After having wandered around much of downtown Ottawa, apartment hunting, a friend, my better half, and I decided to hunker down for something warm and mildly unhealthy. Accordingly, we found ourselves at Dunn’s on Elgin Street. This establishment is our local chapter of the legendary smoked meat shop that originates in Montreal. This is also where my friend introduced me to the smoked meat poutine: fries, cheese curds, gravy, and (surprise!) chopped smoked meat.
I was in cholesterol heaven. The fries were freshly fried, hot, and crispy. The smoked meat actually added a depth of flavor to the gravy and the curds melted into strings, providing texture. It was meat and potatoes in a refined state.
Now, I have adored poutine ever since I discovered the French Canadian dish at a fry shop on my former University’s campus. However, never would I have imagined that the mixture of fries, cheese curds (never shredded cheese), and gravy could be made heartier. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t eat anything more for a good 15 hours. Though wholly satisfying, I don’t think my gastro-intestinal system has yet forgiven me. I have absolutely no idea why Dunn’s considers smoked meat poutine a starter. I recommend only eating this dish as a meal after weathering several consecutive hours exposed to the deep cold of the Canadian Winter or early Spring if the temperature falls below 1°C.