Pretty high up on my “must do” list for Quebec City was a return to a fast food chain I spent some time frequenting in my younger years: Chez Ashton. Poutine, one of the significant contributions of Quebec to the world of food, can be found in all kinds of elevated forms – with lobster, with fois gras, with heirloom potatoes and grass fed dairy cattle organic cheese curds, or a host of other riffs on the basic dish. I have nothing against those. In fact, I’m a big fan of many. But the truest interpretation of the dish is the variety made in casse-croûtes across la belle province.
So, harkening back to my younger days where a poutine and a Pepsi at Chez Ashton held a dear place in my heart, my first meal on my return visit to Quebec was exactly that:
I enjoyed it fully – the squeak of the cheese curds against my teeth, the mysterious brown gravy, the crisp and fluffy french fries. It’s a simple, beautiful dish and best enjoyed in its most humble state: fast food poutine, perfectly executed. I had some great meals in Quebec over five days, but none warmed my heart like this one: