Late on Friday and Saturday nights in Montreal one of the busiest places you're bound to find is Resto La Banquise, a 24hr restaurant in the heart of the city's Plateau district.
Here artists, students, freaks and straights gather after the night's festivities to sup on a true Canadian classic, one of the most gluttonous dishes under the sun - poutine.
If you haven't been paying close attention, you may not have seen this dish stealthily invade burger joints and fry shacks across the country. The New Yorker has taken notice and recently published an article establishing the mass of cheese curds, fries and gravy as our national food — you can listen to an audio interview with its author, Calvin Trillin here.
Even though it's a bit presumptuous for a non-Canadian to identify our national food for us, there's a powerful argument to be made in poutine's favour. Just the other week in Ottawa I tasted a clever riff on the dish garnished with flakes of duck, buttery German spaetzles, and the usual suspects -curds and gravy- at the Murray Street diner. It was delicious, and you can find other singularly odd takes on the dish in Montreal.
But what do you think? Is poutine our national food? And if not, what is?