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Who has the best poutine? R.I. and Mass. restaurants compete.

Poutine from Ciro's Tavern.Handout

Quebec’s traditional dish, poutine, a heap of french fries smothered in rich gravy and topped with a jumble of milky, salty cheese curds, is getting some love closer to home this month. Through March, 10 restaurants across Rhode Island and in Southeastern Massachusetts will compete for the best poutine in the 7th Annual Poutine Indulgence. Woonsocket’s Museum of Work & Culture is hosting the contest as part of the museum’s Francophonie celebration. The Quebecian staple gained status and a wider audience over a dozen years ago when Montreal chef Chuck Hughes won “Iron Chef America” with his lobster poutine. There are clearly endless possibilities for this dish. “We’re serving up our poutine with crispy house-cut french fries, cheddar cheese curds, mushroom gravy, and demi-glace,” says chef James English at Providence’s KG Kitchen. “We also offer the addition of bacon or a fried egg for those who really want to indulge.” And then there are those who prefer the traditional route. Owner Mike Drainville of Black Bar & Grille in Woonsocket is competing with simply “brown gravy over hot hand-cut fries and cool cheese curds,” he says. Other participating restaurants include Black Sheep and Friskie Fries, both in Providence; Savini’s Pomodoro and Ciro’s Tavern in Woonsocket; Adeline’s Speakeasy Kitchen Bar from Cumberland; Ming’s Sando Bar in Pawtucket; and from Massachusetts, Poutine Peddlers in Taunton and Red’s Kitchen of Seekonk. Throughout the month, Poutine Passport holders can visit the restaurants and sample their poutine by presenting the ticket. Vote for your favorite between March 20 and April 1. For more information and to buy a passport, $15 each, 2 for $25, go to



Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at