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  • Herrine Ro: One of Canada's most iconic dishes is poutine,

  • but Montreal is the city to get the best.

  • We visited three famous restaurants,

  • Ma Poule Mouillée,

  • La Banquise,

  • and Au Pied de Cochon,

  • to find the best poutine in town.

  • [Herrine screams]

  • No, my pants are wet.

  • Based off of the comments last season,

  • we are in Montreal to find the best poutine.

  • Erin Kommor: Yes! And if you do not know,

  • poutine is a Canadian dish

  • that's, like, fries covered in gravy and cheese curds.

  • What qualities are we looking for?

  • Herrine: We are looking for -

  • OK.

  • [Herrine laughs] Erin: Sorry.

  • Herrine: So, we are looking for fries that have

  • a crispy outside and a nice plush inside,

  • and the cheese curds should be flavorful and fresh,

  • nice and melty.

  • People say that the fresher the curd,

  • the squeakier it is.

  • The gravy should be thick and flavorful,

  • and there should be enough of it

  • to coat all the fries and curds.

  • At each location,

  • we will be asking which poutine we should get

  • and judge based off of that.

  • Erin: Let's bundle up and get going!

  • Herrine: It's so cold. Erin: I got you. I got you.

  • Come on.

  • Herrine: So, we're going to La Banquise,

  • and this place is probably the most associated

  • when it comes to poutine and Montreal.

  • And we'll be trying the classic,

  • but they have, like, 30 kinds here.

  • Erin: 30? Herrine: 30.

  • Erin: Of poutine? Herrine: Of poutine.

  • Erin: I've heard about this one the most

  • out of all the places.

  • Herrine: Yeah, I did too,

  • so let's go see what all the fuss is about it.

  • Erin: Let's do it.

  • Customer: I heard about this place from a local

  • that I met on the airplane.

  • I think I love the cheese and the gravy.

  • That mixture together is really tasteful.

  • Annie Barsalou: A classic poutine is french fries

  • and cheese curds and a gravy on top.

  • We use red potatoes because it's sweeter.

  • We cut them by hand.

  • Chef: You wanna just, like, blanch them first,

  • 'cause that'll just, like, soften up everything.

  • So when you drop it in fryer oil after,

  • it's gonna get all crispy on the outside

  • but stay fluffy on the inside.

  • Chef: If you go too thin,

  • like the little stringy fries,

  • then there's not gonna be anything

  • really fluffy on the inside.

  • It'll just be, like, too crispy.

  • Annie: And we do the fries and do the precooking.

  • We need to cook them about six minutes at 285 degrees.

  • It's very important to keep that temperature,

  • because it's gonna cook all the inside.

  • When we're ready to do the poutine,

  • we're gonna cook them at a higher temperature, at 325.

  • It's gonna be golden outside, but not too crispy.

  • And after that, we put the cheese curds.

  • That must melt.

  • It has to be at the temperature of the room

  • and do a squish-squeak in your mouth.

  • It's very good.

  • The gravy must be, like, golden,

  • have some texture in it, not too liquid.

  • It's got to be

  • a bit spicy, too.

  • That's the thing that differentiates us from the others.

  • We keep it as a secret.

  • Herrine: Everything visually looks...

  • Erin: Gorge. Herrine: Gorge.

  • And the cheese has melted. Let's dig in.

  • Erin: So melty.

  • Herrine: I got the squeak.

  • Erin: I got the squeak too,

  • and I thought I wouldn't like the squeak.

  • It was like, "merp, merp."

  • Oh, look at the steam.

  • And it's so cold out.

  • This is so satisfying.

  • Herrine: So, right off the bat,

  • we know that the curds here are fresh.

  • They're melted because of that piping hot gravy.

  • I'm gonna try the potato by itself.

  • It's not like the fries that

  • you are familiar with as an American,

  • because they're not so crunchy and, like, salty.

  • I know this is a very poor comparison,

  • but they taste more potato-y than french fries does.

  • Erin: No, definitely. Herrine: You know what I mean?

  • And, like, everything is very much kind of like a

  • flash-fried baked potato.

  • Erin: The potatoes are, like, not too greasy at all.

  • They're just so satisfying.

  • And it's so warm and soft.

  • It's, yeah, it's not like American fries at all.

  • Herrine: They're honestly more like hash browns.

  • The cheese curds here have flavor.

  • Erin: Oh, totally. Herrine: It's salty,

  • it's fatty.

  • Erin: They provide the salt, 'cause I feel like the fries

  • aren't super salty at all. Herrine: Yeah, the fries

  • aren't as seasoned as I thought they would be.

  • But the curds, I like how they're this, like,

  • happy medium between, like, completely melted

  • and kind of like, just, like, sitting there.

  • Erin: It's so flavorful.

  • Herrine: So, the gravy itself, it's not so, so thick.

  • Erin: It doesn't, like, coat your mouth.

  • It just complements the fry.

  • Herrine: I disagree.

  • I feel like I'm not getting, like, a beefy flavor,

  • or like a hearty, like -

  • Erin: It is more just, like, salty and fun.

  • Herrine: I think it is great on its own.

