If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in the Ottawa area, you’ve likely come across poutine trucks. They’re impossible to avoid, taking up nearly every street corner in the downtown core, as well as settling in grocery store parking lots all around the city. The combination of cheese curd and gravy has a stranglehold on our population, and as its popularity has spread onto social media, I’ve even seen poutine available at State Fairs throughout the United States. It won’t be long before it becomes a global phenomenon. Donald Trump’s wall is likely to be built out of poutine, and given its density and resistance, it would make for a mighty fine structure.
Of course, there’s a big difference between serving poutine, and doing it well. Typically, you need three things: crispy twice fried french fries, a rich brown gravy, and a French Canadian to put it all together.
Golden Fries is part of a small food truck network that also includes The Grilled Cheeserie. They’ve been around for a few years now, and are regulars in various poutine events throughout Ontario and Quebec. The owners are active on Social Media, and seem to take great pride in their product.
Recently, they’ve been bragging about their Deep Fried Cheese Curd poutine. Deep fried cheese curds have been regular fare in the US for years, especially in the Wisconsin and Minnesota areas. However, it’s within the last year that a product called PopCurds has brought them to Ottawa, supplying the treat to spots such as the Royal Oak, Milanos Pizza, and even Calypso Water Park. The popularity has been fierce, and Golden Fries didn’t miss the chance to jump on it.
On Canada Day, my wife and I were looking to grab a quick, artery clogging lunch before I needed to amble off to work for the afternoon. With most local restaurants closed for the day, my Twitter feed spied that Golden Fries was open at their location by the Metro in Orleans. Jackpot.
We rolled up to the rather inauspicious truck. It’s not flashy, but the sign is sharp and clear, telling you exactly what you need to know: We got fries, bro.
I was in the mood for a hot dog, and got a fully loaded whistle dog. Whistle dogs are traditionally split down the middle, and served with cheese and bacon. Their loaded version comes with onions, saurkraut, banana peppers, mustard, relish, and ketchup. I double checked for the threat of mayo, and the owner flashed a grin telling me “I wouldn’t do that to you man!” This is a man of the people!
Their cheese of choice is cheddar, and while I prefer curds on my whistle dog, they didn’t use a processed cheese, and it complimented the other ingredients well. The meat is nothing flashy, but it was grilled nicely and developed a fine salty crust. All in all, it satisfied my lunchtime needs, and was quite filling.
My wife agonized about her decision, counting the hundreds upon hundreds of calories in the evil she was about to unearth; but a bit of goading helped push her to the dark side. It was happening. She was getting the deep fried cheese curd poutine.
The regular size was enormous; far more food than the two of us had any hope of consuming together. Armed with two forks, we dove in.
Oh my god. It is glorious.
There’s just something so perfect about the soft, salty curd, wrapped with a seasoned crispy coating, and then given a bath in a delicious gravy. It’s naughty. It’s decadent. It’s every bathing suit’s nightmare. I even took an extra picture just to highlight its beauty.
So yeah, we liked it just fine. In fact, my wife gave their fries the thumbs up as the best in Ottawa. While we didn’t come close to finishing, we picked out the curds and made sure they were given the respect they deserved (in our bellies).
If you’re in the mood for something devilish, or you’re just hungover and need something to sop up that leftover stomach rot, give these guys a try.