Sunday, July 19, 2009
The Best Poutine #2: The Blue Chip Truck
Another blog entry for the foodies out there. This is the first entry in the "Best Poutine in Toronto" List. There are twelve in total on blogto. Hopefully I can get through them without having to go for triple bypass surgery. Well, coming in at #2, we have the famous Blue Truck outside Nathan Phillips Square.
You will find the blue chip truck stationed outside Nathan Phillips Square which is right by Queen and Bay. It's only a couple of minutes from the Queen street end of the Eaton Centre so you won't have trouble getting there by TTC. I didn't give it a 5 out of 5 because there are TWO blue trucks to buy food from! You will know you went to the right one if you see a scrolling display on the top of the truck. The correct one also says Slush-Pop-Water on the front of it. I believe the other one is called Mr. Tasty. Since you're buying food from a truck, it's pretty much to go. You should be able to find seats on the benches outside Nathan Phillips Square (if they're not occupied by sleeping homeless people) but on nice days, it's tough to get a seat in the shade as it just gets too crowded. You may have to eat standing up or sitting on the hot edge of the wading pool. Entertainment won't be a problem though. You're guaranteed to catch a lot of cleavage and skimpy skirts in the summer time and if you're lucky you will catch a total act of randomness. When I was there, I saw two protests going on. One involving the City of Toronto workers and another involving student workers telling CUPE to work things out and get back to work. I also saw a homeless guy running across the wading pool as he was getting chased by security guards. Good times!
Let's face it, one of the many benefits of being Canadian is the ability to get a poutine at almost any hour. Having tried poutines from many different outlets, my critique on poutines have become pretty strict. Even then, blue chip truck simply blows many of them out of the water. Let's break down these three simple ingredients.
Fries - The fries from the blue chip truck as freshly cut and always hot. They don't serve their fries from under a heat lamp; they come straight out of the hot oil and are salted nicely. Their fries have some size so they won't get all soggy and limp when covered in gravy. They are already excellent alone but even better with cheese and gravy!
Gravy - Now the last time I had a poutine prior to this was at Smoke's Poutinerie. My main complaint about their gravy was that it was too bland! Well, this isn't a problem at the blue truck. The gravy is packed with flavour and they really load it onto your fries. And as I said earlier, the gravy has a nice thick texture so you're not left with a soup when you get to the bottom.
Cheese Curds - This is usually the deal breaker for me; this is what separates a good poutine from a bad one. I can't believe some places don't even use cheese curds in their poutine (automatic fail!) rather, they use shredded cheese. Well, the blue truck uses fresh chunks of cheese curds! They're slightly salty and squeek between your teeth when you chew them. They give you a decent amount too.
A medium poutine and a can of coke was $6.25 ($5 for the poutine, $1.25 for the coke). I wouldn't exactly call that a great deal but it is filling and any time you can get lunch for under $7 in downtown Toronto should be considered a good price.
Verdict: 5 Flailing Habs out of 5
Now when you think of getting good food, very rarely do you picture getting it out of a truck, however the poutine from the blue chip truck has got to be one of the best I've had. It just shows that there's nothing wrong with simplicity.