Food Porn Champion: Poutine Tater Tots

We love poutine. We love tater tots. We are SO EFFING MAD at ourselves for not thinking of poutine tater tots before someone else did.

Chef Kyle Bailey — yes, the same mad genius behind The New Luther — well be hawking this deep-fried stroke of genius around Washington D.C. all week. Only 20 orders of “Wonky Tots” will be available per lunch shift (11 AM to 2 PM), and those of you lucky enough to live there will have to follow @eatwonky and @churchkeydc to find out where his food truck will be.

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America’s Best New Sandwiches, Part 2

Last month ES brought you our list of America’s top 10 new sandwiches. But blogga always said that reader knows best.

Many of you commented on our original story to tell us which of your favorite innovative sandwich should have been included. We chose the ten tastiest suggestions and now present an encore list: America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches, as selected by Endless Simmer readers.

10. Steak Poutine Pita — U Needa Pita St. Catharine’s, Ontario

What could be better than poutine, Montreal’s signature street food? How about throwing that poutine — cheese curds, fries and gravy included — on a pita, so you can actually eat it while walking down the street? Add some steak and you’ve got yourself one helluva sandwich. And yes, for the sake of U Needa Pita, we’re including Canada as part of America this one time only.

9. Westside Monte Cristo — Melt Bar and Grilled — Cleveland

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: there’s no food so good that it can’t be made better by a trip to the deep fryer. Kudos to Melt for being brave enough to test this theory out on the monte cristo breakfast sandwich — honey ham, smoked turkey, Swiss and American cheese — all battered in beer and deep fried.

8. Chacarero — La Sombra — Austin

We’re officially placing money on Chile’s signature sandwich — the chacarero — to become the next bahn mi, and La Sombra‘s version is the most sumptuous one we’ve seen yet. Shiner Bock marinated sliced hangar steak topped with green beans, avocado, tomatoes, pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo, all on a thin, toasty bolillo.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

kale chip fail

– Reaching back to an old Friday Fuck Up, erisgrrrl confirms that cooking kale chips is easier said than done:

I have tried to make kale chips twice and both times it was fail city! They looks so easy and tasty! I have no idea what I did wrong but it was no good! So, I totally feel your pain!

Why is this so hard? Some tips please? Anyone?

– In another oldie-but-goodie, real live French-Canadian Jean-Guy Bourque approves of our NYC Tour de Poutine:

I am a French-Canadian who left Montreal for a 6 month visit to the USA 42 years ago, and I’m still here in New Jersey…I am very happy to see that you can finally get a taste of Montreal here in the NYC area! Bravo! What I really hope for is for “smoked meat” to also catch on here…You’ll forget about NY style pastrami once you’ve tried Montreal’s smoked meat! Also the Montreal style of BBQ chicken that you get at places like Chalet BBQ, Benny’s or St Hubert BBQ…

Consider us on board the smoked meat bandwagon!

– Finally, star ES commenter erica offers up some more ideas for what to cook with lentils:

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Top 10 New Foods We Ate in 2010

With another year gone it’s time to look back and reflect on all the deliciousness that was. Here are the top ten new dishes the Endless Simmer team was lucky enough to stuff in our mouths over the past 12 months.

10. Fried Peanut Butter, Banana and Bourbon Sandwich

breslin peanut butter and banana

Breakfast at The Breslin in New York is about as ridiculously delectable as it gets. In their modern update on The Elvis sandwich, peanut butter, banana, bourbon and vanilla are all goo-ily encased in a fried-til-crispy puffed skin. (Photo: gsz)

9. Sustainable Sushi

sustainable sushi

Sushi is the modern foodie’s last major guilt trip — a dish that just can’t be done locally, sustainably, or ethically. Or is it? At Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut chef Bun Lai is turning the sushi CW on its head, proving it can be just as tasty and exciting when overfished species like unagi and bluefin are replaced with sustainable, North American fish. If there’s one new food idea that turns into a 2011 trend, we hope it’s this.

