Yes, this combo of fries, gravy, and cheese curds is a Canadian classic. But plenty of local establishments have appropriated it with style (and lots of meat).
John Howie Steak
Bellevue's swank steakhouse has tempura-fried kurobuta bacon on its bar menu, so it makes perfect sense that the restaurant has added its own upscale version of poutine. Here it's called "gravy fries," and they come smothered in braised wagyu oxtail, pan gravy, and cheddar and jack cheeses. Sure, it's $11, but visit the bar during happy hour—every day from 3-6, then again from 9-11 Monday to Thursday, and 10-midnight Friday and Saturday—and you can order up $6 martinis, $4 house ales, and glasses of wine for as little as $4.50.
8oz Burger and Co.
The Capitol Hill burger bar does a smashing poutine: the fries are made with Kennebec potatoes and the version on the happy hour menu is just $5. However you'll most likely want to add braised beef cheeks for an extra $3. Happy hour runs 4-6pm and again from 10 to close each day. The food is hefty (candied bacon, mac and cheese, bacon grilled cheese) and most of it is $6 or less. The house lager is $3 during happy hour and house red and white wine is $6.
The menu at the Ballard and Capitol Hill locations may change with passing seasons and chef whims, but the poutine is a constant. The heaping mess of hand-cut fries with gravy and cheddar and a sprinkling of herbs stands alone, or you can sub it in as company for a burger. Sadly poutine isn't on the happy hour menu (it's drinks only) but from 3-6pm daily, beer, wine, and well drinks are $1 off, and most house cocktails sare $2 cheaper.The bar staff recommends exploring the spring fling cocktail menu; the Beetsmode (made with roasted beet-infused vodka, tonic, bitters, and a garnish of sea salt) wins for its name alone.
Even in its unadorned state, the poutine is a fixture at Linda Derschang's neighborhoodie bar on 15th Avenue. But shell out an extra $5 and it arrives at your table topped with brisket. The poutine comes in two sizes, depending on whether you're in meal or bar snack mode; the smaller, $8 size an apt companion to the happy hour menu, which is available from 4 to 6pm daily. Late night happy hour is served from 11-1am Sunday through Thursday. The $5 classic cocktails include negronis, old fashioneds, and a champagne cocktail, and house wine on tap is $4.
The Angry Beaver
A pub dedicated to all things Canada and hockey would bring shame to itself if it didn’t serve at least one version of Canada’s signature pub grub. Lucky for us this Greenwood bar has three. The Angry Beaver's versions include beef, mushroom, or curry gravy (the last two are vegan friendly). PBR drafts are $2, but if you are feeling in the spirit, have a Canadian Manhattan (the secret ingredient is Canadian whiskey, shhh).