[Update: Smoke’s Poutinerie in Berkeley closed on November 6, 2019.]

Poutine is a traditional dish from Québec, Canada, which consists of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds, the fun bits of whey that squeak when you bite into them.

This is the medium size

The first time I went to Smoke’s Poutinerie in Berkeley, California was a few years ago when it first opened. I had ordered the “Traditional” (French fries, gravy, cheese curds) and was unimpressed with the cold and soggy fries that were only made warm by the gravy. It was also topped with a so-so amount of cheese curds.

Korean poutine with kimchi

I went back to Smoke’s recently and I decided to be more adventurous. I broke from “Traditional” and ordered the Korean poutine (aka The Bulgoger).

Each poutine is made to order and you get to choose either French fries or tater tots. I chose fries, which were crispy, not greasy. You could tell they were fresh out of the fryer – they were hot!

The steak appeared to have been chopped so finely that it looked like ground beef. The picture on their wall menu didn’t include kimchi, or salted and fermented vegetables, but my poutine came with some on it, so that was a pleasant surprise. It almost made me forget I came for the cheese curds, which they kind of skimped on, by the way.

Overall, their Korean poutine was flavorful and I liked it. I’d order it again.

Update: Smoke’s Poutinerie in Berkeley closed November 2019

For more information:

Smoke’s Poutinerie

[This post was originally published on October 12, 2018.]

Since my local Smoke’s Poutinerie is now closed, where should I go to get poutine? Tell me in the comments below!