Sunday will be the sold out Poutine Fest, which marks some kind of high water mark for the French fries-cheese curds and gravy dish from Quebec, which somehow popped up everywhere in Chicago starting about two years ago. There's an entire poutine-devoted restaurant (BadHappy Poutine Shop, whose owner we interviewed here), but more than that, you just see it everywhere, often in extravagant forms (we sampled lobster poutine at The Boarding House recently). How did this odd construction, which nearly always comes accompanied by the words "drunk food," take off as haute-low cuisine?
As David Hammond says at the Sun-Times today:
Like pizza, poutine is a carbohydrate platform that offers opportunities for infinite variation; its culinary potential is only now beginning to be realized in Chicago.
Serious Eats Chicago (specifically, our man Huge) logged Five Poutines We Love in Chicago a year ago, but plenty more have popped up since (we especially liked Red Door's, which was almost subtle). In the meantime, as we say, Poutine Fest is sold out but Kitchit Chicago is giving away two tickets; go here to enter their raffle.