One food that I really enjoy every time we’re in Montreal is poutine, or french fries with gravy and cheese curds. I knew going into our trip that we probably wouldn’t have time for any poutine in Montreal, since we were only spending one night there, so I looked up places to eat it in Quebec City. Overwhelmingly, all my research pointed us to Chez Ashton.
I was a bit hesitant since Chez Ashton is a fast food chain, but the reviews of the poutine were mostly positive. Plus there was a branch just down the street from our hotel, so on our way back after touring the Old City, we stopped in to pick up a poutine snack. We ordered the “regular” size, which is actually the largest size. Medium is “mini”, and small is “baby”. At just under $10 for the regular, it’s a bit pricier than what you would expect from a fast food chain, but it was a pretty hefty pile of food. We took it to go, and it was served in a large round foil container, absolutely packed to the brim with fries, gravy, and curds.
Fortunately, since it was such a short walk back to our hotel, the poutine was still piping hot when we opened it up, and it hadn’t steamed in the container for too long. The fries were still crispy on the outside, and the curds were warm and soft but still squeaky, which meant they were fresh. And boy, were there a lot of curds in the dish, more than I’ve ever seen before on any poutine. They were huge too, with most pieces thicker than the french fries. Josh and I actually aren’t really fans of the squeaky curds- we prefer the cheese on our poutine to be more melted and gooey, but the curds do add an interesting textural and flavor component to the dish.
The gravy on the poutine was actually really delicious – just the right amount of saltiness and a meaty, savory flavor. I wished there was more of it, because it eventually all got soaked into the french fries, which made the dish a bit dry. The fries did end up losing their crispiness midway through, but they were never really soggy. We managed to eat about two-thirds of the container before calling it quits – it was definitely a huge portion. Perhaps next time we’ll go with the mini size instead.
Overall, I really liked the poutine from Chez Ashton. The website boasts that everything is made fresh, and it really seemed to be as such. The fries were the right size to stand up to the gravy and curds, not too thick or thin, and tasted like real potatoes, not the frozen variety. There were plenty of fresh cheese curds on top, and the gravy was really flavorful. Maybe next time I’ll ask for some extra gravy on the side, to help avoid the dryness issue once the fries soak up all the gravy in the container. I would definitely recommend the poutine here, and it’s probably even better after a few drinks!
Chez Ashton (multiple locations)
640 Grande Allée E
Quebec City, Canada