Hello, Timmins. It’s been a while!
The moment we touched down on the snowy runway in my home town, I felt…well, freezing cold. But as soon as we entered the cozy little airport and saw snowsuit-clad men enjoying beers at noon in front of a crackly TV in the airport diner, I knew I was home.
Timmins has a certain rough-around-the-edges quality
that can actually be charming (though I never would have admitted that when I lived there). Case in point: Chez Nous.
Everyone who lives or has lived in Timmins–including Shania Twain, I might add–has at least heard of the scruffy takeout restaurant/convenience store that specializes in poutine. It’s a grungy little place with nothing more than a takeout window, a handful of tiny booths and a laminated menu taped to the wall. But oh man – that poutine is good.
We were in town for my friend’s winter wedding last month and had the presence of mind to stop by Chez Nous for some gravy-soaked fries topped with squeaky cheese curds. You can’t get any more Canadian than tucking into a hot helping of poutine, served in a styrofoam container and enjoyed with a plastic fork, inside your car while watching fat snow flakes float down from the sky.
I went for the poutine with cheese strands (called “Regular” on the menu) while my husband opted for the Quebec-style version which comes with the traditional white cheese curds. Both were flavourful and delicious. The French fries were beautifully golden brown and just salty enough, and the gravy was dark and deep and full of body. All in all, a perfectly executed poutine.