The Poutine Contingency

A/C ON and -11 Outside

Hello snow.

I am in Montreal this week speaking at a cabin safety symposium, maybe a little against my will (at least as far as the weather goes), and although I am trying to make the best of it, the truth is: its friggin cold up here. The winds are blowing at 30 mph gusting to 45, placing the windchill so low that they are measuring it in Kelvin.

So what was my plan to cope with the cold? Eat a hearty Quebec meal and seek the company of like minded folk. Where did I go wrong? Well, I decided to brave the elements and attempted to walk 3 miles to the selected restaurant.

I made it 2 blocks.

Rather than truly endanger my well being (this kind of weather can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and even death) I solicited transport from a taxi driver and settled in for a comfortable and warm ride. Warmth. If only it were that simple. The Canadian taxi driver, you see, had the AIR CONDITIONING on! I sat in the back of a frigid taxi, shivering and clenching teeth in the sub-zero weather whilst trying to enjoy the luxury of air conditioned comfort. And to think that I was actually paying for the ride…

Outside in the cold

Once I arrived, it seemed as though the least I could do is snap a quick shot of La Banquise, a 24 hour purveyor of one of the most classic of Quebec dishes: poutine (pronounced like the Russian President’s name). Poutine is a tasty and potentially hazardous dish comprised of fried potatoes, cheese curds, and brown gravy. The dish has a cult following, of which I have been a proud member since first tasting it way back in 1984 during a visit to Quebec City. Poutine connoisseurs will go to great lengths to find poutine nirvana, including braving arctic weather with new Caribbean skin.

Front Window

The front window of La Banquise. All photos here were taken without flash in my continuing exploration of low light flash-less photography. My Nikon D300 seems well equipped for the job – I just love the shots that I’m getting with it.

Working the grill

Upon entering, I was pleased to see that the grill was in plain sight, and what a sight it was.

22 kinds of poutine!

The menu contained no less than 22 kinds of poutine!

Slinging hash

Almost here! Mmmmm…

Perfection!

The money shot! Yes, this is steamy, greasy, fat filled lusciousness worthy of praise in poetry and song. My particular variation included an onion gravy and ground steak. I fully intended to do a grueling hour on the treadmill upon returning to the hotel, but instead spent the evening chatting with friends both in Montreal and online. Vive la poutine!

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~ by John on February 10, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Poutine Contingency”

  1. Wow, Air….
    It must be “frigid” up there. Your shots are amazing. I’m enjoying the site… are we “stalkers” now?

  2. Ya, it has been amazingly cold. This was the only time I ventured outside of the hotel. There’s something about wind chills in below-zero range that screams “STAY INSIDE, IDIOT!”

    I’m glad that you guys are enjoying the blog. I’ll be returning to Puerto Rico on Saturday, so the normal flow of island lore should resume shortly.

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