Smoke’s Poutinerie (Kingston) – Finally! An alternative to Bubba’s!

I’ve been to Bubba’s for poutine. Touted as the “best Poutine in Kingston” on their signage, it is hard not to go to Bubba’s especially at 2am. Sometimes… that is your only option. It is either that, Pita Pit (where I’ve heard they make awesome poutine too), Pizza Pizza, McDonald’s, or El Asador (which I’ve heard is great if curry is your thing). But I’ve never really liked it. The gravy is very salty, very chunky, and heavy. The fries are a bit soft and not too crunchy. The curds are good though. At 2am… I’ll eat anything. Come on. I was willing to eat at Pizza Pizza, standing in line behind some girls who had lost their shoes over the course of the night.

Smoke’s Poutinerie is a welcome addition to the Kingston Poutine scene. There are a series of 4 restaurants that are opening/have opened in the past few months that specialize in burgers and fries. Smoke’s and Poutine Place are the only poutine-only places. It will be interesting to see who is left standing once the dust settles.

If a lineup means anything, Smoke’s is doing very well. This was from 230am, after last call at The Grizzly Grill. The lineup extended beyond the door and spilled onto the street.

And this is what the lineup was all about. This is the Triple Pork (chipotle pulled pork, double smoke bacon, and Italian sausage) for $9.99 in this size. It is pretty massive. Daunting for one person. Stuffing for 2 people. A bit small for 3 people. The pulled pork was nicely saucy and for a poutine-only place, I thought it was pretty good quality. I wasn’t expecting BBQ-house-perfect pulled pork but it was tender and juicy. The double-smoked bacon was pretty oily but added some nice crunch to the poutine. The sausage was a bit forgettable. Not quite spicy enough and texturally bland (read that as foamy).

Beneath the layers of meat, you can see some nice crispy yellow fries. I really enjoyed the way these are prepared. The inside is soft and sweet while the outside just a little crunchy. The curds were nice and squeeky. The gravy was pretty heavy on the pepper but I liked it. It was smooth and not chunky.

I’ve been to Smoke’s 4 times. 2 times sober. 2 times not. I’ve enjoyed it 3/4 times. The quality of the fries seems to be better when there is more volume. I went once in the middle of the day and found the fries lukewarm and the gravy cold. I think the poutine has some nice value and some nice flavours. To put it simply: Smoke’s has changed the Kingston poutine landscape… forever! Not quite on the same scale as La Banquise in Montreal… but damn good for Kingston.

Smoke’s Poutinerie, 183 Division Street, Kingston, ON K7K 3Y9, 613.530.2873,

~ by Russ on November 6, 2010.

12 Responses to “Smoke’s Poutinerie (Kingston) – Finally! An alternative to Bubba’s!”

  1. Same track record here on my Smoke’s experience. It is easily better than Bubba’s, but I’m glad many still prefer Bubba’s as the line could be much more worse at Smoke’s. You mentioned the Poutine Place, and although I’ve yet to visit, I’ve read that they serve much more than poutine. Apparently they do organic burgers, and smoothies as well. A strange mix, but I doubt they’ll have enough to really compete with the likes of Smokes. Question: does smokes chop their own potatoes, or are those bags sitting around just for decoration? Love their fries either way.

    • I have no idea if those are props or if they are real. I squeezed them. They felt real. This sounds a little bit like we are talking about something other than potatoes…

  2. […] Smokey’s — Alright, I graduated before sampling this place, but DANG. This makes me want to visit Kingston again, now. […]

  3. Kind of torn about Smokes: didn’t so much like the pulled pork as I found it a little sweet and signle-noted. I liked the one i had with chicken and bacon and mushrooms but didn’t die for it. The curds are squeaky as all hell and I like that but sometimes I yearn for the gooey stringiness of a Bubba’s or Pita Grill (many argue that PG has the best poutine in town).

    • I have heard many people say pita grill has the best poutine in town. I am going to have to try it out! Hehe, I like your comment about “single-noted”. Makes me think that our taste testing is actually like wine tasting!

  4. Smoke’s hand punches all of their potatoes, I’ve asked about it. They go through about 10 fifty-pound bags of potatoes on a busier night. That’s like 500 pounds of potatoes. I feel kinda sorry for them

  5. Smoke’s hand punches all of their potatoes, I’ve asked about it. They go through about 10 fifty-pound bags of potatoes on a busier night. That’s like 500 pounds of potatoes. I feel kinda sorry for them, so they definitely aren’t for decoration

    • That is crazy. I don’t envy the poor person having to punch all those potatoes! I wonder if Five Guys does the same thing as they have potatoes lying everywhere too!

  6. Pita Grill does indeed have the best poutine in town, if you are going for a classic poutine (I like to think I am a puritan when it comes to poutine) and that is where Smoke’s fails…they’re classic poutine does not compare. Also there is hardly ever a huge line at Pita Grill which is also awesome.

    • So I went to Pita Grill at 7pm one night for a poutine. I shared it with J and to be honest… I was disappointed. The gravy was obviously from powder (I am pretty sure Smoke’s uses a powder too) but this powder was distincty reminiscent of the powder that my mom uses during Thanksiving. The fries were freshly fried so were pretty tasty. The cheese curds weren’t quite as squeeky as I would have liked. All in all… I didn’t love it!

  7. Terrible!!! I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, and went back a second time. It was WORSE then the first! You call that discusting mess a Poutine? Gravy tastes like urine, fries are “average” and the price blows my MIND!!
    Flavor – 0
    Value – 0
    Chance of recommmending it to friends … NONE! A chip truck serves up a better poutine at a far greater value. This place serves ONLY Poutine I give it 8 months… generously…

    • Sorry to hear that you didn’t like your experience at Smoke’s. It is a pretty big chain and pretty popular in Toronto. I haven’t been in a while but when I went, I liked it.

      A quick question: How do you know what urine tastes like?

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