$17; Mintwood Place, 1813 Columbia Road NW; 202-234-6732, mintwoodplace.com
This brunchtime dish starts with a pile of house-cut fries soaked in house-made buttermilk ranch dressing. “Don’t think Hidden Valley Ranch,” says assistant general manager Christopher Ferrufino. “It’s a little thinner and pink because we add paprika for smokiness.” The fries are topped with chunks of 28-day-aged, grass-fed burger meat and applewood smoked bacon. (Still with us, or have you passed out?) To that, Mintwood adds a blend of melted Gruyere, Parmesan and cheddar cheese. For garnish, you’ll find a sunny-side-up egg and blistered shishito peppers.
$9; DGS Delicatessen; multiple locations, dgsdelicatessen.com
Being an old school-inspired Jewish deli, it’s only fitting that DGS aims to put pastrami on as many things as possible. The Reuben fries are no exception. The dish starts with hand-cut potatoes that are deep-fried until golden brown, and then topped with fatty hunks of pastrami that has been smoked in-house. To that, DGS adds house-made sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and Fresno chilies. The only thing missing is the rye bread, which we’re thinking you won’t care too much about when you’re done licking the plate.
$10; ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW; 202-567-2576, churchkeydc.com
Anyone who’s ever stepped foot in a diner has likely heard of disco fries. But it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen them this fancy. The hand-cut french fries are topped with chunks of cheddar cheese, a house-made gravy and pork sausage blended with sage, ginger, garlic and black pepper. “It elevates itself by the amount of work that goes into the dish,” says general manager Sarah Jane Curran. “We’re not intentionally making a fancier version — we’re just making something to the best of our ability.” It certainly beats the frozen-french-fries-and-slice-of-American-cheese variety.
Loaded nacho fries
$8.95; Slash Run, 201 Upshur St. NW; 202-838-9929
What better dish to serve alongside juicy, meaty burgers than crisp french fries? Much like it does with its patties, Slash Run offers a number of toppings for its waffle french fries. For something simple (yet stinky), try the garlic and rosemary variety. If you’re looking for more of a meal, we suggest the loaded nacho fries topped with melted cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream. The shape of the fries makes for a generous distribution of cheese, and, as with any good plate of nachos, the toppings are added in layers for a packed bite every time you go in for more.
Chili cheese fries
$5.50; Fast Gourmet, 1400 W St. NW; 202-448-9217, fastgourmetdc.com
Don’t let the location of this somewhat shady grab-and-go corner restaurant scare you away. Lurking within this gas station haunt you’ll find a bevy of deep-fried, golden brown eats made for late-night noshing. One of the most popular menu items is the chili cheese fries. The dish comes with all the standard toppings: melted cheese, chili, chopped scallions and a dollop of sour cream. Feeling noncommittal? Fast Gourmet offers a smaller, side-size portion of the fries for just $3. Pair the fries with the chivito sandwich for a filling meal.
$8; Small Fry, 3212 Georgia Ave. NW; 202-808-8572, smallfrydc.com
This Park View restaurant comes from the same owner behind Sundevich, a beloved international sandwich shop tucked away in a Shaw alley. Much like the menu at Sundevich, Small Fry features dishes inspired by countries around the world — with an emphasis on street foods. The Patriot Poutine is modeled after a ubiquitous dish in Montreal. There are slight variations, however: Small Fry uses American string cheese in place of cheese curds, and its gravy is runnier than the more traditional, roux-based alternative.
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