Mess Royale opened in San Diego last month, offering authentic Montreal-style poutine and bagels.
Until now, poutine with actual cheese curds and Montreal-style bagels have been pretty much nonexistent in San Diego. At Mess Royale, owner and Canadian-born Hugo Tassone, has cheese curds shipped in from Wisconsin and bagels brought in from St-Viateur Bagel in Montreal.
Upon entering, you’ll find the menu on the wall, with a TV screen playing hockey above it. There’s a whole list of poutine variations, bagel sandwiches, and more.
El Pancho Poutine
This poutine variation starts with the basics: handcut crispy fries, brown gravy, and cheese curds. From there, they add carne asada steak and banana peppers. I really loved the addition of the steak pieces to the mix.
One thing to note, these poutine bowls are big and it’s a heavy dish. I’d definitely recommend sharing rather than trying order your own.
I really enjoy the fries here, which hold up well under all the gravy. The gravy is everything you want gravy to be: salty, savory, and coating every item it’s poured over. The cheese curds are a bit of a mix between squeaky and regular cheese consistency. My understanding is that cheese curds don’t ship that well which is one of the reasons poutine dishes in San Diego hardly ever include cheese curds. While I’d like the cheese curds to be squeakier, I still found this version pretty enjoyable.
This breakfast themed poutine mixes in chopped sausage and bacon. It’s then topped with a fried egg.
We enjoyed this poutine as well. I think which one you prefer really just comes down to your personal preference of ingredients toppings.
I know I should have ordered one of their bagel sandwiches to complete this post. But as a former New Yorker, Montreal bagels just aren’t my thing. I did sample a bite of their bagel and I just couldn’t convert.
Overall, we had a good time here. There were a lot of Canadians coming in to check out the place while we were there. I also really love how hands-on the owner is. During our visit, he greeted every single customer when they walked in the door and checked on guests throughout their meal. I’m determined to make my way through the poutine list so I’ll definitely be back. So far my favorites are the El Pancho (carne asada) and Brooklyn (pastrami).
Thanks for the link! All this talk of squeaky cheese, makes me miss Tillamook, OR!
I’ve never been but I really want to go!!
The poutine looks divine! What is the difference between our bagels and a Montreal one?
it’s a pretty big difference! The Montreal ones are much thinner and a bit oddly shaped rather than perfect rings. They are sweeter and not as fluffy. Here’s a good article I found https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/02/montreal-bagels_n_5247880.html
I’ve had real poutine in Quebec and Montreal. Yes, the cheese curds must be squeaky. If you’re ever in the Midwest, they sell them breaded and fried at Culver’s. OMG, I want some now. As for the Montreal style bagels, I have to say I like them better than American/NY style. They are thinner and have a sweeter taste (since they are boiled in honey). It’s interesting to see these fancy variations of poutine in the U.S.!
it’s definitely not as squeaky as getting it in Canada, but it’s still pretty good here. =)