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Dec 20, 2006 11:01 PM

Gravy on French Fries

When I was 18 I spent the best summer of my entire life in New York. Peekskill NY, but me and my crazy cousins ventured into the city and wow did we have a ball!
I think that is when my adventure with food began, they treated me to a more than a few dinners that were outstanding but at that young age these are the most that stick in my mind.

One was a steak that was grain fed? Am I dreaming about this? It was so GOOD!
And the other was french fries with gravy. OH MY GAWD!

Are the french fries and gravy a figment of my imagination or can you still get them. And it was brown gravy by the way....

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  1. Go one step further and a few steps farther north into Quebec. Poutine. French fries with cheese curds and gravy. Heaven!

    14 Replies
      1. re: chef chicklet

        I guess I'm a French Fry purist - I prefer them lightly salted, with just ketchup to dip them into. Seems like the gravy would make them soggy, IMO.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I'm with you. I like mine nice and crispy ( I always order them well done when at a restaurant). Just some salt, and I'm happy!

          1. re: macca

            There is a place for crispy w/ ketchup, and there is a place for poutine. Chez Ashton in QC, specifically. Regular fries make a good side, but poutine is an entity unto itself. You must try it once. At Chez Ashton.

            1. re: amandine

              amandine, is this the chez ashton in quebec city that you're referring to?


              Chez Ashton
              640, Grande Allée Est
              Québec, QC G1R 2K5
              (418) 522-3449
              Fax (418) 682-2613

              "For 37 years, Chez Ashton has served food made from top quality ingredients. Specialties include roast beef sandwiches, hamburgers made from fresh ground beef, fries prepared by hand from fresh potatoes and the traditional Québec "poutines". Rapid and courteous service, pleasant atmosphere."

          2. re: LindaWhit

            Wouldn't a true French Fry purist not have them with ketchup since ketchup is not used much in France?

          3. re: chef chicklet

            They're fresh from the factory and taste, to me, a little like mozzerella cheese only w/ a very different texture and they squeek when you eat them. I had some fed-exed to me so I could make fried cheese curds for a friend for her birthday. Poutine has always sounded so good to me. I'd love to find a place near me to try them (whether or not it's "authentic"). They sound like a food that would be great, even if not.

            1. re: chowser

              i don't think there is such a thing as non-authentic poutin... fries with mozza or curds, and brown gravy. there are so many variations in canada, with different cheeses and different gravies, and they're all delish!

              1. re: RiJaAr

                i disagree. poutine is always made with cheese curds (though there is a debate as to the type of gravy).

                there have been spinoffs - ie, "italian poutine" - but the basic recipe is the same.

                1. re: piccola

                  and i disagree, poutine doesn't HAVE to made with curds, it tastes great that way, but it doesn't have to be curds

                  1. re: RiJaAr

                    from what i understand - and i realize i'm not the ultimate authority on the matter - it has to be curds for poutine. otherwise, it's fries with cheese and gravy (which is also good, but not poutine).

            2. re: chef chicklet

              Cheese curds are very fresh young cheddar in irregular shapes. When you bite into them they squeak and are very delicious. When the curds are pressed into molds (cheddared) and pressed and aged you get cheddar cheese. These are mild, sweet, creamy white and I am not getting a craving and know I can't find any where i live right now. Dang! I may have to do an on line search for some. There is nothing like tyem.

          4. I grew up in Upstate NY, heck I'm still here, gravy on ffries is common. I agree with Candy that poutine is the way to go.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Old Red

              I was not introduced to Poutine during that trip, but it sure sounds good. My nephew is in Toronto and I owe him a visit, I'll be sure to try them when I go.

              1. re: chef chicklet

                not to sound snobby, especially about such a working-class food, but the poutine you'll find in toronto (and in most places outside quebec) won't be that great. with so few ingredients, you really need them to be the best - particularly the cheese curds, which need to be super fresh

                1. re: piccola

                  True, but you can post or review old posts on the Toronto board - I think there are a couple of places that do cheese curds, and many places that do grated cheese versions or even haute versions. It's not a Toronto specialty, it is definitely better in Quebec were every "dep" or corner store has fresh curds. But it's still something fun to try. And crappy gravy somehow tastes much better with cheese.

