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Have Car; Will Pilgrimage for Fries?

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Once upon a time, i thought that Portland ME's Duck Fat had the sine qua non of fries. 'Fried in duck fat' and all. And they ARE very good. Thin, cooked perfectly (not underdone, crispy) and served with some wonderful aioli and other dipping sauces. But then you find out that they only use 25% duck fat, and commercial duck fat is a very mild flavor anyway. And you start to realize that you have probably been willingly hoaxed all these years there.....not that the fries aren't worth eating but that maybe there are others as good or better. There are some Boston spots (West Bridge,? and?) that list duck fat fries but i haven't had them. You?

But what I have had ,as of yesterday, is a phenomenal plate of fries -that have nothing to do with duck fat. They are in a small college town 5 minutes north of Burlington VT>>Winooskie, at a new inspired chef-owned spot called Misery Loves Company.

They call them ***Filthy Fries***- thin style, fried w/ abundant fresh sage and rosemary leaves, served in a heaping basket ,mixed with chewy seared chunks of pork belly and house pastrami, and topped with plenty of shredded Parm and sea salt. Served with an Old Bay aioli. A veritable meal unto itself. Lions and tigers and bears oh my!

Know of anything to rival those- in Boston? (Oh, for those planning the trip, figure about 3 1/2 hours ; YMMV)

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  1. I occasionally will drive from Newton to Sturbridge ( around 45 min) to eat at B.T. Smokehouse, specifically for the Brisket Reuben, (that along with the Tripleta at Mana Escondido on Aguadilla street in the South End) that hits all the right notes (for me) in the sandwich realm. Eaten alongside a couple of Oskar Blues Deviant Dales available next door at Yankee Spirits is a crazy food experience for 20 dollars.

    I have, in the distant past, driven from Boston to New York for pastrami at Katz's ( though in full disclosure we arrived at 3 o'clock in the morning, got sandwiches at Sarge's and waited for Absolute Bagel to open before driving back)

    Im imagining that you were in the area for other reasons and happened upon the place, but, if you drove that far for fries i will bow down to you in supplication for your dedication in the realm of food.

    1. The duck fries at Brick & Mortar are the closest I can think of. Nicely cooked fries covered in crispy duck meat, pickled chiles, scallions, and gruyere.

      1. O-chef, Drive no further than Dorchester; Ashmont Grill, or Quincy; The Fat Cat. Both have great handcut fries. Ashmont's Train Wreck fries have been talked about forever on this site. Fat Cat fries plain or with their numerous toppings are delicious. Don't eat fries in many places, but when I'm at either of these places these nothing left over.
        Don't waste the fuel driving further.
        Enjoy,
        CocoDan

        1. I'm much more of a blue collar guy when it comes to fries; I'm not generally into too too fancy toppings. (My favorite fries are at Red Hot Lovers -- or whatever they call themselves now -- in Ann Arbor, MI, where you can get their wonderful waffle fries topped with cheese (that's cheese, not cheeze) and chopped hot peppers; Waterfront Ale House, in NYC, makes a reasonable facsimile.) When you get a good batch of Hell Fries from All Star Sandwich Bar, they're hard to beat (but just as often they're too limp and soggy, but good nonetheless). And I'm not remembering where I've had really simple but really good truffled fries. Lord Hobo, maybe?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Blumie

            Lord Hobo does have truffled fries on the menu. I'm not a fan of truffle so I stick to the polenta fries and plain potato. Both are basic, but good.

            1. re: Blumie

              YES, Right chou ahr! Lord Hobo. I praised the chef for them the time we went there, and he proudly explained that they use ACTUAL truffles and not just truffle oil (which can vary greatly in quality of truffle flavor.) I was wicked impressed with their flavor.

              1. re: Blumie

                Thank you for reminding me of Hell Fries at ASSBar. (Hmm that doesn't sound so delicious...) I went today and got a good batch - crispy and spicy.

              2. Used to be a place called Hungry Herbs in Medford with an entire fry menu, bummer they are gone.. great steak/chicken tips too.. menu here still. I wonder if they opened somewhere else? http://www.menulizard.com/menus/316-h...

                2 Replies
                1. re: hargau

                  I remember that place! Loved their fries. Unfortunately, I believe Herb passed away this year. He was a unique individual, for sure.

                  1. re: hargau

                    OMG their steak fries with brown gravy were to die for! Actually everything on their menu so good, I was sad when they closed.

                    Just saw the post below that said Herb passed away. RIP to a nice man who sold great food.

                  2. I find the gouda fries at Abigail's in Kendall Sq to be a nice occasional indulgence. The handful of times I've had them, not overly fried, crisp, and also not too smothered in the cheese as to get soggy either. Comes with a side of chicken gravy and bacon sprinkled on top.

                    1. Oh My Goodness! These fries sound heavenly...next time I am on my way to Montreal...

                      1. A few faves.
                        Stones Public House in Ashland makes fries the right way, double cooked and they are the best in the area. They also have chips and curry and poutine made with farmers cheese.
                        The Driftwood Public House in Plymouth serves a big pile of thin cut fries(think fries shape cut on a mandolin) tossed with sautéed onions and zucchini with chunks of parmesan.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: trufflehound

                          Seconded Stones' fries. Very good and worth driving to.

                        2. i do no think that you need to have 100% animal fat to make a difference in making good fries. next time i am in chicago, we can go to doug's dogs and a few other places.

                          i think that no fries that are not made with some animal fat are really first rate as that has been my experience though i must admit that i do not eat a whole lot of french fries.

                          1. Although I love DuckFat in Portland and love dipping fries in their gravy, they didn't invent the duckfat fry! They've been around forever at many a fine establishment.

                            I'm willing to bet that Aquitaine uses duck fat for their steak frites, which is our favorite place ever for steak frites. I just adore their truffle dressing and greens. The fries are perfection. Lot's of people don't like this place, but we never venture far from the steak frites.

                            In Portland, the fries at 555 a few years ago were even better then the Duckfat fries.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Bellachefa

                              I used to use duck fat for my fries at home, but I now prefer straight peanut oil. This recipe from Serious Eats makes better fries that restaurant I have tried in the area.

                              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
                              http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                i feel exactly as you do about the A steak frites, my always dish there.

                              2. Have you tried Saus yet? I think they rival Duck Fat. They have numerous dipping sauces and poutine with a few different add-ons. There other offerings (sandwiches, waffles, etc) are also good. If you live or work in or around Boston, you won't even need the car.

                                1. Speaking of Duck Fat, I just had a fantastic burger and fries at Infiniti, the newish microdistillery on Commercial St in Portland. The fries were double fried, crisp, nicely salted and better than Duck Fat's. I have not had their equal around here although West Bridge's were quite good.

                                  1. I like Saus a lot too!

                                    1. This sounds like it's well worth driving from Boston to get.