5 to Try: Poutine in Portland

If you've yet to try poutine, don't worry: You will. Poutine--the Quebec diner staple consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy--is poised to take off in Portland. Whether you prefer your poutine served in an upscale-casual restaurant or like eating it at a picnic table outside the city's favorite French fry food cart, we've got the scoop on places that bring this Canadian favorite across the border. (Photo by Keith Wagstaff)

Updated: October 21, 2009

Curd is the Word


Lincoln

3808 N Williams No. 127, Portland, OR 97227

Bike commuters, bar hoppers and neighborhood regulars drop by this upscale-casual HUB building hangout for the happy hour poutine. In this updated version, the chef melts the cheese curds over the crisp fry base then pours on her rich, braised lamb gravy. Try it with one of the bar menu's craft beers for an indulgent start to your happy hour feast.


C-Bar

2880 Se Gladstone St, Portland, OR 97202

Eastside tipplers make this corner cocktail lounge their happy hour destination when they're craving a house made bloody Mary and a heaping plate of comfort food. From the small plates section of the menu, they're apt to order poutine--or S.E. Poutin as it's called here. The requisite ingredients are all present but the chef sets his poutine apart by adding collard greens and bacon. Yes, everything tastes better with bacon--even poutine.


Savoy Tavern & Bistro

2500 SE Clinton, Portland, OR 97202

Clinton Street soul food devotees cozy into the booths at this hip Midwest meets mid-century modern restaurant for tastes of comfort food made with fresh Northwest ingredients. There's fried chicken, wedge salads and, of course, poutine. The chef keeps his version simple with the basic accruements of cheese curds and gravy resting atop the fries. No matter, even a traditional poutine attracts a crowd.


The Original Dinerant

300 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Diners craving a nostalgic bite head to this New American diner for modern updates on traditional comfort food like lobster corndogs and upscale poutine. Downtowners can order the house poutine two ways: plain with the French fries, cheese curds and gravy or-- for $7 more--with foie gras if they want to go gourmet.


Potato Champion

12'th SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Late-night bar crawlers and Hawthorne 'hood insomniacs frequent this quirky food cart for Belgian-style fries sided with an array of inventive dipping sauces. But it's equally likely that they're dropping by to place an order for poutine--particularly the vegetarian and vegan versions that draw a niche crowd.