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Monday, May 29, 2017

Fado (again) - Austin, TX

I have visited Fado many times in the past.  Way longer than I have been "into" french fries.  Two things I learned on my most recent visit are that 1) there are many Fado pubs, and 2) one of them is in Abu Dhabi- where you have to own a personal liquor license to legally drink.  Seems like a problem for an Irish-themed pub.

Anyhoo, my buddy Jack was whining and complaining at me for like 2 solid hours about how hungry he was and how all he wanted was some tasty fries and could we please stop working for like 5 seconds and have some quick fries so I was finally all like "okay!  enough!  He is such a child sometimes.

Fado is so Irish.

We got the regular AND skillet fries (chips) on accounta we had just eaten lunch like 30 minutes prior.

I didn't remember that the regular fries came with all these fancy dipping sauces.  One was ketchup, but I think it was Irish ketchup cause it tasted boggy.  The other two were "Marie Rose" (never heard of her), and Guinness aioli.  Good, but too rich for my blood.

The skillet fries were legit.

A serious undertaking, especially in the middle of the day.

These are the kind of fries you have at the end of night, and go directly to sleepy time.  Incredible.

Jack finally shut up for a few seconds.

The price is kinda steep for em, but they are definitely worth it.  DO IT (again).

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kooky Canuck - Memphis, TN

Got waylaid in Memphis on accounta a bad car engine thing and had to spend the night unexpectedly.  We decided to turn those lemons into french fries and started with this joint called Kooky Canuck.

The place hangs its Canadian hat on one of those huge burger challenges where if you eat it in an hour without barfing you get a free turtle, blah, blah, blah.  I did one of those once.  But they also have fries so yippie!.  The decor is lodgey.

With lots of dead (Canadian?) animals on the walls.

I expected poutine but I'm not a huge fan of it (too much going on that hides the fry experience) so I ordered a regular batch for appraisal.  They always say "Hand Cut".  Who's working at these places- Edward Scissorhands?  Also sweet potato fries =yuck.

While we waited, the Grunion gazed wistfully upon the boulevard and pined for his younger days as a wandering blues man.  Strumming out the pain of generations of migrant Pokemon hunters scarred by the battles they waged and the rare ones that got away.

$2.99 for this.


Real potatoes cut up and fried.  Couldn't tell if they were blanched first, but I doubt it.  Good though.  Not many limp ones.

All things considered, definitely a great fry experience for downtown Memphis.  Big dead moose head says DO IT.

But don't do this.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

P.Terry's - Austin TX

I guess P.Terry's is a big deal in Austin.  It's one of those Five Guys type places that's supposed to have incredible burgers.  There seem to be 3 or 4 of these chains now.  You know, the ones that store boxes of potatoes in the front dining area so you can see that they use actual potatoes to make the fries that they are necessarily famous for.  I wasn't expecting much from the fries, but I endure this torture for you, dear reader.

Here's the boxes of potatoes.  Sheesh.

$1.75 ain't bad.

It took a seriously long time to get the fries.  Like 10 minutes.  It was not packed so I don't know what was up.

Whoa.  Did not expect 1/4 inchers.

Very nice.  Not slimy or under cooked.

I was impressed.  Definitely worth it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Valhalla - Austin TX

After years of being a scuzzy rock band person, you gain the innate ability to find the "off the beaten path" places. The cooler dives and joints that locals frequent and tourists know nothing about.  Valhalla is one of those places, even though it's smack dab in the middle of downtown Austin.  As luck would have it, Valhalla had just started serving food.  Lucky me!

The layout of this joint is ridiculous.  The whole front room is bisected by a round kinda tiki bar looking thing.  To get from one side to the other you have to go all the way around back through a scary tunnel.  More on that later.

Pinball machines and video games.  Nice.

Lots of cool mafia style tables.

And albums on the walls.


I asked the bartender (the only person working in the whole place) for some fries.  This is what he told me:
BARTENDER:  Okay, cool.  What you need to do is go down the back hallway around to the other side, find the staircase that curves up to the left, go to the top of the stairs and look for a small service window in the loft.  Tell the dude at the window I sent you.

WHA?  So I went down the scary tunnel....

Up the staircase....

Found the window....

And told the dude I wanted some fries.  There were actually two dudes on the kitchen, and they both looked pretty stoned.  I handed them my money.  He asked my name.  I told him Gibby.   Totally felt like a drug deal.

Back at the table, the ketchup provided did not instill confidence.

About 10 minutes later, a booming voice came over the sound system:

At no time was I told that I would need to return back to the scary window to retrieve my fries.  Crazy!  Anyhoo, these are the fries.

And they were......really good!

Crisp, hot, tasty.  I'll tell you what, some stoner metal guys know fries, yo!

Even with all the ordering/pick up weirdness the fries are totally worth it at Valhalla.  DO IT.

P.S.  Jack at most of them on accounta he said that was the only way to "get into Valhalla".

Thursday, April 6, 2017

SPECIAL EDITION - 10lb.Paint Can Nachos - The Local Post Pub, Austin TX

My buddy Jamey is the kind of buddy that everyone should have at least one of.  He keeps you weird and checks you when you are getting too "corporate", too "square".  For an old alt musician turned corporate puke like me he is an essential grounding mechanism.  Behold Jamey.

Recently in Austin he blew my mind again with the crazy nachos at one of his local hangs called The Local Post Pub.  Before you get out your torches and pitchforks, I know that nachos are not fries, but I think after you see what's going on there you'll agree that you needed to see this.  Anyway you have 3 choices of 10lb. can nachos.  Jamey suggested the "Fritas Pie".  I concurred.

So here's the deal.  They take a paint can, fill it with chips, cheese, and all the other stuff and then stick the can in the oven for a while.  Then they bring the can to the table, and pour an additional soup size can of cheese all over the top so it cascades down through.  MADNESS!  When the can is lifted off the plate you are presented with A NACHO TOWER!  I had to video the process.

I was dumbstruck.  This is genius on a whole other level.  Thank you once again, Jamey for bringing me back from the banal.  10lb. can nachos at the Local Post Pub--DO IT!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Chi'Lantro Food Truck - Austin TX

Every once in a while I stumble upon greatness.  Behold the Chi'lantro food truck.  Home of the "original" Kimchi Fries?  Okay I'll give em a whirl.

Gotta say that $10.50 might be the most I ever paid for some fries so they better be stellar.  Silly SXSW hipsters!


Incredible.  Kimchi, spicy pork, Sriracha, cheese sauce, onions, peppers, green stuff, some kinda seeds.

The fries themselves were pretty standard but the overall combination is superb.

If you ever have a chance to get some of these, DO IT.  Absolutely 10 out of 10 and worth every penny.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Bonneville - Austin TX

Got the opportunity to dine with some great agriculture leaders in Austin a while back at a joint called the Bonneville.  It's a fancy joint so I was lucky not to get kicked out immediately.  That's our host Mark in front of the joint.  He's a dude.

The menu didn't include fries that night, but after our table started talking about fries we asked if the chef would make us some.  He obliged.

They were superb.  Fresh cut quarters of potatoes fried on canola oil with salt, pepper, rosemary, and perhaps some truffle oil I think.

Awesome, and the chef was super nice for making them for us.