Tuesday, March 22, 2011

La Banquise review: 24hr Poutine People

Ongoing discussions about food icons: 
The Bacon Cheeseburger & Poutine
With Chuck Hughes’ lobster poutine making National headlines we decided to pay homage to our city's victory by going to La Banquise. Since we are on the subject of Chef Hughes’ victory and the fact we have been taking some heat for dishing Toronto in our Top Chef Canada article allow us this moment. Toronto, how many Iron Chef winners do you have? Remember when David Adjey lit himself on fire? That was hilarious, any road, let’s bring on the food. 
La Banquise has a bit of a mythical status as a poutine paradise in Montreal. First, they are open 24 hrs. so it is a popular last call, late-night eats destination. Second, the various incarnations of their signature dish, there are 25 varieties of poutine on the menu. Third, many locals say it is the best.
Photogenic: the burger, not the smiling girl
Burger Construction: In keeping with our Bacon Cheese Burger thread we ordered the Banquise burger that had, a beef patty, fried onions, swiss-cheese, tomato and spicy sauce. This burger will set you back about 5 bucks taxes included.
Poutine perfection
Poutine Construction: We had the Taquise that consisted of, in addition to the basic ingredients (fries, cheese-curds and gravy), guacamole, sour-cream and tomatoes.We upgraded our dish with meat sauce. The small version of this dish will set you back about 11 bucks taxes included.
The Verdicts:

Service: waiting for ketchup & mustard
Burger: La Banquise is famous for it’s poutines and not their burgers but none-the-less this was a good burger. We liked the thin patty, that was nicely cooked, good bacon, and the bun was one of the better toasty fluffy experiences that we have had lately. The tomato was a real slice and not razor thin. Our beef with this burger was the spicy sauce because it tasted like Kraft. Go that extra mile with your sauce and you will be working on a masterpiece. 

So glad we had this time together
Poutine: When you look at the varieties of poutines on the menu you might think that the bizarre combinations take precedence over the flavor. The menu almost reads like a gross gag me with a spoon pig out, like Epic Meal Time, but this is not the case. Obviously some thought, or tasting, has been put into the food combos because we would have never thought of these flavors but they worked. For junk food it is surprisingly easy going.

La Banquise is a family run business hat has stood it’s ground for close to 40 years. If you chose to eat here you will not be disappointed. The menu might read gourmand but it leans more towards gourmet. In fact, this is is good food masquerading as junk so perhaps that is the secret of their success. 

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