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Dear Doctor Potato, if poutine=popularity+profit, I’m ready to hop on the trend.  How do I create a signature poutine for my operation?


Poutine is a quintessential Canadian dish that’s making rapid inroads on American menus. Originally a savory amalgam of crisp French fries gilded with cheese curds and beef gravy, I’ve spotted poutine variations on U.S. menus ranging from quick service to white tablecloth.

When it comes to designing a signature poutine for your menu, I recommend a two-step process.

  1. Specify Idaho® Russet potatoes for your French fries.* Start with the best French fry possible, and the rest is, well, gravy!
  2. Consider how to regionalize, differentiate and distinguish your toppings. Check out this poutine tour of the U.S., and you’ll see what I mean. 
Location Restaurant Menu name and description
Los Angeles CA Animal Poutine with oxtail gravy and cheddar
  The Gorbals Bahn Mi Poutine–thrice-cooked fries, hoisin gravy
  Soleil Westwood Poutine Marat–cheese curds, sliced filet mignon, mushrooms, cognac cream sauce
    Poutine Malik–cheese curds, merquez sausage, spicy harissa cream sauce
Las Vegas NV China Poblano Papas Fritas with Mole Poblano–queso fresco, traditional Pueblan mole, crema
Deer Valley UT Goldener Hirsch Inn & Restaurant Locally sourced braised lamb and cheese curds, lamb gravy
Louisville KY The Brown Hotel Idaho® Potato Poutine–Cheddar cheese curds, Maker’s Mark-black pepper gravy 
Chicago IL Bad Happy Poutine Shop Old Smokey–smoked meat, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, curds, sauce au poivre
    Da’ Local–Italian sausage, house giardiniera, sweet peppers, mushroom-onion gravy, curds
    The Good, the Bad, and the Happy–Pork Belly, truffle mayonnaise, foie gras mousse and gravy, curds, sunny-side up egg
    The Zeus–Grilled gyro meat, feta, onions, tomatoes, Tzatziki sauce, Kalamata olive tapenade, curry gravy
  The Gage Poutine with wild boar, stewed vegetables and curds
  The Southern Southern Mess–Tasso ham gravy, Wisconsin cheese curds, rosemary
Fowlerville MI Duke’s Pizza Plus Pizza Fries-pizza sauce, cheese and 1 topping
Cleveland OH Greenhouse Tavern Gravy Frites–Mozzarella cheese curds, brown gravy
    Animal-Style–Lardons, Mozzarella cheese curds, brown gravy, two sunny-side up eggs, whole grain mustard
Boston MA The Gallows Spring Vegetarian–fresh spring peas, Black Trumpet mushrooms, house-made curds, dill béchamel
    Out-of-Control–foie gras, chicken gravy, homemade ricotta, roasted chestnuts
Brooklyn NY Corner Burger Greek Poutine–feta cheese, oregano, sliced olives, gravy

Now that you’ve gotten a taste of poutine possibilities, let me know what you devise for your menu.  Your Idaho® Potato menu success is good news that we like to share. Below are a few recipes to get you started. 

You might also like another post I did called Fried Potatoes with Stuff on Top

*Finally, remember customer-pleasing poutines depend on customer-pleasing potatoes. Putting Idaho® French Fries on your menu is one of the easiest ways to increase sales and improve profits. They're quick to prepare and have a low food cost. In fact, 70% of foodservice menus include French fries–more than any other food. With Idaho® Potatoes, you're giving your customers the best fries available. The high solids content of Idaho® Potatoes ensures a distinct, mealy texture and hearty flavor. They also absorb less oil, producing crispier fries. Premium length and low moisture content mean less shrinkage for improved yield and plate coverage. And the low sugar content of Idaho® Potatoes results in light golden fries, not dark fries as with high-sugar potatoes. 

Click here for my tips on preparing perfect Fresh-cut French Fries

Good luck!