Every city has their post-bar snack. In New York, it’s the hotdog. Romans love pizza. In Tel Aviv, it’s falafel. Toronto is no exception, and despite other options being available, invariably, every Torontonian who has wandered the streets drunk at 2AM has craved the cheesy, gravy, fry concoction called poutine- and for me, Smoke’s Poutinerie is where I wander towards.
For those unfamiliar, “poutine” is a dish of french fries with gravy and cheese curds. The cheese melts from the heat of the gravy and fries to create a melting, delicious mess. It’s a French-Canadian creation, but has spread across Canada and has been feeding drunk patrons ever since.
Smoke’s takes poutine to the next level. They have an extensive menu of variations of the dish- add pulled pork, perhaps? What about bacon and sausage? How about pierogis and sour cream? The variations move from the restrained to the Frankenstein’s monster territory. For newbies, opt for a classic, or if variations are desired, my favourite is “Country Style” which comes with chicken, bacon, peas, mushrooms and caramelized onions. Exactly what you want to cleanse yourself of tequila.
There are locations throughout the city. This one on Bloor is my local, and is often where I end up after a night at Dance Cave at Lee’s Palace across the street. In warmer weather, opt to grab and go so that you don’t have to engage in conversation with wasted 19-year-olds. Bon appetit!