BadHappy’s RedNeck poutine

Poutine is unsightly and will clog your arteries, but the French Canadian dish, a hodgepodge of cheese curds, french fries, and gravy, is spawning irresistible riffs around Chicago. Leopold (1450 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-348-1028) first put it on our radar New Year’s Eve 2010, and its version—dressed with pickled yellow peppers and lamb sausage gravy—hasn’t budged from the menu. Fast-forward to the present and we’re in the throes of poutine mania, as evidenced by these newcomers: Red Door (2118 N. Damen Ave.; 773-697-7221), which enlists juicy chicken confit and bright green peas; The Monkey’s Paw (2524 N. Southport Ave.; 773-413-9314), serving a fancified take with duck confit and pear béchamel; and BadHappy Poutine Shop (939 N. Orleans St.; 773-490-5671), which offers eight varieties of the dish for which it’s named, from the traditionally topped Quebecer to the off-the-reservation RedNeck, a combo of barbecued pork, fried okra, mac and cheese, and PBR gravy. Wonder how our neighbors to the north would feel about that one.


Photograph: Anna Knott