8. Burrata Everywhere


This revelatory cheese wasn’t invented in 2010 (try 1920) but this was the year we saw the Italian delicacy pop up on menus all across America. Fresh curds of buffalo milk mozzarella are stirred into salted cream and kneaded and pulled until they take on a gloriously goopy texture that makes all other mozz look like lifeless balls of nothing. Burrata is such a perfect cheese that only a sliver of bread and a touch of olive oil are needed to make it a meal. The quality varies place to place, but we sampled particularly tasty versions at Roman’s in Brooklyn and The Lake Chalet in Oakland. You? (Photo: Chiara Lorè)

7. The Mighty Cone

the mighty cone

The Austin, Texas food truck scene is one of the most heralded in the nation, and this local ready-to-eat-on-the-street treat is the one we’re most hoping to see go national. At this year-old trailer, a tortilla cone is filled with cornflake-almond-chili-crusted chicken tenders, fried avocado, mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce. The ice cream cone is dead. Long live the chicken cone.
(Photo: The Mighty Cone)

6. Malaysian BBQ

fatty cue

Usually by the time a budding chef-lebrity opens their third restaurant, they’re churning out a watered down, assembly line version of what made them famous. Not so for Zak Pelaccio, who branched out this year with Fatty Cue, a Brooklyn restaurant that ingeniously fuses traditional southeast Asian flavors into classic BBQ dishes. The never gimmicky menu ranges from heritage pork ribs in smoked fish-palm syrup and Indonesian long pepper to Manila claims swimming in bone broth with barbecued bacon and chili. (Photo: Fatty Cue)

Next: Top 5 New Foods We Ate in 2010

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– Thanks for all the homemade pasta tips. Sounds like The Pioneer Woman is our go-to source. Other ideas? Keep ’em coming.

– You keep submitting those funky-ass cottage cheese recipes, we’ll keep publishing them. Jay:

A little late to the game, but I’ve got a weird one…I eat A LOT of it.

1 cup Cottage Cheese
1-2 tbsp Sweet Relish

Want to be really gross, er, fancy? Mix in some finely diced beef jerky. I kid you not, it’s awesome, but I can only vouch for my brand of cottage cheese: Friendship. It’s like the Fage of cottage cheese, very thick and doesn’t need to be strained so it’s a little more “recipe ready”. Though I’d like to try this with those Rachel’s flavors if I could find them.

– Finally, Sara coins a healthy new food philosophy.

Thanks to this post, I’m now a poutinatarian.

(Photo: imipolexG)

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NYC Tour De Poutine


It was during a visit to Montreal some eight years ago that I first discovered the glory that is poutine. This French Canadian specialty is a heart-stopping, gut-busting treat that somehow manages to out-America American food, topping crispy French fries with mounds of fresh cheese curds and thick brown gravy. Delicious. Frightening. Genius.

The dish is so popular Up North that it’s even served at McDonald’s in Montreal. Now it’s quickly proliferating New York restaurant menus and appears set to become the next Bahn Mi/Fried Chicken/obsessive over-the-top comfort food trend. So I set out to explore every New York restaurant currently serving poutine. With a little (OK, a lot) of help from some friends, I’m delighted to share this exhaustive report, along with the news that my internal organs appear to still be intact…for now.

Drunken Poutine: T Poutine

t poutine 1

The first NYC shop to make poutine the focus of their menu, this Lower East Side newcomer sees Canada’s challenge and raises it, offering artery-clogging options like the steakhouse poutine (topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese and thinly sliced steak) and the morning glory poutine (applewood smoked bacon and sunnyside up egg). The gravy (which also comes in a veggie version) is nothing to write home about, but this party-area spot, which is BYOB and open til 5am on weekends, is more about the alcohol-soaking extras. You can ramp your poutines up even further with add-ons like Essex pickles and panko fried cheese curds. 168 Ludlow Street, $7.25 – $9.50

Update: T Poutine has sadly closed

Everything Poutine: Corner Burger

corner burger

After returning from an eye-opening holiday trip to Montreal, the owners of this Park Slope burger and sandwich shop have updated their menu with an astounding 13 varieties of poutine. The Americanized takes—pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara make up the “pizza poutine”—are in our opinion unnecessary, but Corner Burger hits a home run with the hearty classic versions, such as “poutine galvaude,” a popular Quebecois take that adds shredded chicken and peas to the standard dish, which features a delicious housemade chicken gravy. 381 5th Avenue, Brooklyn. $6 – $7.50

Extra Cheese Poutine: Dive Bar

dive bar

This long-standing Upper West Side establishment has been serving poutine for years, and there’s nothing fancy or inventive about their take. (The bartender found it hilarious/adorable that I wanted to take a photo.) The possibly canned gravy is mediocre, but as you can see that’s not really the emphasis here. Dive Bar wins the most-cheese-curds-for-your-dollar award by a long shot, and gets extra props for the fact that the extra-crispy fries hold up well under all that weight. 732 Amsterdam Avenue, $8.

Next: The poutine only gets crazier…

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