Tell me, who doesn’t love French fries? No one I know, or would want to be friends with, that’s who! Add to that some wonderful fresh squeaky cheese curds, and luxurious gravy, and you have the wonder that is (arguably) Canada’s national dish, poutine!
Recently I was approached by New York Fries about trying their new pulled pork poutine that was recently added to the NYF menu. I was a little apprehencive at first, being that I am not a fan of fast food, but after talking for a bit I learnt a few new things that opened me up to trying it out:
NYF recently introduced an interesting variety to customers with their pulled pork, braised beef and butter chicken poutines
There are no additives or preservatives in the new line of poutine toppings
They use all real ingredients that people would use at home
The braised beef is made with angus beef, salt, carrots and cornstarch
Have you seen the ad campaign NYF launched for the Pulled Pork Poutine? They’re really clever and funny!
So, why not, right? We came up with the idea of doing a poutine panel with the Twitter hashtag #NYFPoutinePanel so we could track the comments of people live tweeting their poutine experience with me. I had a number of panels set up, all at different NYF locations. Each time we ordered all three meat poutines(pulled pork, braised beef, and butter chicken), and the traditional. Some of the comments appear below, in their raw and honest format.
- @ortdavid: Good times, friends. RT @foodie411 At Eaton Centre with @ortdavid@allisonslute & @lerpon for our #NYFPoutinePanel
- @fodie411: @NBomb thought it was so-so #NYFPoutinePanel
- @allisonslute: All poutines are too sweet & salty for my tastes. Butter chicken was interesting, but if I had a choice I'd get the original #NYFpoutinepanel
- @misheyme: Mmm Butter Chicken RT @foodie411 The layout for#NYFPoutinePanel.Original for baseline,butter chicken,beef, pulled pork http://instagr.am/p/NOvwedibvs/
- @allisonslute: The least favourite in #NYFPoutinePanel is the barely touched braised beef. Too sweet for @allisonslute
- @allisonslute: Fries get soggy very quickly underneath the sauces. Would prefer more well-done fries as a base. #NYFpoutinepanel
- @fodie411: Nice flavours in the meat poutines, albeit a bit too much sweetness. Fries are just adequate, could use salt #NYFPoutinePanel
- @allisonslute: Braised beef poutine is reminiscent of classic beef stew served over fries. Comforting. #NYFpoutinepanel
- @allisonslute: Original, butter chicken, pulled pork and braised beef poutines.#NYFpoutinepanel http://lockerz.com/s/226168942
- @ortdavid: Pleasantly surprised that the butter chicken poutine is alright.#nyfpoutinepanel
- @foodie411: The layout for #NYFPoutinePanel. Original for baseline, butter chicken, beef, pulled pork http://instagr.am/p/NOvwedibvs/
- @NewYorkFries: We're all over it! @Foodie411, enjoy your #poutine! RT @jsbus:@NewYorkFries you may want to check out #NYFPoutinePanel
- @foodie411: @junetoo Im skeptical of all fast food, so we hall see :)#NYFPoutinePanel
- @jenngoddess: Yum! RT @foodie411: Who likes poutine? Tomorrow I launch a mini-series about it, checking out meat at NY Fries #NYFPoutinePanel
So, that is just a sampling, but you get the idea. My own personal opinion? I like what NYF is trying to do, and for fast food it is not awful. I am a purist, and do not like to top my poutine with much, but their efforts here with the meat toppings speak to trends in the market, and offer a meal in a bowl for people who need a little extra protein, My individual thoughts:
- Pulled Pork – nice consistency on the meat, sauce has a bit of a bite to it, but tastes a bit too much like ketchup to me. A good pulled pork for people who aren’t diehard pulled pork fans, which most are not. Toronto has always been pulled pork crazy, so I think this will be very successful for NYF
- Braised Beef – was personally not a fan of this one at all. Found it a tad on the flavourless side, and the meat and sauce had a bit of a sweetness to it, and I prefer salty for this kind of dish. At each tasting it was the least favourite.
- Butter Chicken – really enjoyed this, for a dumbed down version of butter chicken for the masses. It was quite tasty, and I might even consider ordering it again.
- Traditional – lets assume you have never had poutine in Quebec, and all you know is what you are exposed to in Toronto, which is fast food and restaurant poutines, noting overly authentic? I think NYF does rank up there, but I have some comments. The curds are not fresh, which for me is a major issue. All of the times I had poutine at NYF I noticed there was no squeak in the curds. Dislike. The gravy isn’t bad, for fast food, and has a decent depth of flavour. Fries from location to location varied in the doneness of frying, which is something the company might want to look at. This is key for a good poutine, fries must retain crispiness. Finally, the salt level. I like salt on my food, some people do not. I found with the poutiness topped with meat that the fries were not salted, which is a problem for me when you get to the areas with no gravy or meat on them, so I had to add salt. Better to add than to have too much, I suppose.
So there you have it, and an make your own decision. I really had fun with this, and I want to thank the guys at New York Fries for working with me on this. Damn….now Im craving poutine, again! I thought I had had enough eating it 4 times in 2 weeks.