Pacific Northwest chain Burgerville’s latest seasonal specials are a ¼-lb. Chili Cheeseburger accompanied by Chili Cheese Waffle Fries that are just a nudge away from being that Canadian national favorite poutine.
Technically, poutine is fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy, and Burgerville’s dish lacks the curds, although it has Tillamook white Cheddar cheese. It also has waffle-cut fries and 3-bean chili (with locally sourced beans). Burgerville is close to going the full Canadian route (and its marketing territory is geographically close to Canada), which raises the question of why no U.S. chain has imported this delicious combo to the States. Fries, cheese, gravy? What’s not to like?
Burger King in September added bacon-topped and “Angry” versions (with jalapeños, “Angry Onions” and “Angry Sauce”) of poutine to its menu in its Canadian units but hasn’t yet brought the dish across the border.
There’s one American burger chain uniquely positioned to break the blockade and put poutine on its menu: Culver’s. The Prairie du Sac, Wis.-based chain may be the only national burger brand with true cheese curds on its menu. Like Burgerville, Culver’s prides itself supporting local farms. Its curds are supplied by La Grander Hillside Dairy in Stanley, Wis.
● Speaking of imports, the Korean chain Kraze Burger has opened its first U.S. location in Bethesda, Md., according to NorthPotomac-DarnestownPatch. Additional units reportedly are planned for Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Va., and others. See also Robert Dyer‘s blog coverage of Kraze Burger.