Have Car; Will Pilgrimage for Fries?
- opinionatedchef Sep 29, 2013 10:20 PM
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)
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.
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.
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.
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?