by Maura Judkis
Poutine has long been the culinary equivalent of a warm blanket for our neighbors to the north. But here in Washington, the French Canadian dish — french fries drenched in gravy and smothered in melted cheese curds — has taken on several new flavors as local chefs play with its hearty ingredients.
“I think it’s one of the best bar foods out there,” said chef Adam Harvey of Bar Charley near Dupont Circle. “Almost everything works with fries.”
Bar Charley offers several late-night variations, such as the Chesapeake, covered in Old Bay gravy and blue crab with ricotta salata. Grilled-cheese-themed restaurant GCDC, near the White House, puts the traditional poutine toppings on tater tots, with the addition of mushrooms, bacon and truffle oil. DGS Delicatessen, also near Dupont, has two takes: A happy hour poutine of onion gravy and farmers’ cheese atop latkes, as well as its “schmutzy fries,” which incorporate all the common fixings for a Reuben.
If this winter is anything like last winter — and we’re hearing rumors and rumblings that it will be — we’re going to need a heck of a lot of comfort over the next few months. To help you make it through, we’ve compiled a list of DC’s comfort-food classics that are sure to warm you from the inside out. We admit we cheated just a bit by adding some ultra-cozy dishes from a few newcomers, but we think you’ll agree that these newbies are definitely classics in the making. Here’s where you can indulge your cold-weather cravings for something gooey, soupy or carby — with a dash of chocolate thrown in for good measure:
#9 Poutine Tots at GCDC: Called Canadian tots ($9) on the lunch menu and poutine tots on the dinner menu ($10) proves that a tot by any other name is just as delicious. We’re talking fried potatoes smothered in cheese curds, gravy, mushrooms, bacon and chives with truffle oil. Can you blame us for including this super-addictive dish even though GCDC is less than a year old?
The Gobbler is stuffed with a cranberry-apple spread, turkey, Brie, tater tot-cranberry stuffing and mushroom gravy. $9 for lunch / $12 for dinner with a side (Available through 9 PM Wednesday, November 26, 2014)
Check out GCDC’s own Bruce Klores and Doug Abedje, featured guests on Federal News Radio’s Foodie and the Beast, hosted by David and Nycci Nellis. Steven Klores was on hand too, cooking up grilled cheeses while Doug mixed new fall cocktails.
Host Jim Stacy and the crew from The Cooking Channel’s Offbeat Eats filmed at GCDC. “The Cheese Factor” episode will air on October 31st @ 9:30 PM, November 1 @ 10:00 AM, November 2nd @ 3:30 AM and November 2nd @ 11:30 PM. More info >