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Le Gros Jambon is a diner with flair. Staying true to diner roots by styling itself with two long bars, one facing the chefs cooking on the open style kitchen, and the other to the wall stacked with vintage-retro photographs and posters, you would call the place cozy, not small. Most importantly, they serve home-cooked, greasy deliciousness that is almost incomparable for prices you’ll find hard to believe.
On the hunt for poutine while downtown is no easy feat. You would think it would be a quick fix given the number of clubs and bars around the area. If you think about it, the number of intoxicated people craving some greasy gravy covered fries must be huge! Especially during the weekend. Having had a few drinks at my apartment, a couple of friends and I set out our sights on La Belle Province on Peel just below Sherbrooke to sate our late night craving.
Quaint and cozy, this joint is a typical Québecois diner. Its authenticity is further highlighted by the fact that it is located relatively deep in the countryside of Québec, where the population is dominated by francophones – also the ones who invented the irreplaceable, unlike any other, international recognized and provincially representative dish of poutine. Just off the main graveled road is a little house that is one of the oldest mainstays in town. Behold, the Casse-Crôute Chez Claudette! The food served here is basic – hot dogs, hamburgers and… poutine ! And boy, do they do it well. The cheese curds are freshly made, squeaky and firm and the fries hold their form even in the onslaught of thick, delicious gravy. Poutine doesn’t get realer than this.
Our visit was to the downtown location on Bishop street just south of Maisonneuve – dangerously close to Concordia’s downtown campus.