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Poutine Comes to San Diego

Putting the “Pout” in Poutine: A Canadian ex-pat’s quest for her national dish in SD


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My poor, native Canada. Despite our noble contributions to society, most Americans blame us for Nickelback, denim-on-denim fashion, and poutine. Of the three, poutine is least offensive. The simple dish of fries, chicken gravy, and cheese curds would be a natural fit in San Diego, since it pairs perfectly with a pint and staves off hangovers. But after pounding poutine all over town, it’s my sad conclusion that nary a local cook has nailed the dish. The main offense: no curds. It’s like a California burrito without fries. Carnitas’ Snack Shack routinely sells out of their inauthentic version—a combo of pulled pork, fries, and white cheddar gravy. In University Heights, Jayne’s Gastropub nixes curds for too-sharp cheddar, and the spaghetti-like strands of shredded mozz at Kristy’s MVP are especially unforgivable considering the co-owner is a Canuck. Props are due to The Linkery for using curds, but sliced rabbit liver on top tastes like punishment. The best of the curd-less bunch is at Stout Public House. Four bucks buys you a tasty tangle of fries with silky beef gravy, cheddar, and mozzarella. Better yet, Canadian co-owner Dave Toth says he’ll add curds if there is enough demand. Poutine fans: you have your marching orders.

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