Spudds, an inauspicious poutine and burger shop tucked into strip mall corner is already earning rave reviews, thanks to an article in the LA Times outing it’s location and several other mentions that have followed suit.
Poutine is a traditional French-Canadian dish that has begun to pick up some popularity Stateside, with a food cart in Portland and a spot or two in New York City serving it up. Spudds has taken it a little further an added some American twists to the comfort-food classic combination of crispy fries, cheese curds and gravy. The menu offers multiple variations of poutine, along with more familiar burgers and sausages.
Brother and sister co-owners, Jessica and Shant Kalfayan, hail from Montreal according to their interview with The Times. Shant has worked in local restaurants in the area and prepped for the shop by eating a lot of poutine before refining the recipe. One of the more miraculous aspects of poutine is that the fries, despite being covered in liquid and cheese, never get soggy. They’re not so hard as to be beyond crunchy, but the just right-crispness is a perfect foil to maintain the integrity of the fry itself while mingling deliciously with gravy-topped goodness.
The gravy is soy-based and thus suitable for vegetarians and the cheese is a special blend made for Spudds in Wisconsin. After that, what you choose as a topping is up to you. Try classic if you’ve unfamiliar with the junk food or go for a more creative concoction, including Philly cheesesteak, Mexican or Cowboy. And many more thematic variations as well.
Spudds celebrates more than poutine; there are also “Jacket Potatoes” which are supersized taters and yams stuffed with more creativity, from shrimp cocktail to more traditional sour cream and chives.
The expansive menu doesn’t stop with different potatoes and a multitude of toppings. The Kalfayans are also offering burgers, sausages, wings and sides, with plans for dessert shakes. Like other items, burgers and sausages often have inventive twists. The sides menu is filled with more potatoes (fries and sweet fries and tots) along with pickles, coleslaw and what is likely a downsized version of more poutine.
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