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Beyond the Humble Potato: Unusual Fries to Seek Out

Photo: R. Lopez

There isn't much that can top a side of freshly fried potatoes with your burger, but sometimes variety can be a good thing. Restaurants have begun offering more unusual fries, with everything from pastrami to bone marrow popping up.

At The Counter, stop debating with your tablemates over which side dish to order and opt for the "Fifty-Fifty." You can get fries and sweet potato fries, fries and crispy onion strings, or sweet potato fries and crispy onion strings. Or throw caution to the wind and order the off-menu "trio," in which you get all three fried treats in one serving.

After a night of drinking, visit Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper and order the gluttonous "Hangover Chips," made with house-made fries, cheese, chili, and a fried egg.

Masa 14 switches things up by frying yucca, a starchy root vegetable, and serving them with chimichurri and citrus aioli.

Cheese fries go Greek at Cava Mezze, where hand-cut potatoes are fried and topped with oregano, sea salt, feta, and kefalograviera, a hard Greek table cheese.

Cuba Libre transforms its simple Kennebec shoestring potatoes into a decadent side by topping them with truffle oil and queso añejo, an aged Mexican cheese.

At Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights, fries go British with rarebit sauce, a traditional sauce made with cheddar and beer.

The Pinch transforms basic spuds with garlic and Parmesan toppings, plus they combine two classic fry variations with their sweet potato waffle fries.

The truffle frites at Poste Moderne Brasserie are a classic, but the restaurant also offers Bordelaise frites. The hand-cut fries are served with a Bordelaise sauce, made with red wine, roasted bone marrow, shallots, butter, and demi glace. The whole dish is a three-day process, as chef Dennis Marron peels, soaks, cuts, and soaks the fries again. Then he blanches the fries in oil, allows them to rest, and fries them for service.

At BGR: The Burger Joint, there are thick-cut Yukon gold potatoes or thin-cut sweet potatoes fried and topped with Parmesan, rosemary or roasted garlic. Or there are "asparagus fries," which may be stretching the definition, but are grilled and topped with Parmesan.

For a truly decadent order of fries, head to DGS Delicatessen for the Schmutzy fries. Schmutzy means "dirty" in Yiddish and the fries, which riff on a classic poutine, are topped with pastrami, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.
—Amy Cavanaugh
· All Previous Burger Week 2013 Coverage [-EDC-]

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

801 9th Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 408-1600 Visit Website

BGR - The Burger Joint

1514 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 202 299 1071

Masa 14

1825 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 328-1414 Visit Website

DGS Delicatessen

1317 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, , DC 20036 (202) 293-4400 Visit Website

Meridian Pint

6035 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22205 703-300-9655 Visit Website