16 November 2017

Gourmet Frites

In today’s culinary adventure we sit down at The Daily Poutine in Disney Springs and have way more than our daily allowance of potatoes and poutine. Also, after all the potatoes, gravy, and other toppings, we’re going to be in need of a serious, Thanksgiving-type nap. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we’re going to make our way through the four types of poutine offered at The Daily Poutine and then, to wrap up, we’ll tell you which ones are worth your time and which ones you don’t need to worry about trying as much. Of course, if you’re a completist like me, you’ll probably want to try them all anyway.

Let’s start with the Classic version of the dish, which has French fries, beef poutine gravy, and white cheddar cheese curds. While poutine can basically entail any number of topping combinations, this is the original and most traditional form of the dish, which is why it’s called Classic on the menu. The fries are thick cut, as they are with all of the varieties. The brown gravy is your typical brown gravy that you’d have at a family meal, if you’re not making it from scratch, with a dash of black pepper to spice it up just a bit. The cheese curds are almost squeaky when you bite into them, but there are also melty bits from the hot fries and gravy. The size of the cheese curds might be a bit startling to some, but they’re par for the poutine course. Overall, this is a wonderful quick service representation of poutine and a great way to start our tour.

Next up, we’ll go with a Latin flair, which includes fried yucca, black beans, pulled pork, and queso fresco, along with the French fries. This is definitely the heartiest of the varieties and is easily a meal unto itself. The pulled pork is tender, but doesn’t have a flavor that overpowers the dish. The liquid queso is something that is better known to most guests than the cheese curds of the traditional poutine, but it is only drizzled across the top so there isn’t much of it to work with. The fried yucca and black beans both have an earthiness to their textures that is nice. However, having both fried potatoes and yucca may play havoc with your taste buds not knowing what bite is coming next. While each version of poutine is a hefty portion size, because of the components of the Latin variation it is definitely the one that will fill you up quickest.

Moving on to the Italian version of the dish, these fries are combined with mozzarella and Bolognese sauce. Think of it like a traditional Italian pasta dish, but instead of noodles, you’re given potatoes. The mozzarella is worked in throughout the dish, and the Bolognese is a bit thin, but you get that tastes and textures of tomato and cheese that I believe they were going for here. If I’m being honest, this is the one poutine that I wasn’t thrilled to go back to for second bite. I’m all for adventurous eating, but this was just a bit beyond my palate’s liking.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the French poutine and its fries topped with mushroom cream sauce and gruyere cheese. Between the gruyere and the cream sauce, this is definitely the richest of the varieties. The mushrooms have that squeaky bite to them, similar to the cheese curds in the traditional version, and are typically a love them or leave them proposition for a lot of diners. The gruyere has a nuttiness to it, which pairs well between the mushrooms and the potatoes. The cream sauce itself serves as part gravy, part cheese type component, and I found myself scooping out whatever was left of it with my last few fries.

Let’s compare and contrast, shall we? Starting at the bottom, I think it’s fairly clear I was not as happy with the Italian Poutine as I had hoped to be. I don’t know if it is the wrong combination or if it just doesn’t work, but it didn’t work for me. In third place is the Latin Poutine. While this may be the most filling, it may have one too many components and could have used a bit more queso. In second position, we’ll go with the French Poutine, but this one is close to the top. Everything about this version hits me in my happy, comfort food zone. This means that the Classic Poutine still reigns supreme at the top. I’m not choosing it as the number one option because it’s the traditional form, or because it is what I think of when I think of poutine. I just happened to really like fried potatoes with brown gravy and delicious chunks of cheese.

So, there you have it! Have you been to The Daily Poutine? It may not be the best poutine I’ve ever had, or even the best poutine I’ve had on property (I’m looking at you Territory Lounge. Get your act together and put that delicious poutine back on the menu!), but it’s definitely a place I’ll revisit. When you head over to The Daily Poutine, let us know which version is you favorite!

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