Mile End Deli owner Noah Bernamoff’s first experience eating poutine was as a kid in Montreal, during post-hockey-practice trips to Lafleur, a fast-food chain that offered, among burgers and steamed hot dogs, “really greasy, really gross kind of french fries.” Those gross fries forged his lifelong admiration for the Québécois comfort food, though, as Bernamoff is a poutine purist: “I have this deep-seated, principled belief that poutine is really only meant to be french fries, cheese curds, and gravy, but Poutine Week is that, like, unencumbered opportunity to make the poutines whatever we want to make them.”
In this video, the poutine purveyor (there are locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn) tells us about his “Poutine Week,” which ran February 2–8, during which Mile End offered special styles of the Canadian comfort food, going beyond the core ingredients of fries, curds, and gravy: There was a chilaquiles poutine, a smoked meat burger poutine, a “fat Jewish” poutine, a Philadelphia-styled roast pork poutine, and an Italian poutine.
Mile End’s already known for its glorious smoked meat sandwich, but its poutine is also worth trying, especially this time of year, when it’s OK to bulk up against the bitter cold and wind.
“I think Americans are amazed by poutine,” Bernamoff says. “I think it’s one of those over-the-top indulgences that Americans tend [to] respond very well to.”
Video by Sarah Mortimer for the Village Voice.
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