Friday, March 25, 2016

Variations on a Local Food Theme

This is something called "Timbers Poutine":

It's served at one of the concession stands at the Civic - oh, sorry, "Providence Park" - and consists of a bed of waffle fries littered with bacon, cheddar cheese squares, and fried chicken breast bits all slathered with a brown gravy.

It's a sorta-kinda version of the original Quebecois version of the thing, which 86ed the bacon and chicken and included cheese curds rather than actual cheese. Poutine, BTW, is Quebec's contribution to the "local-specialty-kinda-junky-but-beloved-comfort-food" category, right up there with chili cheese fries and the monkey meat guy outside the Corozal PZ.

Interestingly enough, Portland is something of a hotbed of poutine, complete with a website devoted to Portland poutine and several local joints also serving this melange of the ridiculous and the sublime.

Frankly the Timbers' version is...well, it's belly-timber and not bad for a hungry pre-match feed. But the cheese-cheese isn't a good substitute for the cheese curds and the chicken is really superfluous, a doughy/bready distraction that adds nothing of its own. I've had it without the chicken and that improved the stuff but now that I've sampled it I'm jonesing for a taste more like the real thing.

But I got to thinking about this as I was looking for a good local poutine that Portland doesn't really have a "local specialty". Voodoo Donuts? Meh. Beers? Yeah, we've got a pantsload...but that's not food.

So if we did have a "Portland specialty food"...I wonder...what would it be?


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