After our visit to Fort William on Saturday we were starving, despite the food samples at Fort William. We saw all we wanted to see – or all our starving bodies could stand – and headed to a nearby restaurant named Neebing Roadhouse.
The decor inside and outside was unremarkable, except for some gorgeous irises, but the food was very good. We started with something that none of us had ever had before – poutine. Poutine is french fries covered with cheese curds, covered with a beef gravy, covered with mozarella cheese. It sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, but all six of us tried it. It was delicious, but best when consumed in small doses.
Poutine is an uniquely Canadian dish, which originated in Quebec in the 1950’s. One often-cited tale is that of Warwick restaurateur Fernand Lachance of Le Café Ideal, who is said in 1957 to have exclaimed, “ça va faire une poutine!” (“It will make a mess!”) when asked by restaurant regular Eddy Lainesse to put a handful of cheese curds on some french fries, hence the name. The gravy was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time, the dish’s popularity spread across the province (and later throughout Canada), being served in small-town restaurants and bars, as well as becoming quite popular in ski resorts and arenas. Even fast food chains, such as McDonalds and KFC, serve poutine in many parts of Canada.
For the meal, everyone except me had a sandwich – burger or chicken. I decided to be more adventurous and had Yorkshire pudding filled with prime rib on top of mashed potatoes and carrots. It was basically pot roast in a popover. Good, but not something I would order again.
We were all glad to have such a hearty meal after our day at Fort William. If you are ever driving Canada 61, stop at Neebing Roadhouse and try the poutine!