The Canadian cultural invasion you've been fearing is finally here and it wears the seemingly-friendly guise of gravy and cheese curd-drenched french fries. Tucson Weekly reports that a poutine restaurant is headed for Tucson and already has its eye on expanding to other cities throughout the country. The most insidious part of the plan? The restaurant will be called US Fries.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that US Fries is slated to open its 1,650 square-foot poutine palace on August 15. Owner of the Canada-based company Tom Jones says he is hoping to open a whopping 15 locations nationwide within the next three years. And, brace for it, he is already "shopping locations in Austin, Texas." Do note that there are no US Fries locations in Canada.
A visit to the US Fries website reveals more trickery. Along with trying to pass poutine off under the name "US," their tagline is "It's not poutine, It's a meal!" Their menu does indeed include non-traditional poutines such as bacon cheeseburger poutine (pickles included) and curried chicken poutine, plus "international" poutines like one with a "tomato-based meat sauce" meant to evoke Italy and a "Nacho Grande" poutine topped with chili, guacamole, and other nacho-y things. A rendering on their website also shows a food truck.
Arizona is just the latest battleground in poutine's advance into America. Just last month a Canadian poutine chain, The Big Cheese Poutinerie, opened in Chicago to a pretty warm reception. There's also poutine all over San Francisco, the Twin Cities, and Boston. Looks like there's not much hope left for the unordorned fries of this nation.