Monday, August 2, 2010

The Poutine Queen in Almonte

The Poutine Queen in Almonte is 45.6 km and 41 minutes from our door, so one might ask why would we travel so far for chip truck fare when S & G Fries is but 1.1 kms away and has a solid track record with our resident expert, the teenager.

There are two reasons that we made the drive today.

First, we heard on Friday that CTV Ottawa was in search of the best chip truck in the region. We have been following the website closely and also their Twitter account @CTVOttawa. As of this afternoon, the tally of the top 10 so far looked like this:
  1. Wes's Fries in Arnprior
  2. The Poutine Queen in Almonte
  3. Claude's Chip Stands at Cummings and Ogilvie
  4. Glen's on Richmond Road, Westboro
  5. The double decker bus in Manotick
  6. S & G Fries at Carling and Maitland
  7. Mike's Chips on Bridge Street in Carleton Place
  8. JP's Fries at Baseline and Clyde
  9. The Magic Fryer at Canadian Tire on Coventry Road
  10. Woody's Pit on Highway 7 near Innisville
Of the top 10, our resident expert had only had experience with 1, 4, 5 and 6. He personally would have rated S & G Fries higher than Glen's but this vote is just really one of popularity, not so much about ranking. And it is no surprise to anyone that Wes's Fries is leading the pack. But what about some of these other chip trucks so high on the list? What were they all about? Perhaps it was time to check out The Poutine Queen or Claude's Chip Stands.

Secondly, my MIL has had a request in with us for a month now that she would like to be taken out for chip truck fries some day. She just recently had another big numbered birthday (from here on in they are all big numbers) and although she can't drive anymore and has a few health issues, she seems virtually indestructible. Our guess is that if she wanted to do chip truck fries she likely would not hear much objection from her doctor, despite their questionable level of sustenance. If chip truck fries is what she wants, chip truck fries she will get. And today we would make good on our promise. The setting was ripe for doing product research.

With the MIL's assignment at hand and new information pouring at us from the web, we decided that taking a Sunday drive on a holiday Monday could justify the long road to Almonte. So the family piled in and off we went. Rolling miles of pavement, groves of trees, fields laden in sparse brush and soon we found our way to the pink truck in sleepy, downtown Almonte. It is located on High Street, just off of Bridge Street and beside the self-serve car wash. If it wasn't for the promotion sign in the window announcing the CTV Ottawa's search, you would never know that this place was holding second spot. There was no one around. I don't know when they close up at night but I was guessing that at 4:45 pm, we might be close to closing time.

The boys picked poutine and the girls picked fries. Although they were tasty, it was unanimous that it wasn't worth going the 45.6 kms when S&G Fries is just around the corner. The poutine fries were a bit cooled off since they came right from the 'wait' bin. The plain fries were piping hot as they came fresh from the fryer, but they were just too bland and needed more cook time. Our favourite fries have a crispy outside but a full, soft, well-cooked centre. I do see why Almonte might be fond of the eclectic pink truck and all it has to offer. After all, they do have Stuffed Poutine, heard to be all the rage.

On the plus side, the small fry at $2.75 was substantial and many extra fingers had to dig in to help the MIL with her bounty. In the end, she enjoyed the outing, the time to chat and the tasty fries that awaited her at her destination. These fringe benefits made the distance seem insignificant. Product research aside, today, this visit to a winning-est chip truck was all about her.

In the language of the Poutine Chronicles, this place is 3.5 curds out of 5.

The Poutine Queen
High Street near Bridge Street
Almonte, Ontario

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