Food trends come and go, but for the last few years poutine has been cropping up on menus across the country. Poutine originated as a lowly diner food for drunk Canadians in the 1950s, but chefs are adding their own upscale twists to the dish as it becomes one of the hottest food trends on American menus since truffle oil.
Even if Dallas is a little bit behind on the poutine trend, it's now in full swing. We're not entirely sure who started the poutine craze in Dallas, but you can get your fix at any of these five fine establishments. You should probably get a little (or a lot) drunk before trying them, just to make sure that your experience is fully authentic.
1. The Blind Butcher The Blind Butcher is already known for its hand-cranked sausages and killer beer selection, but the poutine program managed by Canadian Brendan McCaughey is the best in the city. With the help of meat mastermind and executive chef Oliver Sitrin, The Blind Butcher offers multiple varieties of poutine, including a vegetarian mushroom incarnation, but they are best for a decadent duck poutine with a foie gras add-on. Recently, The Blind Butcher added a new shrimp poutine to their menu that executive Sitrin says is much lighter than the other poutines on his menu. Relatively speaking, of course.
2. Barter Poutine is a simple dish; execution is everything. At Barter on McKinney Avenue, poutine may feel a little out of place alongside dishes like barbecue pork ribs and chili-crab fajitas, but after one bite everything will all make sense. Fries that have been cooked to a perfect extra-crispy are topped with fresh cheddar curds and a generous helping of rich, beefy gravy with sweetness and a little kick provided by a shot of Wild Turkey. Poutine may not be "American comfort food" as advertised on the menu, but this dish sure feels cozy here at Barter.
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3. The Common Table If you're really into poutine, there's no amount of foie gras or duck confit that can substitute for a well-made version of the original. At The Common Table, even Canadians can find a version of poutine that they love. At only $7, the crinkle-cut fries, white cheddar curds, and rich brown gravy are a cheap study in the fundamentals of poutine.
4. Oddfellows Duck seems to be the most popular upscale addition to poutines across the country, and Oddfellow's is no exception. The basic poutine formula is given a touch of class with a decadent duck confit, and ancho chile gravy adds a little southwestern flair that is new for a dish that you never saw below the Mason-Dixon until recently.
5. Central Standard At Central Standard, you won't find fries under those layers of gravy and cheese. The poutine here is made with tater tots, but persnickety traditionalists can choose to substitute fries. This isn't the kind of late-night snack you want when you're only a little hungry, though -- a fried egg and pulled pork make this poutine much more of a meal than a side dish. The addition of whole-grain mustard is also unique, and provides a much-needed acidity to cut through all that richness.