Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Day 2 of our Canadian adventure took us to Montreal. We piled into the First Grade Teacher's Hyundai SUV and off we went for a two hour drive from Ottawa to Montreal in Quebec. I like to sit in the back seat and doing so gave me a direct view of the dashboard. I noticed after we left the city traffic and started driving through the countryside that the gas needle is at less than a quarter of a tank. But I keep this to myself because we have all been alternating between laughing at funny stories about living in the dorm and concentrating on what "Pierre" the GPS Navigation System's voice is trying to tell us. The needle keeps dropping and I am noticing that there are almost no gas stations at any of the exits. I alert our driver that we might need to get some gas soon and my backseat mate announces that she needs to stop to pee soon. Great, surely we'll stop soon now for both gas and a pee break.

Next exit....nothing but countryside. Exit after exit and no gas stations. We hear a "ding" and the little icon of a gas pump appears on the dashboard. And did I mention that we have been driving through rain off and on? Our chauffeur decides that the next exit has to have a gas station and so we take it. We are somewhere in Quebec at this point. We see a cute little "town" ahead and start looking for a gas station. We pull up next to a pick up truck and ask him where a gas station might be and he asks us in French if we speak French. Pas de tout....Not at all! Then he points and not 100 feet ahead of us is one old and decrepit looking gas station. But they have gas and a toilet! As far as gas station bathrooms go....this one was well, kind of gross. But when you've gotta go...you've gotta go. So we filled up one tank and emptied four others.

The FGT (First Grade Teacher) announces that while we are here in this extremely small and extremely French Canadian town that we have to stop and get some Poutine. Careful how you pronounce that ladies and gentlemen. :) She tells us that it is a traditional food in Canada, especially Quebec and that we must "experience" it. That is what I love to do.....experience what is unique and local to the spot I am visiting so I am excited. The gas station attendant tells us that the best Poutine in town is across the street and so that is where we go. I wish I had taken a photo of the restaurant but I didn't. FGT decides to order us the "Family Size"with four forks and we take it to a table to eat it outside in front of the restaurant.

Okay, so what exactly is Poutine anyway? Well, let me start by saying it is delicious in a kind of artery clogging way. They took a foil pan and heaped in some french fries. The fries are then topped with cheese curds. Yes, cheese curds like in cottage cheese only these "curds" are gigantic and bit on the rubbery side. Then the whole thing is covered in a brown gravy. This is stick to your ribs kind of stuff and not very pretty to look at but it is really, really good! So the four of us dug in. Mmmmmmm.....Poutine......Mmmmmm. Bellies full and with a full tank of gasoline we continued on to Montreal.


Cindy said...

You captured the experience perfectly! My kids cannot believe I ate french fries with gravy and cheese curds. Who would ever think to put those ingredients together? It was amazingly good!

Lisa said...

Thanks Cindy! I know...what a crazy combination and it was good! Have that for breakfast and you are good for the whole day! My kids looked at the photo and said "Did you really eat that???!!"
Yes I did!

Anonymous said...

Lisa--you are getting braver with your food choices--I remember you telling me how you didn't like ANYTHING that was white.

LIsa said...

You have a great memory! I do have a thing about white and creamy food. The Poutine was surprisingly good once you got past the look of the gigantic cheese curds! Everyone should try it at least once!

Reen said...

LOL..Poutine, (as my kids would say) ROCKS! As a proud Canadian and proud 'poutine connoisseur' I could not help but giggle at your post and at the comments. Funny how something that seems so uneventful to us, can create conversation with others. Anyway, just thought I would drop a note and let you know that I have really enjoyed your blog. I stumbled upon it this evening and two hours had passed before I knew it!! Great work!!!