Yesterday I wrote about visiting Kimchi Cafe during the Fringe. Another place I revisited during the festival was Smoke’s Poutinerie. This restaurant is right by the festival stage a.k.a. the cube, and in addition to the table in side, there are a few outside, along with a couple of picnic tables. Here you can sit down, eat, and watch a show all at the same time.
Smoke’s is a chain, and it landed in Winnipeg a couple of years ago or so, with a great deal of hoopla. Generally speaking I don’t think that the food is worthy of the hoopla. One thing that Smoke’s does really well is portion size and value. Most of the dishes are between $7.49 and $7.99. You can “wow” size you dish for another $3.00, but I found that more food than I can eat. Smoke’s “wow” size is a great bargain if you’re looking to share a dish.
On the other hand the poutine itself is rather ordinary. It does have the advantage of coming with a wide variety of toppings, However, the gravy for one, is not particularly flavourful. Plus, it’s not particularly hot. This means that the cheese, which is in curd form, never really melts, and you find yourself eating lumps of cheese. If takes some of the fun out of eating poutine, when the cheese isn’t stringy.
The ingredients for the various toppings at Smoke’s are all quite fresh. However, they seem to come straight from the fridge onto the fries. This again has the effect of cooling down the overall temperature of the dish.
On the whole I’d say that if you are looking for the best poutine around, you won’t find it at Smoke’s. However, as a fast food option, Smoke’s is not a bad choice. The food, while not inspiring is reasonably tasty, and with quick service you’ll find yourself fueled up and back out enjoying you day in the Exchange in no time.