Something I've been craving since I've returned to Michigan is one of my favorite pub foods: poutine. The Canadian equivalent of chili cheese fries includes cheese curds, gravy, and french fries- what's not to love?! What used to be a "northern" staple has finally made it out to the Midwest so thankfully while I was living in Missouri I didn't have to go without, but it never truly tasted like home. Now that I'm back in the Mitten, I'm wondering where some of the best local restaurants to get my poutine fix are.

Who Invented Poutine?

I'd always been told poutine was a gift from our neighbors to the north, but what exactly is the history of this Canadian creation? Many restaurants claim to be the "original" so it's hard to say for certain where this national dish originated, all we really know is that poutine was born in Quebec in the 1950s. According to one Canadian eatery, "The most widespread story is that poutine originates from a restaurant formerly called Le Lutin qui rit in Warwick...In 1957, a client named Eddy Lainesse would have asked the owner Fernand Lachance to mix the cheese curds with the fries. Genius!"

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Where to Find Poutine in Kzoo:

Niskers Char-Grill- Kalamazoo

A hockey bar is obviously the perfect setting for poutine. Owner Lou Nisker hails from Toronto and brought a taste of home with him. Choose from six different kinds of poutine including traditional, smothered, hog's nest, or sunny- served with eggs and bacon. Game on!

Traveler's Cafe and Pub- Portage

You'll find a diverse drink selection and rotating food menu at this Portage pub. What caught my eye was their breakfast poutine which combines two of my favorite meals. Traveler's serves their breakfast poutine with pulled smoked pork, gravy, cheese curds, and two eggs all over fries. Dare I say a perfect hangover cure?

Bell's Brewery- Kalamazoo

You'll never have to twist my arm to get me over to Bell's. Great beers, fun atmosphere, and delicious food- I'm in! What I love about Bell's version of poutine is that it features mushroom gravy in their dish.

Fletcher's Pub- Texas Corners, Kalamazoo

I like the way Fletcher's rolls. On their menu you'll find poutine served with mozzarella, scallions and my favorite part, shredded pot roast and beef gravy. I can't wait to try this delicious spin on classic poutine, it could very well be a new favorite.

Texas Corners Brewing- Texas Corners, Kalamazoo

I don't know if this is a thing, but if you want to go poutine-hopping instead of bar-hopping, Texas Corners seems to be the place to do it. Located next to Fletchers, Texas Corners Brewing also has poutine on their menu. This dish features house-cut fries, cheddar cheese curds, red wine gravy, and because it's a brewery obviously they top their poutine with an IPA beer cheese.

Poutine's aplenty in Kalamazoo! I love that every restaurant puts their own unique spin on this dish. When you're craving poutine in the Kalamazoo area, where do you go?

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