>> UpNorth | Eat the World NYC

10 October 2018

UpNorth

CANADA 🇨🇦

Montréal and Toronto have many rivalries between them, whether it be on the ice or politics or a general sense of pride between residents. Each city is also home to one of Canada's two most recognizable beer companies, Molson from Montréal and Labatt from Toronto. The territory here in Bushwick is claimed by the home province of its UpNorth's owners in Québec and a neon sign advertising the hometown favorite Molson.

Walking into the bar, all the boxes are checked for setting a Canadian scene. A big maple leaf clock in the back is the biggest focus, but little things like the Herr's ketchup-flavored potato chips, Canadian chocolate bars, and a framed portrait of Justin Trudeau at the bar are softer touches.

Molson of course is on draft here, but other Canadian craft-style beers rotate around along with many US American beers that the folks of Bushwick enjoy. A bottle list offers more of the same, including favorites like La Fin du Monde.


Poutine, the de facto national dish of a nation struggling with its culinary identity, is the draw here, and they do it very well. The classic poutine ($9, above) is a massive plate of crisp fries that hold up well to gravy which is expertly applied in layers and not just at the top. What many imposters get wrong outside of Québec is the cheese, but these mild curds are wonderful and just right. Come during weekday happy hour and the whole thing runs only $5.

The menu lists six versions, from this classic to a deluxe with smoked meat all the way to a chicken tikka version which sounds frightening. Even more so is the NAFTA option, which throws a list of Taco Bell ingredients into the mix.


Not quite ready for another plate of fries but still feeling munchy, an order of the brussels sprouts ($9, above) seemed appropriate. These are glazed in maple syrup and grilled up nicely to a char before being covered with brisket. Definitely as good as it sounds.

Forgettable were the fried pickles ($8, below), which were cut so thin that all the pickle flavor was thoroughly fried out of them.


It may happen often or we just got lucky, but Crown Royal, Canada's famous whisky company was here giving free tastings of their classic and new varieties. Also available at the bar is a decent cocktail program with Canadian riffs on classics and some things outside of these constraints entirely.

The "Yukon Gold Rush" and classic poutine.

It is really only a matter of time (and a direct correlation of how many pints of Molson) before those beloved ketchup chips start looking really tasty. They are only $2, and despite sounding like the most US American thing you can imagine, are the fastest way into the Canadian psyche.

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