Devil's Food Cookery
Cassandra Kotnik
French fries, home fries, seasoned fries, steak fries, crinkle-cut, waffle-cut and pommes frites: There are as many different varieties of fried potatoes as there are varieties of potatoes themselves. And the shoestring fries at Devil's Food Bakery put all others to shame. This haystack tangle of blanched and fried, super-thin-cut potato comes with the house's steak-frite plate. While fantastic, salty and crunchy on their own, the shoestrings are even better paired with the great flatiron-cut steak, since that blood-thickened Dijon mustard sauce at the bottom of the plate is perfect for dipping.

French fries, home fries, seasoned fries, steak fries, crinkle-cut, waffle-cut and pommes frites: There are as many different varieties of fried potatoes as there are varieties of potatoes themselves. And the shoestring fries at Devil's Food Bakery put all others to shame. This haystack tangle of blanched and fried, super-thin-cut potato comes with the house's steak-frite plate. While fantastic, salty and crunchy on their own, the shoestrings are even better paired with the great flatiron-cut steak, since that blood-thickened Dijon mustard sauce at the bottom of the plate is perfect for dipping.


Sam's No. 3
Courtesy of Sam's No. 3
An order of chili-cheese fries is not something you leave to an amateur, to someone uneducated in the tricky chemistry of the combination of potatoes, chili and cheese. You want to go to a pro, and that's why you go to Sam's No. 3, where the kitchen has been pumping out Coney Island-style fries slathered in beans-and-meat chili and melted generic yellow cheese product for decades. These guys know that the fries must be kept in the oil a little bit longer in order to give them a good caramelized crust that's strong enough to withstand the weight and moisture of the chili. They understand that while sometimes less might be more, this isn't one of those times, and so they smother the fries with their tasty chili and enough cheese that pretty soon you're going to need a fork. This side dish is worth the center of the plate.

An order of chili-cheese fries is not something you leave to an amateur, to someone uneducated in the tricky chemistry of the combination of potatoes, chili and cheese. You want to go to a pro, and that's why you go to Sam's No. 3, where the kitchen has been pumping out Coney Island-style fries slathered in beans-and-meat chili and melted generic yellow cheese product for decades. These guys know that the fries must be kept in the oil a little bit longer in order to give them a good caramelized crust that's strong enough to withstand the weight and moisture of the chili. They understand that while sometimes less might be more, this isn't one of those times, and so they smother the fries with their tasty chili and enough cheese that pretty soon you're going to need a fork. This side dish is worth the center of the plate.


Maggiano's Little Italy
When you want fried cheese, you want a lot of fried cheese. And Maggiano's Little Italy delivers. This giant Italian joint has the temerity, the cheek, the unabashed audacity to offer as an appetizer a brick of pure-white mozzarella, breaded, fried, and topped with...more cheese, then set afloat in a sea of marinara sauce like some cholesterol iceberg. Ahoy, cardiology clinic! More cheese, please!

When you want fried cheese, you want a lot of fried cheese. And Maggiano's Little Italy delivers. This giant Italian joint has the temerity, the cheek, the unabashed audacity to offer as an appetizer a brick of pure-white mozzarella, breaded, fried, and topped with...more cheese, then set afloat in a sea of marinara sauce like some cholesterol iceberg. Ahoy, cardiology clinic! More cheese, please!


White Fence Farm
Taylor Boylston
Joseph's Southern Food is the new mouth of the South. From their cramped, mostly carryout space, partners Joe Johnson and Rick Bousman serve up the very best of Deep South cuisine. They do grill-fired burgers, catfish sandwiches, root-beer floats, fried shrimp, coleslaw, collard greens and cold peach cobbler. But their very best dish is the house-special fried-chicken dinner. Although it takes a little time to prepare, it's totally worth the wait: a three-piece, deep-fried chicken dinner done in a pot with the kind of thick and crispy crust that the Colonel could only dream about, with chunky mashed potatoes, good mac-and-cheese and a cup of sweet tea on ice included in the $8.49 price.

Joseph's Southern Food is the new mouth of the South. From their cramped, mostly carryout space, partners Joe Johnson and Rick Bousman serve up the very best of Deep South cuisine. They do grill-fired burgers, catfish sandwiches, root-beer floats, fried shrimp, coleslaw, collard greens and cold peach cobbler. But their very best dish is the house-special fried-chicken dinner. Although it takes a little time to prepare, it's totally worth the wait: a three-piece, deep-fried chicken dinner done in a pot with the kind of thick and crispy crust that the Colonel could only dream about, with chunky mashed potatoes, good mac-and-cheese and a cup of sweet tea on ice included in the $8.49 price.


Table 6
Cassandra Kotnik
"Mother and child reunion" is the best description we've heard so far for the Rocky Chicken dish at Table 6. It's a fried egg, done over-easy, on top of a fried chicken breast and leg that are mounted on a nest of fried potatoes and onions. The whole plate is very intellectual, very New American smartass, but also very tasty -- a special trick that Table 6 has mastered, and one that saves the place from collapsing under the weight of over-thinking. Credit chef Aaron Whitcomb for pulling off a cerebral bit of deconstruction that still works in terms of flavor: a tender piece of fried chicken, perfectly cooked, and an egg that, when broken, serves as the sauce. No wonder the tables at Table 6 are some of the most sought-after in town.

"Mother and child reunion" is the best description we've heard so far for the Rocky Chicken dish at Table 6. It's a fried egg, done over-easy, on top of a fried chicken breast and leg that are mounted on a nest of fried potatoes and onions. The whole plate is very intellectual, very New American smartass, but also very tasty -- a special trick that Table 6 has mastered, and one that saves the place from collapsing under the weight of over-thinking. Credit chef Aaron Whitcomb for pulling off a cerebral bit of deconstruction that still works in terms of flavor: a tender piece of fried chicken, perfectly cooked, and an egg that, when broken, serves as the sauce. No wonder the tables at Table 6 are some of the most sought-after in town.


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