Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Strip Club (Poutine Crawl) – St. Paul, MN

If you’ve spent any time at all with me, you’ve probably heard me talk about The Strip Club - it’s one of my top 5 favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities. So you can imagine how excited I was when the Poutine Crawl group I’m part of picked The Strip Club as the next stop on the crawl. I love the name of this place, since how often do you get to take your parents/boss/in-laws to a place called The Strip Club. On top of this, the food there is out of this world good, made with love, and served by some really awesome staff who seem to love their jobs.

And of course, TSC is known for their amazing cocktails. Tim hand makes all kinds of infusions and bitters and comes up with fun cocktail combinations that people rave about. I can’t get past the whiskey sour he makes there. Homemade simple syrup with lime flavoring and good whiskey – I may have had a few of these…

I’ve had TSCs poutine before, but this restaurant is one of those that changes their menu regularly. So the poutine changes, as well. The last time I had it, it was stellar – all covered in mushroom-wine gravy and filled with pork belly. Brilliant. I had no idea what to expect this time.

When our group finally all arrived, we put in orders for 11 poutines and assorted accoutrements for a few people. The poutine, this time around named Poutine Polpettine, had a distinctly Italian feel to it. Fries, homemade marinara, meatballs, chilies, and parmagiano cheese. It was fantastic.

It’s a one-person sized portion, which is nice (it’s on the small plate section of the menu, so basically an appetizer). The red sauce was quite tasty with a bit of spice to it form the chilies. The meatballs were top notch as well. A little crisp on the outside with excellent flavor of meat on the inside.

The only bad things I heard was that the lack of curds made it not poutine-like enough. People thought the dish was delicious, but it didn’t feel like Canadian food – unless there’s a Italy-town in the back alleys of Montreal that we haven’t heard about – which, now I wonder if that’s the case.

Our poutine crawlers weren’t ones to pass up dessert, either. So while people munched on four-less chocolate cake and peach crumble, I ordered a Scotch Egg (a hardboiled egg, covered in sausage and breading, and then deep fried). I’m not much of a dessert person, but I do love fried and sausage. This scotch egg was awesome. It had a runny yolk (which I thought went well, especially with the tasty garnishes on the plate), so be ready for that, and the fried sausage casing was perfect.

I can’t rave enough about The Strip Club. It continues to be one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities. And I’m looking forward to seeing what the next adaptation of poutine will be when the menu changes in September/October. The other folks on the crawl also said they’d LOVE to do another run here.

Thanks again, Tim and JD! Amazing, as usual.


Anonymous said...

There actually is a large Italian-centric neighborhood in Montreal, Little Italy....,_Montreal

Chao said...

Dang it! I should have checked that first! Hahahahaha. Well played.

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