  • And the cheese curds here I think is the MVP.

  • Erin: Phenom. Herrine: Yeah.

  • But the other places we'll be going to

  • have, like, added elements.

  • So, we are going to Ma Poule Mouillée.

  • I think I pronounced that right.

  • Erin: You did.

  • Herrine: And this place is a Portuguese restaurant,

  • and we'll be trying their fusion take on the poutine.

  • Erin: I'm so excited. It looks so good.

  • Herrine: It's supposed to be a lot of bold flavors

  • going on here, so I'm excited.

  • Erin: Let's do it!

  • Michael Antunes Alves: Ma Poule Mouillée is a takeout

  • restaurant with the grill of the charcoal.

  • We work mainly with chicken.

  • The most popular at Ma Poule Mouillée is the poutine.

  • The poutine is the mixing of Quebec and Portuguese,

  • with the fried chicken in the charcoal

  • and the local cheese.

  • And I'm mixing with the São Jorge from Portugal.

  • Virgilio Rodrigues: We have to stock a lot of potatoes.

  • Our potatoes are presliced.

  • We cook halfway.

  • We put it on the fridge.

  • When they are cold, we fry them.

  • We season our fries with the homemade spices.

  • We know that the fries are ready

  • because they make a little music.

  • [fries rustling]

  • We're gonna top the fries with a local cheese,

  • then the Portuguese cheese São Jorge.

  • Michael: It's very strong.

  • I put just a little bit.

  • Herrine: See, but I don't think that that's like...

  • I like it.

  • Cameraman: Yeah, it smells good.

  • Herrine: Oh, but it has a scent.

  • Virgilio: Yes. Yes, yes.

  • This is a charcoal grill.

  • It's a Portuguese chicken,

  • and we grill it around half an hour.

  • The seasoning, it's garlic, paprika, and salt

  • with also black pepper.

  • The charcoal gives the chicken a smoky flavor,

  • and inside it's very tender.

  • And now we're grilling the Portuguese sausage, chorizo.

  • Michael: The meat is different.

  • It's not like just cheese.

  • The meat is delicious.

  • Put some life in the poutine.

  • Virgilio: We chop the chicken and the chorizo

  • fresh to order,

  • and finally the gravy.

  • Herrine: Oh, my God.

  • Virgilio: It's a homemade sauce.

  • It's another secret.

  • And the fresh parsley.

  • And it's the best poutine in Canada.

  • Herrine: I'm very excited to try this one.

  • The gravy looks so much more dark.

  • Erin: Thick.

  • Herrine: And thick and viscous.

  • The meat, I'm a huge chorizo fan.

  • Erin: Me too, I love chorizo.

  • And the chicken looks so good.

  • This looks epic.

  • Herrine: I know. It's, like, loaded up.

  • This is honestly a bit much.

  • I just drooled.

  • Erin: Oh, my God.

  • That is a lot of flavor.

  • You wanted flavor in the gravy, and that,

  • my friend, Herrine: This delivers.

  • is flavor. Herrine: Delivers.

  • Herrine: I can see - Erin: And the spicy sauce -

  • Herrine: Yeah, yeah, that's what I was gonna say.

  • Erin: I want to drink that spicy sauce.

  • Herrine: I think it really does serve a purpose of,

  • like, cutting through all that richness, that spice.

  • Erin: Yeah, a little kick.

  • Herrine: Also, these fries are

  • a lot crispier than La Banquise.

  • Erin: Oh, and I didn't realize how much,

  • how important that would be,

  • because the crispiness of the fries with the gravy,

  • like, that's a perfect duo.

  • Herrine: Because the chorizo and the chicken

  • is, like, cooked on that charcoal grill,

  • you get that nice smokiness.

  • Erin: And the char.

  • Herrine: That paprika seasoning

  • really does shine through.

  • And you do get this lingering heat

  • that's, like, very nice.

  • This visually looks

  • very overwhelming. Erin: Like a lot.

  • Herrine: But, like, flavor profiles are very bold,

  • but it's not too much.

  • Erin: I don't think so either.

  • Herrine: Like, everything works together,

  • and I think there obviously is a reason why

  • Michael wants to keep everything a secret,

  • because if secret got out, like....

  • Erin: I would take over the world with this.

  • Herrine: Yeah, exactly.

  • Let's see if the cheese curds squeak.

  • Erin: Squeak, squeak.

  • They squeak.

  • Herrine: Not as squeaky as La Banquise, though.

  • But the Portuguese cheese here,

  • I'm not gonna even pretend to pronounce it,

  • has that nice little pungency and, like, sharpness to it

  • that I think, honestly, I would want more of.

  • Do you have any qualms?

  • Erin: My only qualm, I liked how melty

  • the cheese was at La Banquise,

  • and this cheese I feel like could be a little meltier,

  • but I don't really want more of it,

  • 'cause there's so much going on.

  • I feel like with more cheese, I would be overwhelmed.

  • Herrine: I feel like we haven't done the hot sauce justice.

  • We haven't done the spicy sauce justice.

  • Erin: We haven't.

  • That's the best spicy sauce.

  • Herrine: So,