                  1. re: julesrules

                    I'm not that familiar with Toronto, but I'm sure you're right.

                    Oh, and I kinda like to use St. Hubert's sauce, even though it's really ghetto...

                  2. re: piccola

                    BTW, calling it a "working-class food" DOES make you sound snobby

                    1. re: RiJaAr

                      i know. but let's face it - fries in every country started as a working-class food cuz they're cheap. that doesn't mean they're not good.

              2. there are a bunch of places that have disco fries (cheese fries with gravy) on their menus..great late night food.

                1. Gravy fries are what put Nectar's in Burlington on the map (oh yeah, and some band called Phish). I see more people ask for gravy on fries than ketchup). Seems localized to upstate NY and Vermont (and the aforementioned Poutine in Canada).

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: TonyO

                    Nah, Jersey diners are all about fries w/mozzarella and gravy too. Freaks out my Southern friends. Then again, to them brown gravy is only for turkey -- every other gravy is white.

                    1. re: Covert Ops

                      >>> Then again, to them brown gravy is only for turkey -- every other gravy is white.

                      Not in these Indiana woods would that pass for me. Geez, I once ordered a steak and mashed potatoes and was expecting the dark-rich brown gravy. No, I got the actually a white "flour" gravy base with a browning sauce added. I asked the waitress before I even ordered it, that I wanted the real brown beef gravy. Fortunately the chef came out and made me the gravy I wanted and made me a fresh steak. (He substuted a 16oz Porterhouse for a 10oz T-Bone, for all my troubles. he claims he and the boss got into it as this far north not everyone likes the brown flour gravy.)

                      1. re: Covert Ops

                        "fries w/mozzarella and gravy"? The only time I saw "wet" fries was when i ordered a hot open faced sanwich (turkey or beef) and the gravy from the sandwich sneaked over the line and attacked the fries. Sometimes this was a good thing, always dipped in ketchup (only heinz) and other times they just got too soggy.

                        I neverr saw mozz cheese w fries when I was a regular at NJ diners in the 70's. Where might that be CO? Must be a southern NJ thing.

                        1. re: jfood

                          I'm from Bayonne, jfood, which is across from NYC. Other diners around Hudson/Bergen counties had the same thing -- Jersey City, Hoboken, etc.

                          1. re: jfood

                            I'm from Middlesex County and disco fries were very, very common in diners -- though it was usually American or Velveeta, not mozzarella. You could get mozz if you asked for it special.

                        2. re: TonyO

                          Is the gravy at Nectar's chicken gravy? That's what I seem to remember, but it was also about 1am after a long night of drinking when I had them.

                          1. re: TonyO

                            Also vinegar on fries. That freaks some people out on visits to the North Country. A shaker bottle always used to come automatically on the drive in trays when you ordered fr fr pots.

                            1. re: Candy

                              I first tasted vinegar on fries at, of all places, the Starlight Cafe across from Space Mountain in Walt Disney World. They offered it in packets right next to the ketchup. Bless the tourists that made that possible! :-)

                              1. re: Covert Ops

                                20 years ago, as a freshly-minted high school graduate, I spent the summer in Ireland. The first or second day we were there, still suffering with jet lag, we went out on the prowl looking for someplace to eat. Ended up at this tiny hole-in-the-wall called the Kingfisher, not far from the bottom of O'Connell Street. The guy who ran the place had just sat down for a break and had a huge plate of chips, which he proceeded to drown with vinegar from the bottle on the table. I must have looked at him like he had three heads, because he laughed at me.

                                Next time I went in there I tried the chips that way, and loved them! It's one of my favorite ways to eat them now--if brown gravy from Murphy's is not to be had.

                                1. re: revsharkie

                                  fires with gravy AND a little vinegar is great. try it.

                          2. The Hat (various locations in Southern California) has what they call "wet fries" -- which is basically fries with gravy.

                            Good stuff.