As a red-blooded American, there are fewer things I love more than chowing down on a cheeseburger, hot wings, or chicken strips at a local watering hole. But when I’m in the mood to inhale a more international bar appetizer, I go for what may be the best Canadian invention outside of peanut butter or hockey: Poutine.

Poutine Canadian meal with fries, curd cheese, beer and gravy

Look, I get it. The name, when pronounced out loud, doesn’t sound like the most appetizing thing. But if you haven’t had the pleasure, poutine is one of my favorite comfort foods ever. Invented by a drunk Canadian college student in the 1800s (Source Needed), poutine is what happens when you take a plate of piping hot French fries and pour a generous amount of gravy and cheese curds on top. It’s amazing.

So if you’re a fan like me, or you want to give poutine a try, here are 5 places in Rochester to check out:

1. Forager Brewing Company

Aside from being a great place for local beer, Forager also has a great menu. Order the Fried Chicken Poutine off their brunch menu and feel that hangover just melt away!

2. Crooked Pint Ale House

Crooked Pint Beer Selection

Their poutine comes with ranch seasoning, bacon crumbles, green onions, and beef gravy. Perfect with an ice, cold beer.

3. Grand Rounds Brewing Company

Credit: TSM Rochester
Credit: TSM Rochester

They sell Pizza Poutine here. ‘Nuff said.

4. Fat Willy’s

I'll admit that I haven't been here yet, but give me a week. They sell "Willy's Fries", described as "French fries piled high with Ellsworth cheese curds smothered in nacho cheese or brown gravy." Yeah, that sounds OK. That'll do.

5. KFC/McDonald’s

Getty Images

This is kind of a cheat, but seriously try this out sometime: dump a bowl of KFC gravy onto a plate of McDonald’s French fries. Add cheese curds to taste. I wish I thought of this when I was in college.


So there you have it! Enjoy. And if I missed out on any places with awesome poutine in Southeast Minnesota, please let me know. I beg of you. I really, really love poutine.

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