Smoke’s Poutinerie is the latest entry into downtown St. John’s ever changing restaurant and retail landscape. Part of a popular chain found in numerous major cities in North America, Smoke’s serves up poutine in a variety of styles. There has been talk of a Smoke’s opening in St. John’s for the last two years.
Once it was finally confirmed, people were eagerly awaiting its grand opening. The big day finally came in early July, with lineups out into the street. People can’t seem to get enough and with all the different styles of poutine. Be sure to get a good workout in afterwards.
I ventured into Smoke’s recently on a slower but still very busy supper hour. The lineup was to the door when I walked in. The space Smoke’s is located in is rather small and narrow, painted in black, white, and red, with stainless steel accents, it has a deli counter feel to it, the kind of place where you grab a quick bite on the go. It is definitely more of a take out than a sit down restaurant. Seating is pretty limited and may seat around 20 people. Once you get up to the counter to order, you’re greeted by energetic and enthusiastic staff who are quick on their feet, managing pretty well to keep all the orders straight and getting all the fries, gravy, and other fixings ready to go.
The menu at Smoke’s is not overly huge, there is a good variety to choose from and some creative options. You can go for a Traditional Poutine which is fries dressed with gravy(theirs is a peppercorn style) and cheese curds. They have poutine decked out Nacho style either with meat or veggies. There’s Double and Triple Pork Poutines for the carnivore and Curry Chicken Poutine for a more exotic take on the Canadian classic. These are just a few of the options, Smoke’s aims to turn poutine in an all out meal rather than a snack bar item. I kept it simple on my first visit, going for a Traditional Poutine, which I was satisfying. It was fresh, hot and flavorful and the cheese curds add a different flavor to it than the shredded mozzarella you get on poutine locally. Still I am curious as to just what can be done with poutine and I have to try other options. On my next visit I plan to give the Italian Poutine a try. A popular variation on poutine that I have sampled in Quebec, it is topped with a hearty bolognese sauce and cheese curds. I’m sure Smoke’s perfectly sized straight cut fries could handle that and any variation you put on them. With so many to choose from, there’s a poutine for all tastes and appetites.
Smoke’s Poutinerie is open Monday to Wednesday from 11am – 11pm, Thursday 11am – 3am, Friday and Saturday 11am – 4am, and is closed on Sundays. It is open extra late on the weekends to feed the hungry post George Street crowds. Give Smoke’s Poutinerie a sample, be prepared to wait a bit as it’s sure to be busy, but it’s well worth it.
By: Vanessa Wade