Spuds – Pork Belly Poutine Fries
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2000 E Gene Autry Way · Anaheim, CA 92806
Pastrami hot dogs. Poke nachos. Funnel Cakes. Poutine.
Sounds like food fare at a summer festival. But actually all of these items can be found at the local ballpark. A trip to Angel Stadium of Anaheim this young 2017 season opens up opportunities to sample some of the new dishes offered inside the park. Crafty Dawgs has the Pastrami Dawg, Oke Poke the nachos, the new Saint Archer Brewing Co. Restaurant the funnel cake, and there is also the pork belly poutine fries from Spuds on field level.
The pork belly poutine fries comes tagged with pork belly, rich gravy, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions. This version strays off the base path of a traditional poutine, with the thin cheese stripes stepping in to bat for cheese curds.
Without a doubt, the Mike Trout of these poutine fries is the pork belly. Crisp all around and hitting a home run with flavor, the small bites are fitted with a good amount of fatty meat. If only there was more for each time you go around the bases. The frozen potato bats are deep fried very lightly, some remain crisp while others are limp like walking with a hamstring injury. With the quick cooking time and all the stuff piled on top, the fries get soggy really fast. You’d expect better fries from a place named Spuds, a food stand that focuses on potato products.
Light brown gravy is viscous and binds all the toppings together with the potato sticks. But like the meat, there is little to go around. The green onions garnishing the dish are very fresh and brighten up the box of fries.
So Spuds got the French fries. The gravy. Where are the cheese curds? Going two for three is successful in the baseball world, but it’s a strikeout in the culinary realm. These fries scream Anaheim more than they do Quebec, the dish more Californian than Canadian. Replacing conventional cheese curds with simple shredded cheddar is like a way of trimming costs to get under the salary cap.
As a result, the dish resembles something more on the side of cheese fries with pork than a poutine classic. Canadians will be shaking their head at this one. The curds make all the difference – a fresher, cleaner taste of milk. Instead, with the thin cut cheese that is barely melted, you get a processed, industrial feel to the dish.
At 9.75, a box of pork belly fries fetches for nearly as much as the price of parking. For the abysmal quality and the amount of fries given, equating to a medium size at a local fast food joint, you don’t expect to pay major league bucks for a minor league player. The pork belly, the star of the team, can only take the dish so far. Across the way, the hot dogs approach the same amount and are a tastier buy.
The idea to sell poutine at the ballpark is great; it’s something different and trendy. And there is one Canadian team in the league along with several players from our northern neighbor. But when you can’t get all the parts together, it doesn’t work so well. As for the final score on this chilly, windy night, the Angels won 2-1 against the Astros on a walk-off single. Boring for the most part, just like these ‘poutine’ fries.