Poutine, c’est bon!

In Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, you hear both English and French around you. I found it kind of odd when I first moved there, because both languages would whip by as I walked down the street. I knew that I was really comfortable there when I didn’t notice it.

Ottawa, being mostly anglo-Canadian and completely Ontarian, is pretty uptight when it comes to things like liquor laws and licensing. However, Gatineau-Hull is just across the Ottawa River, so in the span of a five-minute drive you’re in another province. La belle province, Quebec. A province where you can buy liquor at the corner store, at later hours, at a younger age (18, rather than 19).

The depanneur, or the dep, is a Quebecois marvel. It’s part corner store, part pharmacy, and part liquor store.

Back to Ottawa. I lived within stumbling distance of Bank Street, where the triple threat of Barrymore’s, the Aloha Room and Babylon beckoned most nights. Let’s just say that I didn’t protest too much, but that my liver did.

My saving grace was the corner store on the corner of Bank and McLaren. My roommates and I took to calling it the dep, and what a dep it was. You could get aspirin, Toblerone and Gatorade. There was a genius little takeout counter where you could get, depending on the night, samosas or spring rolls. 

And poutine. This teeny, tiny, Vietnamese-run depanneur had the best poutine in uptight, anglo Ottawa. The fries were crispy, the gravy beefy, the cheese stringy. That poutine, and that depanneur, were my saving grace most nights.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2009, TravelTags, , , , 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Poutine, c’est bon!”

  1. But that’s not true poutine! I’m sure it was tasty, very tasty, but the original poutine was made with *chicken* gravy, not beef so the gravy should be very chickeny, not beefy. 🙂

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