- Poutine — french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds — is basically Canada's national dish.
- When I researched the best poutine in Quebec City, Canada, Le Chic Shack and Snack Bar Saint-Jean were the two places I kept seeing over and over.
- I tried the classic version at both.
- I preferred the fries and gravy at Snack Bar Saint-Jean, but found the cheese was better at Le Chic Shack. Generally, the dish felt lighter and healthier at Le Chic Shack.
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Poutine is basically Canada's national dish.
The French-Canadian delicacy, made of french fries11选5精准杀号法 topped with cheese curds and gravy, , but has become a staple across the country since.
However, when I researched the best poutine in Quebec City, Canada, ahead of a recent trip, two spots, both of them very casual, popped up over and over: and .
Of course, I had to try them both to see how they stacked up. Keep scrolling for the battle of the Quebec City poutines.
Le Chic Shack is a fast-casual spot in the middle of Old Quebec, the most touristy (and beautiful) area in all of Quebec City.
The table-service restaurant itself is pretty nice. It's bright and airy with giant windows, and has red metal chairs and metal tables that give it a retro-cool vibe.
Wood floors and paneling, as well as utensils in metal buckets, give it a rustic touch, too.
While actually more focused on burgers, Le Chic Shack has garnered a reputation for making "gourmet" poutine.
To keep this taste test as fair as possible, I tried the classic version at both spots. At Le Chic Shack, that meant ordering the aptly named Classique.
Unlike traditional poutine, Le Chic Shack makes the dish with smashed baby potatoes instead of fries. The Classique was also sprinkled with fresh herbs, as well as grated cheese.
It was good, but the gravy felt a bit bland to me, and a little thin. I also thought the potato to cheese and gravy ratio was off: too many potatoes. However, the cheese curds were incredible. They were soft but firm, and perfectly squeaky.
Snack Bar Saint-Jean is in the less touristy Upper Town area of Quebec City.
The restaurant feels a bit like a mountain cabin, with exposed brick walls and lots of wood paneling, as well as thick, rustic wooden blocks as chairs.
Here, you order at the counter, get a number, and then pick up your plastic tray by the open kitchen. The poutine comes in a little paper basket.
The potatoes are clearly fresh.
I again stuck with the classic version in order to conduct a fair comparison.
It came out a little sloppy, with fries and grease all over my tray, but I wasn't here to judge aesthetics: I was here for the taste only.
While I preferred the thick and flavorful gravy at Snack Bar Saint-Jean, as well as the fact that it used fries and not smashed potatoes, the poutine at Le Chic Shack had the superior cheese, and I liked the addition of fresh herbs.
Both are solid options, and both cost around $10 for a regular-sized portion. While Snack Bar Saint-Jean's poutine was a more traditional no-frills version, it also felt heavier like fast food. Like the actual restaurant itself, Le Chic Shack's version seemed a little more upscale, as well as lighter.
Honestly, though, you can't go wrong with potatoes topped with cheese and gravy.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).