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¡Ask a Comida Critic!: Poutine in OC?

The question this week came to Edwin from Bill of Fullerton:

Our Canadian graphic designer is planning to prepare his own version of poutine. Any restaurant in OC that prepares this gut bomb?

Real poutine, Bill? Nowhere in Orange County. Not enough Quebecois  here--we have hosers a'plenty, but not enough of the people that gave this legendary dish of French fries, cheese curds, gravy, and other odd bits to the world.

Spins on poutine? Two places.


Genki Living's Garden Grove outpost sells a version of the dish, but they use grated cheese instead of the all-important curds, those chunks of dairy that slightly melt under the heat of the gravy and fries but still maintains a structure. Haven Gastropub in Orange makes a poutine dish with oxtail, preferring to focus their energies on the meatier part of the equation instead of the gooey. It's a damn good appetizer--almost too damn good. Those Haven guys glammed up the working-class dish, and I get it when I'm there, but perhaps your Canadian might deem it too snooty. But I'd take him there and if he complains, call him a high-falutin' hoser and eat his portions.

Oh, and while the Shortstop BBQ truck does sell great frites, don't believe the crazy Yelp kids--poutine, it ain't. Nevertheless, order those fries--if America can have the Taco Bell taco, why can't OC have imitation poutine--and, even better yet, a good imposter?

Haven Gastropub, 190 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 221-0680; www.havengastropub.com.

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