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The Fameux Poutine

Posted by Kim / November 16, 2007

I had heard that Fameux Viande Fumée et Charcuterie offered up one of Montreal’s best poutines, even better than the often mentioned Rapido directly across the street. And I’m not talking about just your run-of-the-mill poutine; I’m talking about poutine gratinée, which means that after assembly, the poutine is broiled in the oven for a few minutes, melting the curds into a thick, cheesy layer. Well then. I had to check it out.

I have to admit to being both pleased and disappointed at the same time. The grandiose claim is not true, I have had better poutine in this city. So it was a little crushing to have not found the “best” – the search continues. However, this poutine was by no means bad, and was actually quite delicious and different, so points for novelty! The fries weren’t spectacular, and reminiscent of frozen fries tossed into a deep fryer. However, their thickness held up to the gravy very well, making them just absorbent enough to soak it in without becoming excessively soggy. The sauce was true brown sauce, salty and quite nice. And the cheese! A perfect amount of curds melted into a solid blob over the whole thing, with a slight crispiness in some parts. I think I do prefer poutine the standard way, but this was a pleasant change from the usual.
20071116_fameux3.jpgOf course, once there, I got a little sucked in to the whole greasy food thing. If I’m gonna clog those arteries, might as well go all the way. So hello, croque monsieur! I had never actually had this, so I can’t say how it stands up in the world of ham and cheese sandwiches, but I can say that it was pretty good. Lots of Swiss cheese, a couple slices of ham and some slightly wilted tomatoes all baked onto a bun. Really, it must be hard to go wrong with the concept. A side order of dill pickles made the sandwich perfectly delicious.
20071116_fameux2.jpgThe “Fameux” sub was a bit of a disappointment though. It was bland, the strongest taste being the smoked meat that was a bit cheaply sprinkled across the sandwich. Combined with pepperoni and the steak, this is one meaty dish. A bit more cheese (as if my meal needed it, really) and some dressing would’ve vastly improved it. The onion rings we ordered were also sub par, again just frozen rings that had been tossed into the oil.

I see such meals like this: not only does it cost $30 (to feed three people, not bad at all!), but it also costs you at least a couple hours off your life. So the question you have to ask yourself is, was it worth it? For Fameux, I’ve got to say I’m not sorry I did it at all, but I don’t know if I’ll give them any more hours.

Fameux Viande Fumée et Charcuterie
4500, rue St-Denis



Jer / November 17, 2007 at 09:19 am
Maybe finding the "best" poutine isn't actually possible. Maybe the Truth lies in the journey of trying hundreds of poutines over the course of one's lifetime.
kim / November 17, 2007 at 10:39 am
Oh, the deliciousness of Truth!
It's a journey I'm prepared to make.
Donovan King / November 18, 2007 at 09:55 pm
The best poutine is at Chez Basil in Ste. Anne de Bellevue.
debito lamoureux / November 19, 2007 at 06:32 pm
Dude, the poutine you've just finished shilling for is appallingly bad, just as is that at Rapido. These joints don't even rate a 2/10 in any serious circumstance. They taste terrible and they're terribly executed with ingredients of the lowest quality. I don't doubt that one might find a better poutine at a Texas truck stop.
Brother, if you want a good Montreal poutine, start with a classic at Patati Patata, move to a Bourguignonne at Bolduc and end at Banquise with the legendary Galvaude.
kim / November 19, 2007 at 06:41 pm
I've done Banquise poutines (I think I've had about 8 different kinds so far!) and Patati Patata. It's just that I'm willing to give any poutine its fair chance. :)

I will put Bourguignonne and Chez Basil on my list, thanks for the suggestions!
jay t / November 21, 2007 at 06:32 pm
I think that Banquise poutines are... overrated. I really like the poutines at Decarie hotdogs in Saint-Laurent - has a bit of a zing to it. Also like New York Fries poutines (I know, blasphemy), and the poutine at the orange julep.
kim / November 21, 2007 at 07:30 pm
I agree with the overrated comment, but I still find Banquise tasty (chicken and peas on poutine!).
Decarie Hotdog does have good poutine, thanks for the reminder.
simon / November 25, 2007 at 02:02 pm
Patati Patata is horrible. The ones at la Banquise are good but not the best. IMO, the one at Maam Bolduc is the best (and not far from la Banquise). Or, the poutine at "Poutine Lafleur" in Verdun (not the Lafleur hotdog chain, see link) is pretty darn good too.
Amanda / December 9, 2007 at 08:27 pm
Ugh, Fameux is crap, the whole place smells moldy to me.
I'm more of a frites-sauce gal myself, and for that I'd recommend Chalet BBQ on Sherbrooke in NDG. McGill Hotdog in Old Mtl is not bad either.
kim / December 10, 2007 at 09:47 am
I totally agree with you about Chalet BBQ! Those have to be my favourite french fries in the whole city.
Now, if only they could smother them with cheese for me...
Melanie / February 29, 2008 at 04:03 pm
I only had poutine from la Banquise the other day, and it was absolutely amazing.
J / October 10, 2008 at 12:15 am
I can't comment on their poutine, but I had an extremely negative experience at Fameux recently. I went there as I am a visitor to Montreal, was starving at the time, and basically had no idea what the place would be like. As it had been around for a while, 1957 I think, I assumed it would be good. Oh Lord, I was wrong. I had a smoked meat sandwich so bad, I really had to control my gag reflex. The staff were so nice, I almost feel bad writing this, but life is too short for bland, flabby smoked meat sandwiches: Don't eat at Fameux.
martyin / March 3, 2009 at 09:48 pm
LA BANQUISE IS THE BEST POUTINE IN MONTREAL ON RACHEL STREET !! menu with over 30 different types of poutine open 24/7
jimzzz / May 29, 2009 at 07:07 pm
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