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Vegas Eats Preview: Smoke's Poutinerie

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 10th July 2015 3:32pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4



Canada. Either you love it or you're an idiot. Home of the coolest, strangest people with hearty laughs, great record collections, steel livers and open minds. For a short time, I lived up on New York's Canadian border where I smuggled Canadian girls and Molson beer across the border in the back seat of a '64 Buick. Those were probably the best days of my life.

If there is one thing I learned in the Great White North-adjacent, it is that Canadians really know how to drink. Like whoa. And along with drinking (and trudging in the frozen tundra for 9 months out of the year) comes food, hot booze sopping drunk food.

Enter poutine, the Canadian delicacy. Poutine, in its original form is composed of French Fries topped with cheese curds smothered in piping hot brown gravy. The gravy melts the cheese, the fries become a sopping mushy soup, fixing your drunkitude just enough to enable repairing to the bar.

For whatever reason, this beautifully simple dish has yet to evolve beyond cult status south of the northern border.

Toronto based Smoke's Poutinerie, a purveyor of 40-odd fast casual poutine stands throughout Canada aims to change this by aggressively expanding throughout the United States. A new outpost of Smoke's is scheduled to open in imminently in Las Vegas at the Pawn Shop Plaza. We visited the brand new Hollywood, California location and wish to sharing our experiences, not as a review, but instead a preview of what you may find in the Vegas shop when it opens in the next few weeks.

Dishes come in three sizes (as seen below) snack size, meal size and wow size.


For each size, you can choose between fries only, a traditional (with gravy & curd) or a pick one of the 25 or so specialty combination listed on the menu.


We ordered a meal size original and a steak peppercorn meal size along with two bottled soft drinks.


So what is the deal with the guy in the logo all done up in a Col. Sanders meets Shepard Fairey style Xerox art? According to the guy behind the counter, the gentlemen in the logo is company founder "Smoke" a man who loves poutine and "glam rock" (motioning at the sound of Ratt's "Lack of Communication" echoing through the restaurants PA). Smoke is a recluse who lives in the Canadian woods. He communicates via a fax machine only. The full B.S. story is on their website.

Gotta love a good founder mystique story.


The food arrived. Here's the original. Hot fries, cold cheese and molten gravy on the bottom... for best results stir the whole thing up before eating.

The best bits are on the bottom.




The Steak Peppercorn. Fries, curds and peppercorn gravy topped with grilled flat iron steak and mushrooms. Also delicious.

There were no chairs, tables or counters in the joint, we ate sitting outside on the tailgate of our car, as it should be.


Lunch for 2, with soft drinks - $21.94. No better way waste time waiting on line to do a quick loop of a pawn shop than chowing down and then sweating out some gravy.

Tagged: vegas eats   poutine   pawn shop   food   gravy fries   gravy   graaaaavy   


Comments & Discussion:

A couple of weeks? Looks like I'll miss the opportunity to go there with one of my favorite drunk Canadiens by mere days. Guess I'll have to come back again.

The Montreal specialty sounds divine.

Also, you can get Poutine in Hershey, PA.

Thanks for stopping by! By the way, we should have some seating installed later this week!

As someone who grew up in French Canada, I don't really think that what Smokes sells is wholly representative of the authentic poutine experience, with their fries and gravy both being quite different (not to mention all of the other toppings that you'd never find in a true Quebec poutinerie). That said, if you're looking for something gooey and hot, they do quite a decent job of it.

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