Before we discuss the Daily Poutine, I feel I should mention that there is no one anywhere who under any circumstances whatsoever would recommend that poutine be a consumed daily. Although, it would seem that many of the people lining up at the new Disney Springs kiosk are pretty sure that poutine is part of the broad base of the USDA’s food pyramid (judging from their own broad bases).
Poutine is a mid 20th century Canadian concoction that began finding its way south a few years ago. It’s now found at such places as North Quarter Tavern and the Smiling Bison. It is easier to explain what poutine is than it is to explain why it is.
In its simple and original form, poutine consists of french fries with fresh cheddar cheese curds and brown gravy. Dr. Pritikin would not approve. Still, when done right, poutine can be a guilty pleasure to enjoy occasionally, but certainly not daily. But I suppose Semi-Annual Poutine doesn’t have the same ring.
The Daily Poutine, a kiosk that’s reminiscent of the marketplace food stands at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, offers four different varieties of poutines, something that should enrage Canadians if Canadians ever got enraged. If you take fries and put melted mozzarella on them and douse it all with Bolognese sauce, you might have something but it is not Italian Poutine. And what they’re calling Latin Poutine doesn’t even have french fries but fried yuca instead (with black beans, pulled pork and queso fresco, about as unpoutiney as you can get.)
And while I disagree with the flavor varieties I also must question why a place calling itself the Daily Poutine wouldn’t offer seven.
I might also be more amenable to the variations if they could do the classic version correctly, but sadly the one I ordered fell way short.
The fries, though the appropriate thickness (think Lincoln Log) were dry. The beef gravy was fine —not overly beefy — but the cheese curds were too cold and did not squeak when bitten, which probably means they weren’t fresh.
After two fries, and another glance at my fellow poutiners, I decided I didn’t want to eat more and asked for a lid or a sheet of foil so I could take them with me. (I thought they might be salvageable for a fried potato and egg breakfast some other daily.) But the young woman behind the counter said there were no lids and that the workers “aren’t supposed to give foil to you guys.”
I assume by “you guys” she meant anyone on my side of the kiosk. I can imagine the training session wherein the manager instilled the no-foil policy. “Under no circumstances should ‘those guys’ be given foil.”
And while we’re on the subject of training, it would be nice if there was a bit more semblance of order in the ordering process. There are two windows — one for placing the order and paying for it and another for picking it up — and it is not clear which is which. I watched as one guest approached and stood at the pickup window waiting to be greeted to place an order, but no one told her she was standing two feet too far to the left. There was so much confusion that one fellow standing near me turned at one point and said, “They’re just fries, right?”
Yeah, pretty much. But they’re fries that will cost you $8.49 for the classic version up to $9.39 (!) for the Latin or French (fries, mushroom cream sauce and gruyere).
By the way, there is no definitive definition of the word poutine. Sort of like fajitas, something else you shouldn’t eat daily. But the most popular translation is that poutine mean mess.
I’m going with that one.
The Daily Poutine is at Disney Springs. It’s open — say it with me — daily.