent -- beer battered to be nice and crispy, especially as they are deep fried to order. However, this crispiness won't last long because of the generous amount of gravy. Eat your poutine right away for best results.

We tried the Classic Poutine, Fried Chicken, Mean Supreme, and Mama's Mean Meatball. Sadly, they didn't have any yam fries to make the Candied Yam Poutine.

Fried Chicken ($8.50) - beer battered fries, brown and white gravy, fresh cheese curds, buffalo chicken chunks
  • The chicken here was quite good as it was fried to order and nicely crispy on the outside, locking the moistness inside. It was well prepared but otherwise, chicken is chicken and nothing "wow" to write home about.
Mean Supreme ($9.50) - beer battered fries, brown gravy, fresh cheese curds, angus certified roast beef, double smoked bacon, grilled onions and peppers, sauteed mushrooms (pictures: before stirring, after stirring)
  • The beef looked like pulled pork, and not a lot of it. However, once the poutine is all stirred together into a ugly puddle, you get a little bit of beefy flavour with each bite -- if you can pick out the flavour from the gravy.
Mama's Mean Meatball ($8.50) - beer battered fries, brown gravy, fresh cheese curds, Italian meatballs, sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions (picture)
  • It didn't feel like there were a lot of meatballs, but for just $2 more than a regular poutine, you can't really expect too much here. I didn't recall the meatballs to be particularly flavourful. I recommend passing on this. The Mean Supreme had more flavour and the Fried Chicken had more pieces. Both would have been a better choice.
Whatever you want to say about the price, each box is a fairly filling meal. Dinner under $10 and no need to tip. It's not fancy but it's tasty comfort food for a cheap price. Hard to go wrong here, especially when a single burger with token side can be $12-$16 or more downtown.

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