When you know, you know. And after tonight, I know. I’m not embarrassed to admit that after years of fruitless searching that only resulted in mediocrity and disappointment, I was beginning to lose hope of ever finding my one true match, but Mean Poutine has shown me that my dedication and handwork have not been in vain.
One taste was all it took and just like that, I was hooked. Standing outside the takeout window just after midnight off of Vancouver’s busiest party street, Granville, I could feel the magic in the air. The first few notes of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing cut through the cold night like a knight saving his damsel from having to make the harrowing intoxicated voyage home without sustenance. I knew something big was about to happen.
To the left of the window, a menu features classic as well as the creative. With poutines like philly cheese steak, southern BBQ, fried chicken, mean meatball, and mean supreme, it’s almost difficult to make a choice. Philly cheese steak was the ticket for us tonight.
My eyes scan the kitchen area during the wait to notice just how tiny it is. A compact convection oven sits atop the counter behind the window beside two baskets of fries sitting above the deep-fryer. It’s hard to believe that something so wonderful could be born from such a simple operation but there can be miracles. When you believe.
After a torturous three minutes, our philly cheese steak poutine comes gliding through the takeout window into my hands where I pause zero seconds before shoving a fry between my lips.
Holy poutine! I’ve finally found the poutine fry. Crispy on the outside and plenty of potato on the inside, all without tasting excessively deep-fried. Drenched in flavour packed gravy and piled under a load of ingredients, the fry still holds up.
The mixture of fries, cheese curds and gravy all melds together in my mouth so well that it renders all the other extra ingredients superfluous. That’s right, I said it – the stringy beef, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers, despite being fresh and plentiful, are a distraction. And at $9 a pop, I think I’ll save my $2 and take the classic route next time.
Would I return?
Only a fool denies the one and I’m no fool. Now that’ I’ve found my one true match, I’m not letting it go. At Mean, less is more and the classic poutine with just it’s thick oozing gravy and cheese curds is all this girl needs to keep the love alive.