The best poutine in Kingston?

Apr 17, 2009

Bubba's PizzeriaOn our road trip to Toronto, we had to stop for lunch, and Scott had pre-selected our lunch spot for us:  we were to stop in Kingston, at Bubba’s Pizzeria.

According to Scott, this place, located on King Street, is standing room only when the bars are closing.

It is easy to see why: Bubba is a small place.  12 people could sit at the table in the middle, a few more on stools by the window. But as we walked in today, there was one person eating a burger at a table and another one was leaving with a pizza.

Bubba's Pizzeria's Kitchen

Scott was also claiming that when he visited his brother here when he was attending Queen’s, this was the best poutine in town. Sure enough, the store’s window was proudly displaying it’s #1 poutine in Kingston as awarded by Queen’s Journal. However, The Poutine Puritan ranks it #2 in the Kingston area.

A sign at the back of the room, right below the TV which was blaring some american insipidity, was proudly informing us that NO OUTSIDE FOOD was allowed on the premise. I felt reassured by such confidence from the owners into the quality of their food.

The menu was simple enough, but I didn’t really investigate: after all we were here for poutine. So both Scott and I ordered a large poutine, but I was a tad bit worried and  I decided to complement that with a hamburger.  After all, both the poutine and the hamburger were at a special price at this hour – in fact, their special menu is on from 11 am to 11 pm: the drunks can cough up more to enjoy Bubba’s fare.

And many would argue that you have to be drunk to enjoy what came next – but I was 100% sober.

Bubba's Poutine and Hamburger

This is Bubba’s Quebec Style Poutine.  It definitely looked like a Quebec poutine.  Fries. Gravy. Cheese curds.  The fries were passable – clearly a frozen-type, they were fairly crisp and didn’t get soggy, which happens with fresh fries that are not blanched beforehand.  The cheese curds were nothing extraordinary – no “squeek-squeek” noise here – but they were curds, which is a plus.  It seems that they are also kept at room temperature, which permits the curds to be warm throughout with a slight melt on the outside – but very slight here.  The gravy was just that – a very thick, brown gravy.  The thickness is also helpful to keep your fries crisp until you are done.  The gravy was not too salty, which is good, but not very tasty either.  A plain, classic old-fashioned meat-based gravy. No screwing around, no experimentation, just the basic, bringing together the ingredients, coating the fries nicely to gave me the best poutine I’ve ever had in Kingston.

As for the burger, well, it wasn’t too too bad.  It looked worst than it was.  The taste reminded me of a Harvey’s burger.  Even though they claim it is made from 100% fresh ground beef and charcoal broiled, it seems to me that the patty had been frozen – for which, strangely, I am thankful – nevertheless, it was grilled nicely.  The beef was lying on a thin bed of thinly sliced lettuce, and the condiments, which weren’t spread evenly on the bun, included mayo, mustard, relish and pickles/  The bun itself was fresh – and they must serve a lot of burgers considering how many buns were pilled around the tiny counter at the front.

Melissa was tempted by the Italian poutine – the cashier immediately informed her that it came “with meat sauce, ya know? ” Clearly, we must not look like regular townies or not as informed as Queen’s students.

Bubba's Italian Poutine

Melissa did enjoy her poutine, although, as far as I am concerned, their meat sauce doesn’t have enough meat.  It is more like a tomato sauce, with some meat in it.  If you like tomato sauce, as opposed to a good meat sauce, well, there you have it.  It looked somewhat homemade, though, and it was warmer than the gravy, as it melted the cheese much faster.

Thankfully, we had a vegetarian pregnant lady to bring down the average calories and carbo-hydrates per person.

Bubba's Veggie Wrap

The veggie wrap.  Well, it is a veggie wrap, what the hell do you want me to say?  Vegetables.  Yay. It looked good enough, and the veggies looked fairly fresh.

Bubba’s Pizzeria is getting mixed reviews, but for $10, I got a poutine, a burger and a coke, and I was full and content.  The poutine sank in my stomach as we hit the 401 again.

Bubba's on Urbanspoon

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