This born and raised Canadian was lucky enough to spend some time living in Orlando Florida. Like anyone who moves to a different country, there are certain things I missed from home. The Canadian Pavilion could provide some relief but it was always nice to have more. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard Disney Springs was going to be selling the classic Canadian dish poutine. My Alabamian husband was equally excited. He may have only tried his first poutine 5 years ago, but now considers himself a poutine connoisseur.
Poutine traditionally is a French Canadian dish from Quebec Canada. Numerous sources claim to have created it and these days it can be found across the country. It’s a very simple dish. It’s french fries covered in gravy with cheese curds on it. Not exactly the healthiest of foods from my homeland. Some Canadians will tell you the only right way to serve it is fresh cut fries, brown gravy and covered in cheese curds served from a French fry food truck. I think that’s a little extreme. As time went on more and more restaurants began creating variations to the original recipe. It sparked a debate about what is poutine and what is french fries with stuff on it.
Disney Springs makes a version close to the original and three wild variations. Purists will tell you only one version is a poutine but let’s examine them all before we make our conclusions.
It took us a little bit to find the stand. Disney Springs can be a maze when you are first learning to navigate it. The easiest way to find this quick service location is to head to World of Disney and it’s near the exit on the left-hand side. If you have been to Disney Springs lately you have probably seen the “living statues”. If you haven’t seen them yet, take time to watch them, they are pretty cool. The Daily Poutine is right behind them.
It’s important to note this is a quick service stand and not a restaurant you can enter. You will be waiting, ordering and eating in the Orlando heat. It’s a popular place but the line moves super quick. They even had a Canadian working behind the counter when I was there.
I wish I could tell you there was some amazing seating area but there really isn’t. There wasn’t even a bad one. It just doesn’t exist. Hopefully, this has changed since the last time I was there. There are some planter ledges that you can sit on to eat. They are off to the side of the stand. This is what we did. The ledge is wide enough to be comfortable but it’s in the blazing heat. It’s made of brick so it’s the perfect Instagram photo backdrop. That may seem silly to some but it’s important to the millions of food artists on social media. You didn’t eat something unless it’s on Instagram these days.
There are four poutine options. A little part of this poutine snob thinks the “Classic Poutine” is the only real poutine on the menu but I’ll try to keep an open mind. You should just know my bias up front. We tried three out of the four and they were all very different. One thing they all had in common was they were all way too expensive for a poutine. I know it’s Disney, and I know you aren’t supposed to complain about the prices. I just can’t help it. Almost 10 dollars for a poutine is just crazy to me. This same meal back in Canada would be maybe 5 bucks, and you would get more of it. With that aside, let’s try some Disney poutine.
Classic Poutine – $8.49
French Fries, Beef Poutine Gravy, and Cheddar Curds
I was excited to try this one, but secretly I wanted to hate it. In the back of my mind, I wanted to know that a poutine made in Canada will always be better.That just wasn’t the case. I really liked it. I thought there should have been WAY MORE but it was tasty.
The fries were crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. The brown gravy had just the right amount of saltiness and the cheese curds tasted fresh enough. I say fresh enough because I know fresh cheese curds will squeak when you bite into them and these didn’t do that. That being said, they were good. They were just huge for some reason. These were the biggest cheese curds we had ever seen. Both my husband and I thought they should have been smaller for more coverage.
The poutine did have a slight vinegar taste which I found odd and it could have only been from the gravy. All in all, it was a tasty poutine. I would not recommend sharing one of these because they weren’t big enough. Maybe two little kids could share if they just wanted a little snack.
Italian Poutine – $8.99
French Fries, Mozzarella, and Bolognese Sauce
My husband tried this one and it tasted like spaghetti on fries. It pretty much tastes exactly how it looks. Since there is no gravy I have trouble classifying it as a poutine. I would say it’s a delicious french fry dish instead.
As you can probably guess, the fries got really mushy. That does happen with a lot of poutines though. It’s why poutines should always be eaten quickly and not transported anywhere. You will just have a mush if you try to save it for later.
The cheese did not melt, and the sauce was not as spicy as I would have expected. Was it bad? Nope, not at all. Would we get it again? Probably not. It’s one of those dishes that will satisfy your hunger but not your taste buds. It just tasted sort of bland.
Latin Poutine – $9.39
Fried Yucca, Black Beans, Pulled Pork, and Queso Fresco
This is the only poutine I didn’t personally try. We did see numerous people ordering it, and they seemed pretty satisfied with it. I didn’t hear anyone raving about it, but it did look like you got more for your money. That’s always a good thing.
French Poutine – $9.39
French Fries, Mushroom Cream Sauce, and Gruyere
This dish was awesome. The mushroom cream sauce was thick but not chunky. It was silky and full of flavor. The gruyere cheese was salty and melted well.
Sometimes with poutine, you’ll find it lacking sauce when you get to the bottom but this was not the case here. Even though the fries got a little soggy, there was enough gravy to cover every last bite. The mushrooms in the gravy really added another layer to the poutine.
Even though this was not a classic poutine, it was close enough. I would order this again without hesitation.
We aren’t big drinkers but we are huge lemonade fans. If frozen lemonade is an option we will probably order it. The Watermelon Lemonade was $3.59 and came served one of two ways: blended or over ice. Both, obviously, tasted the same but you are less likely to get a brain freeze if you get it over ice. This is good to remember if you have a child who will suck the entire thing back in one second.
The lemonade was sweet but not a bag of sugar sweet. It was really refreshing and great for a hot Florida day.
If you are looking for a quick snack then this is a great place to get it. I just wouldn’t go if you are starving. It may have been tasty but it was just expensive for what you got. You can do way better at Disney Springs. Even if my Canadian pride hurts a little to say that.