#WeeklyDish (No. 18): Southwestern Short Rib Poutine at Café a la C’Art

Quebecois classic poutine is a dish so simple, it’s deceivingly difficult to properly execute.

The combination of crispy fries, rich brown gravy, and squeaky cheese curds is legendary for nursing hangovers, but it’s not the prettiest dish on the block. Modern interpretations often dress it up in ways that still end up being a mess or lose the spirit of poutine.

Café a la C’Art somehow manages to keep poutine’s soul in a hearty dish that you could figuratively bring home to your parents. Their Southwestern Short Rib Poutine ($17) features yucca fries, bacon fat, jalapeño cheese curds, red chile gravy, and a poached egg.

Yucca provides a different but serious crunch, while the jalapeño cheese curds and red chile gravy provide a subtly spicy and distinctly Tucson flavor. It’s good enough to eat without the tender braised short rib and poached egg, but who can say no to those two. The runny egg yolk adds a luxurious richness that complements the gravy surprisingly well.

The poutine’s bright garnishes all serve edible functions. Shreds of scallion add savoriness, watermelon radish adds a layer of crunch, and lime adds acidity to counter the richness.

Café a la C’Art is located at 150 N. Main Ave. For more information, call (520) 628-8533 or visit cafealacarttucson.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.