The Best Poutine I’ve Ever Had – Chez Ashton’s in Quebec City

I eat a fair amount of poutine. Not like daily or anything, that would be dangerous. Foolish even. (Plus poutine goes right to my thighs) To me, poutine is something you indulge in every once in a while. A brief meal (typically enjoyed inebriated) to remind you and those around you about your thoughts on dieting. We all end up 6 feet under sooner or later, I’d prefer to spend some of my time enjoying something I love. French Fries, Gravy, and a helping handful or two of fresh Cheese Curds. That’s a dish made with love! I’ve eaten poutine all over Canada, and while I clearly have several more establishments to sample, I can’t help but write about Chez Ashtons in Quebec City.

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Chez Ashtons, the birthplace of poutine

There will always be alternative views, but Chez Ashtons is believed to be the inventor of poutine. There’s been many claims in the past, but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just happy Quebec shared this dish with the rest of Canada. If you speak with the locals and let them know you’re going to Chez Ashtons, you’ll either get a big smile and a thumbs up, or a clicking tongue with frowning shaking face. Perhaps it’s because of the Fast Food nature of Chez Ashtons. Many people feel a cultural dish as incredible as poutine shouldn’t be served in under 5 minutes. I clearly don’t share that philosophy.

I had just left some post Crashed Ice celebrations, which included partaking in a couple St Patricks Day beverages with my younger sister. All that partying and excitement worked up a serious hunger. It was time. We made the trip down Rue Saint-Jean, stumbling past groups of drunk french speaking teenagers and adults. We stayed on course, “This is no time to socialize!”. We came upon Chez Ashtons and B-lined it into line.

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Deux très grand Poutine s’il vous plait

I ordered in my best french, which unfortunately after a few drinks, is also considered my worst. The lovely girl behind the counter laughed and deciphered whatever it is I said to her. A couple minutes later we were presented with two large dishes of original poutine. Nothing fancy, no extras, no pieces of sausages or splashes of weird sauces. Just a straight up traditional Quebecois poutine.

Quebec Poutine at Chez Ashton

I observed this poutine. Crisp fresh cut fries, ooey gooey gravy, and cheese curds the size of human digits. It was beautiful! A drunk man can only observe food like that for so long. My fork quickly made contact with the dish, and crushing ensued. The fries retained their strength, which is to say they didn’t become a soggy mess. The curds were thoroughly spread throughout the fries, ensuring I didn’t eat all of them before getting to the bottom. It was the perfect Poutine. Simple, elegant, and crafted with years of experience. I high fived my sister and laughed, “Wow, that was crazy good! Quebec does poutine right!”.

 Have you ever enjoyed a Chez Ashtons poutine? Ever come across a poutine that’s better? Comment below or toss me a tweet @ibackpackcanada!

 

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10 Responses to “The Best Poutine I’ve Ever Had – Chez Ashton’s in Quebec City”

  1. Dana de Brito
    April 4, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Mmm..Looks delicious! I haven’t made it to Quebec city yet… so Montreal Poutine reigns supreme for me – all in in good time though :)
    Thanks for the tips!

    • Corbin Fraser
      April 4, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Should be in Montreal again this summer. Got a couple poutine places there I want to try out. We’ll see if Chez Ashton can hang onto the title after them. haha

  2. Moritz Menzel
    April 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Chez Ashton’s is my 2nd favorite poutine. The best one I had was at Frites Alors in Montreal (the one on St. Catherine)! They have amazing fries. I was in Quebec City for crashed ice as well! Really cool. I loved the city. T’ire d’érable was great too, never had it before.. :)

    • Corbin Fraser
      April 9, 2012 at 9:20 am #

      I’ll have to check out Frites Alors! I think fry quality makes up for a good 80% of the poutine experience! 

      Thanks for commenting :)

  3. Christopher Jenkins
    April 15, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Makes me miss Montreal… long way away in Arizona now!

    • Corbin Fraser
      April 16, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      I hear ya! Looking forward to gettin’ back to Montreal again here soon!

  4. Marie Julie Gagnon
    April 20, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Frites alors! poutine is good, but I tell you, the best in the world is at La Banquise, on Rachel, Montréal. ;-)

  5. Mel
    June 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    If you’re in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island anytime soon, try the poutine at Pirate Chips! They also do deep fried chocolate bars and all sorts of other artery clogging goodies!

    • Corbin Fraser
      June 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      Oh sounds delightfully awesome! Count me in, should be there near the end of the summer to try this out! Thanks for the tip!

  6. Susie
    August 30, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Snack Bar on rue St-Jean, just outside the Old City and across from the Ninkasi and La Drague is SOOO much better. I’ve eaten it a few times and never been disappointed. I had Chez Ashton once and it just didn’t compare.
    Plus the cheese curds are bigger at Snack Bar, and the staff work effin’ hard to provide those tasty, tasty poutines to hordes of drunken folk until 5am every night.

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