We can’t be expected to spend a weekend in Seattle without poutine can we?
Anticipating our trip we solicited Seattle poutine recommendations on Twitter a few weeks ago. Hattie’s Hat, Night Kitchen, and Squid & Ink were all suggested. We had a busy couple days, and unfortunately these three had hours and/or locations that proved inconvenient for us.
But after a visit to Fremont Brewing on Friday, where other than beer all we had to consume was pretzels (mountains and mountains of pretzels) we yelped and googled until we identified some nearby poutine.
We set our sites on The Traveler, just a short way northwest of Fremont in the Ballard neighborhood.
The Traveler is a small and friendly neighborhood pub with much the same feel as North 45 Pub in NW Portland. Their menus are even similar – Belgian beers, frites, mussels, etc. But the poutine (something North 45 should consider adding to their menu!) is why we came.
We asked the bartender (who we suspect was the bar owner) about the poutine. He gets it; french fries, cheese, gravy, what is not to like?! He explained that they make their own caramelized onion gravy for the poutine. They use mozzarella in lieu of curds, however, as curds are strangely difficult to come by at a decent price in Seattle (as is also the case in Portland). Curds should be about the cheapest cheese around, but until there is more demand for them (yet another reason we need more poutine!), the cheese mongers will charge us an arm and a leg.
The plate arrived hot with melty cheese atop the fries, slightly browned under a broiler; a sprinkle of parsley. There wasn’t much gravy; I’m a fan of a full slathering, but what was there was delicious. One of our party compared it to french onion soup – sweet, oniony, and savory. The fries were good too, as you can see in the close up photo above – golden brown and crispy. Washed down with a draft Hennepin Ommegang, my poutine craving was sated.
We definitely recommend The Traveler’s poutine. It’s enough for a meal (especially if you’ve already consumed large quantities of beer and pretzels – four of us shared two plates and that was plenty), but the rest of the menu looks good too; mini burgers, mussels, braised chicken, smoked salmon, steak frites, etc. Next time I’m in Ballard, I’ll stop in again.
4354 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107