In spite of its diversity, Chicago's culinary scene hasn't satisfactorily repped Canada since McDonald's cancelled the Beef Wennington, but that's about to change thanks to
Bill Wennington's return to the Bulls BadHappy Poutine Shop, a cozy BYOB diner doing both faithful recreations and inventive interpretations of the Montreal-born amalgamation of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. They've got a little something for everyone, so here's what to grab if you're:
A Purist: Reach for the Quebecer, made with traditional fromage beauceronne (cheddar-like curds), and sauced with gravy from Canadian company St. Hubert, whose flavor has been known to make people do the Humphrey Dance.
Purely Chicagoan: Da' Local keeps things as familiar as a routine angioplasty thanks to sharp cheddar curds, giardiniera, housemade sausage, and pepper 'n onion gravy.
Jeff Foxworthy: The Redneck won't send your cholesterol south (get it? this stuff is crazy bad for you!) what with its gobs of mac 'n cheese, braised pork shoulder, fried okra, and PBR gravy.
Jeremy Lin: Your jumper may have cooled, but the One Hot Asian still sizzles with 'peno curds, Viet-style pork patties, head cheese, cilantro, carrot, daikon, and kimchi sauce.
Clint Eastwood: All you need's a fistful of dollars to pick up The Good, The Bad & The Happy and its pork belly, braised veal, truffle mayo, foie mousse, foie gravy, and fried egg.
Beyond the poutine, there're Smooshes -- toasted ciabatta w/ toppers like egg, pepperoni & giardiniera -- and a handful of burgers like the PB&J: a peanut butter 'n jerk patty with Quebecois beer mayo, challenging Bill Wennington for the title of Most Awesome White Thing From Canada.