I’ve been making regular trips to the Denver area for the past 6 months. All of my visits have been work related, but they’ve all focused (at some point) around a good meal. My most recent trip was an accidental trip to Denver that was supposed to be a trip to Boulder…I misread the email and booked my hotel in the wrong city. Before I discovered my error I had a nice dinner at The Pig & The Sprout near Union Station. Originally I thought I’d have an opportunity to try both of their poutine offerings, but after relocating to Boulder that became impossible.

The Pig & The Sprout is a restaurant designed around contract. Or is it balance? The menu is split down the center with the left half focusing on carnivore centric offerings with a corresponding vegetarian/pescatarian dish on the right. The food is creative and compelling, the environment is modern and hip, and I’m going to try my best to structure my sentences with a noun & and another noun. I’m inspired.

For this first visit I scaled back my ambition to something reasonable and decided that I would choose either the Brisket Poutine or the Green Chili Poutine. Not both. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I also fully intended to come back the next day during happy hour to try the other. My 7am Uber to Boulder put an end to that dream and my experience was limited to the Brisket Poutine.

I expected a hearty dish. I was not disappointed. The first thing I noticed was how big the plate was, and then how saturated it was in creamy brown brisket gravy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there was so much gravy that I couldn’t see any fries. I’m nitpicking here, so let’s shift the focus onto the most important things. It was really tasty! The gravy was rich and savory with a bit of smoke from the brisket. It had some larger brisket bites, but it was mostly filled out with smaller shreds of beef. Poutine usually involves partially melted cheese curds but these were fully melted and blanketing the gravy. The fries themselves were no match for the pint of steaming gravy. They provided some starch and filler, but they couldn’t offer much texture beyond a soft squish.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I would have preferred crispier fries with about half the amount of gravy, and then less melt on the cheese curds. Sometimes I think that my ideal poutine would actually look more like fondue. Serve the gravy on the side with a gentle heating source so that I can dip the cheese curds and french fries in at my leisure. My recommendation is to share these fries with your table so that you still have an appetite for other dishes on the menu. Given the consistency of the poutine, it might feel like you’re sharing a stew rather than a plate of fries. I wish you luck!