Essentially Canada's equivalent of our beloved chili cheese fries, what's not to love?! Combining cheese curds, gravy, and french fries, poutine is one of my favorite bar food snacks and I'll be honest-- it's a great hangover cure.

With the first ever Canadiana Fest happening in Kalamazoo I'm already craving poutine, but where can you get your fix in Kzoo?

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Who Even Invented Poutine?

What used to be a "northern" staple has finally made its way out to the Midwest, so thankfully while I was living in states like Nebraska and Missouri I didn't have to go without; that being said it never truly tasted like home.

I'd always assumed poutine was a gift from our neighbors to the north, but what exactly is the history of this Canadian delicacy? Many restaurants claim to be the "original" so it's hard to say for certain where this national dish originated. All we really know is that poutine was born in Quebec in the 1950s. According to one Canadian eatery,

The most widespread story is that poutine originates from a restaurant formerly called Le Lutin Qui Rit in Warwick...In 1957, a client named Eddy Lainesse would have asked the owner Fernand Lachance to mix the cheese curds with the fries.

Now that we know what it is, where do we find it?

Google Street View
Google Street View

Niskers Char-Grill- Kalamazoo

A hockey bar is obviously the perfect setting for poutine. Owner Lou Nisker hails from Toronto and brought a taste of home with him. Choose from six different kinds of poutine including traditional, smothered, hog's nest, or sunny- served with eggs and bacon. Game on!

Bell's Brewery- Kalamazoo

Via/ Google Maps
Via/ Google Maps

You'll never have to twist my arm to get me over to Bell's. Great beer, fun atmosphere, and delicious food. What I love about Bell's take on poutine is that it features mushroom gravy in their dish; you can even add extras like bacon or a fried egg.

Fletcher's Pub- Texas Corners & Kalamazoo

Google maps
Google maps

I recently moved near their location on Oakland Drive, but sadly I have yet to visit. Fletcher's menu says their poutine is made up of, "Crispy fries loaded with shredded pot roast, beef gravy, melted mozzarella finished with chopped scallions." Don't treat it as a side because Fletcher's poutine is an entire meal! Sounds like I need to get over there ASAP.

If Grand Rapids dedicates an entire week to poutine with Michigan Street Poutine Week, why can't we do something similar down here in Southwest Michigan? Who's got your favorite poutine in the Kalamazoo area?

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