Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Afternoon Down The Valley: Poutine at Block 15 in Corvallis

Me and Books hopped in the roadster early this A.M. and headed Down The Valley to talk with some people that needed talking with down there. Dolly-girl held down the fort in Stumptown, which consisted of enjoying the luxury provided by a bath in our tub that's hooked up to a brand-new water heater that me and Books put in yesterday. Amazing what a tub full of hot water and a handful of salts will do for a girl.

Anyway, I was on my way to meet Beluga Slim, a Bluesman pal-o-mine. We like to get together from time-to-time and take in a couple of cold ones that got what it takes to hop off the bar and into your mitt. We met up at Block 15, a new joint compared to most in Corvallis, Oregon, and a notch above them all in my book. They brew their own there and they've got some dandies including their standards, Alpha IPA and Aboriginale. In as much as it's the holiday season, they are pouring the 12 Hops of Christmas. Beluga Slim had given me a call on the blower to let me know this one was worth the trip. Turns out it was and more.

Me and Books slid into town about 1 and met Beluga at the Block. Corvallis was a mass of people--we had to park 3 blocks away and that's pretty rare. We moseyed over; Beluga Slim had a booth.

Missy had a cold one in front of Beluga and it didn't take long for her to do the same for us. She brought the whadda-ya-wants along with the pints of hops. I opened it up and took a gander. My eyes went to the right and, what? Poutine. C'est vrai, mes amis! Books went for a Peppertree beer sausage sandwich, and Beluga heard a burger calling him home.

I brought up that I was a little worried about ordering poutine in Corvallis, Oregon, a place not noted for gourmet food. She countered with where she came from--Halifax, up the line there, as my friend Newshawk would say--nobody really thought of poutine as gourmet. I had to give her a nod about that one. I also mentioned that the phonetic guide in the whaddaya-want--(poo-TAIN) didn't get it from where the Newshawk sets his brake. She said she thought someone there heard some Cajun call it that but that she didn't think I should give it no nevermind.

It didn't take Missy much longer to bring that poutine out than it took me to drain that pint. She left the feedbags and went back for more first-aid for parched travelers.

The feedbag she put down in front of me had the real thing in it. They started off with a pile of their murphies--they put a light coating of beer batter on them which makes them fry up crispy and I'll tell you, they stood up to the gravy--AT-TEN-TION!

The gravy was a good brown one that tasted like it was likely destined for meat loaf, but took a side trip North of the Border. It was the real thing--never seen the inside of a can, I'm guessing--with just the right dose of salt; it made those suds heros. The curds were piled on and melted stringy and gooey, just right. It was a big plate and I thought I'd be taking a box home to Dolly-girl, but...

It was the clean plate club for me.

So, Block 15 gets a solid 4 curds from me after a 1/2 curd deduction for coming on china instead of paper. It's the best I've had south of the border and I think it would hold its own up the line too.

For all you want to know about poutine, check out Ronna's Poutine Chronicles!


Karen said...

I had NO idea that this dish was served at Block 15. Well, I'll be there this week for sure!! :-)

Karen said...

Just tried this today; my first poutine! And with a chica from Montreal. Good stuff. It'd fit right in the South. :-)