The words appeared crisp on The Gorbals‘ menu, and yet, the concept didn’t quite make sense. Banh Mi Poutine? This could either be an unholy Vietnamese and Quebecois alliance or the greatest comfort food of all time. The dish, which started as a staff meal at Ilan Hall’s still-evolving restaurant in the depths of downtown’s Alexandria Hotel, now features prominently (and promisingly) under the “PIG” section of the menu. The $12 plate subs firm-but-not-dry French fries for baguette. Instead of mozzarella curds and gravy, the kitchen crew piles the fries with fresh mozzarella and pulled pork that coats the fries with porcine runoff. Up top, expect a trio of traditional banh mi accoutrements: cilantro, crunchy pickled carrots and spicy jalapeños, along with julienne cucumbers. The dish was recognizable as poutine, recognizable as a “baguette,” and most importantly, tasted good. For once, we encountered fusion that basically works, and even better, it involved pork.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.