Don't blame me for what I'm about to suggest. Blame Canada, home to Quebec's bar-food staple, poutine: a heavenly/sinful combination of fries, gravy and cheese curds, and often other toppings. It's like Canada out-Sconnied Wisconsin, and that just can't stand.
I first heard about poutine on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and I couldn't get over the fact that this dish isn't more widespread in Dairyland, although the Coopers Tavern does make a version (and it's on the happy-hour menu at the Haze).
Ever since then, I've been scheming to claim a piece of poutine glory in Wisconsin's honor with heaping servings of brats, onion-beer gravy and farm-fresh curds, mostly sourced from the Dane County Farmers' Market.
Poutine is heavy in its basic form, and the way I planned to dress it up mandated company - either to help me eat it or to carry my coffin. And who better to wage that battle than my friends Mark and Tash, who love 'Sconnie culture (although they are, ironically, from Chicagoland)?
Mark is a metalhead and was quite excited that my brats cost $6.66, which is quite appropriate. If fries, gravy and curds are a holy trinity to the poutine-lover, then this version is surely its ungodly cousin.
While drinking some home brews and eating outside by the light of a crackling campfire, Mark went back for three helpings, for what that's worth. I made room for two, and Tash was more reasonable and stopped after one serving.
Serves a helluva lot of people