In Montréal, poutine is a dish of fries, gravy, and cheese curds, which is most properly eaten late at night, drunk off one's ass. A Brooklyn restaurant is currently trying to ruin its glory with vegetables. This blasphemy cannot stand.
The restaurant in question is Mile End, located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, the current epicenter of the Brooklyn You Can Only Barely (and Soon Never Will Be Able To) Afford. It advertises itself as a restaurant for New York-area Montréal fetishists; through Sunday, it purports to be celebrating "Poutine Week."
Mile End's owner, Noah Bernamoff, claims to be a Montréal native, but as one former Montréaler to another I would like to ask him: What is this bullshit you are serving at your restaurant?
An acquaintance tweeted this picture last night:
— Michelle L. Dozois (@michelledozois) July 17, 2014
What is all this vegetable matter? It is horrifying. On the lower left plate, you can barely glimpse a fry, a curd, or gravy. Stop this. Stop lying to the Americans about poutine, or helping the Americans lie to themselves.
- Chilaquiles poutine: fries topped with crispy beef tongue, red onion, cilantro, scallion, cheese curds, salsa verde and crema
- Smoked meat burger poutine: fries topped with chopped smoked meat burger, mustard mayo, red onion and american cheese sauce
- Thanksgiving poutine: fries topped with smoked turkey, herb roasted carrots and celery, cheese curds and gravy
- General Tso's poutine: fries topped with panko fried smoked chicken, red pepper, scallion and General Tso's sauce
- Foie Gras poutine: fries topped with shaved foe torchon, cheese curds and gravy
Admittedly, you can find places in Québec that will put foie gras and smoked meat on poutine. Maybe turkey. Meat on your gravy does not violate the spirit of poutine. There is also a popular variation called poutine à l'italienne, which involves tomato sauce.
But salsa verde? Celery? RED PEPPERS?
This is an obvious sop to the current orthorexic tastes of the upper-class Brooklyn masses. I expect soon to see kale, quinoa, and chia seeds heaped atop the gravy so that uptight Americans can pretend poutine is some kind of health food. It's horrifying.
Look, Brooklyn. No one is demanding that you enjoy poutine. You don't have to eat it if you find it so gross, though I often feel tempted to remind you that the Freedom to Fry Everything is practically enumerated in your Constitution. But at least show some respect for the dish. Aren't you supposed to prize authenticity? Resist the urge to colonize it with nutrients. They'll keep it from properly soaking up the cheap beer.
[Image via Shutterstock.]