Built from the bottom up, with sturdy, crisp fries and flavorful, thick, smooth chowder brimming with local seafood, it is, without question, a heart-warming dish made for the Pacific Northwest. But is that enough to take it from a hot trend to a city’s signature dish? “It’s just down-home comfort food. Who doesn’t want poutine with a Northwest chowder twist?” Palagi both answers and asks. Well, Seattle Magazine food writer Chelsea Lin, for one.
“Does it improve the chowder? Or the fries?” she wondered, dubiously. She gives verbal side-eye to the current movement of restaurants toward cooking dishes that appeal more to Instagram than to everyday diners, that go big for gluttony’s sake. To her, this is still a trend -- one without much purpose beyond being trendy. She awaits proof, something she believes comes with quality, not in quantity (of either fries or places serving the dish).