Banquise: Is it really the best Poutine in town?

2 Aug

Poutine is often referred to as Quebec’s culinary achievement, something that we are quite proud of having created, and which is particular to Quebec.  So, there is fierce competition as to which is the best poutine in town.  For many, that poutine can be found at La Banquise, or so I’ve been told anyway.

After a night out on the town, me and a group of friends decided to head out for a poutine.  A great source of sustenance after having over-imbibed a little, and a great chance for me to experience this legendary poutine first-hand for the first time.

I had the classic poutine.  After all, what better way to judge if this is in fact the best poutine in town?  I must admit, I was under-whelmed.  The fries were delicious, and had a little sweet taste that made them extra special.  However, the gravy was too bland for my taste, adding nothing to the overall taste of the dish.  Moreover, one third of my fries had no gravy on them, which is not ideal.  And, the most important ingredient (for me) in a good poutine is the cheese, and in this case, the cheese to fry ratio was not sufficient.  I had to carefully ration my cheese to ensure I had enough to finish my poutine.

One of my friends had ordered the chicken and pea poutine.  She enjoyed her poutine immensely.  Personally, I find peas don’t fit on top of a greasy poutine, but she enjoyed it.

In conclusion, La Banquise has achieved cult status in Montreal.  Even at 3am, there is a line-up to get in and another line-up for takeout.  Personally, though, I am still not convinced this is the best poutine in the area, I think this place is overrated.  Good, but not mind-blowing.  Let’s just say that I still haven’t found the poutine I’m looking for….

La Banquise

994 rue Rachel Est

Montreal, Quebec H2J 2J3


Resto la Banquise on Urbanspoon


5 Responses to “Banquise: Is it really the best Poutine in town?”

  1. 514eats August 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Yep, fully agree. There’s a lot of hype around La Banquise because of the many poutines they serve, their location, the fact that they’re open very late (or is it 24 hours?).

    Obviously it is THE after-party place for anybody that’s in the Plateau… which is the main reason they have lineups at 3 AM.

    But, is it the best poutine, I don’t think so either.

    • Exploring Montreal Food August 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      I confirm, they are open 24 hours. If Banquise isn’t it, what’s your favourite poutine place?

      • 514eats August 3, 2012 at 9:45 am #

        To be honest, I don’t really go anywhere to have just poutine. It’s not that big a deal for me to JUST have poutine somewhere. I couldn’t answer that question, but I’ve definitely had better poutine.

        The McGill Engineering cafeteria, believe it or not, used to make a mean one back in my days (late 90s).

  2. iWoo August 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    At 3am, even a mediocre poutine will taste amazing… and the atmosphere and company you bring will influence people’s opinion of a place! I haven’t had a lot of poutines before, but the poutine bourguignon at Ma’am Bolduc is still up there as one of, if not the best I’ve had. The only issue is that it’s not as close to my usual hangout spots, and they are not open late! Perhaps I need to befriend some food bloggers to go off the beaten path more often, as it can be difficult to encourage friends to do so. 🙂

    • Exploring Montreal Food August 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      I have yet to try Ma’am Bolduc, so thanks for the tip. I also love the poutine at Le Boucan. Delicious and generous pulled pork over a greasy poutine, and at the price of an entrée, it’s a steal. And, I don’t know if it’s the pulled pork, or the gravy itself, but it tastes like really good barbecue chips. Definitely a contender for best poutine in my books, you should try it!

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