Whether as a staple on the family dinner table, one-third of the hat trick of the classic drive-in shake, burger and fries combination or the final act at the end of a date night, nothing beats a plate of hot, greasy french fries. Every state, city and town has that place where everyone goes to satisfy their craving, and Connecticut is no exception. Here are five restaurants in the Nutmeg State that deserve a spot on Connecticut’s best french fries list.
Black Rabbit Bar & Grille
2 Ethan Allen St
Lakeville, CT 06039
Hours: Sun to Thurs -11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri and Sat -11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tues – Closed
No grille worthy of the name should be without a distinctively good plate of fries. Lakeville’s Black Rabbit Bar & Grille serves up three variations of the venerable pommes frites. The fries here are so good, in fact, they’re honored as the lead off on the menu. The deep-fried “just as they are” chips are a bargain at $4.95; many regulars come to the Black Rabbit just for this treat and a beer. For $8.95 the chef will dress up the “as they are” fries with truffle oil, shaved parmesan cheese and a side of fresh herb aioli. Or go for the heftier version smothered with chili and cheddar and a side of cool sour cream and chives. As an appetizer for two or meal for one, the portions are large enough to leave you with a good belly rub of satisfaction.
Pastorale Bistro & Bar
223 Main St
Salisbury, CT 06039
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fri and Sat – 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Close enough to be dueling distance from the Black Rabbit lies the Pastorale Bistro & Bar in Salisbury, the neighboring town and friendly rival of Lakeville. The fries of its pricey Steak Frites entrée ($26) became so popular they are now available at the bar on their own for a mere $4. It is common for diners to clean off a plate or even two while waiting at the bar for their table. Many locals and weekend visitors alike come to the Pastorale just for the fries, which have become the restaurant’s signature dish with their unique spicy tang.
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548 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
Hours: Daily – 11 a.m to 9 p.m., Happy Hour Mon to Fri – 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Long known to generations of shore-goers as Del’s, this rustic rambling restaurant at the famous Singing Bridge in Westbrook does french fries as if it were still 1952 – and at a price to match. At Bills (not Bill’s) the fries are hot, meaty, a little greasy, very salty and always scrumptious. Although made to complement the mountains of deep-fried clams, oysters, scallops, shrimp and beer-battered scrod that Bills’ wise-cracking waitresses cart out to the always-packed tables, the fries are good enough to stand on their own. At $1.95 for a single serving side, they are the best bargain in the place.
2525 Berlin Turnpike
Newington, CT 06111
Hours: Sun to Wed – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thurs to Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Famous for its claim to be “the home of the two-foot hot dog,” Doogie’s of Newington on the Berlin Turnpike is as loved for its fries as for its frankfurters. The sweet potato fries in particular are a thing of simple orange beauty, as are the signature curly fries and the ever popular, possibly heart-attack-inducing cheese and chili cheese fries. Whichever you choose, the fries are simple, basic, affordable and very satisfying comfort food, and best enjoyed as take out. Make sure to order enough, because few orders of fries ever make it out of the parking lot.
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Super Duper Weenie
305 Black Rock Turnpike
Fairfield, CT 06825
Price: $5 for the large order
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
No list compiling Connecticut’s best french fries would be complete without a mention of Super Duper Weenie. Here, fries are always fresh cut. Super Duper Weenie proves this by letting you watch the process. Fried simple and deep and crisp, and then sprinkled with salt and pepper, these fries may just be the ideal to which all fries in the state should be held. While every town’s best fries joint has its fans and defenders, most will grudgingly admit that Super Duper Weenie’s fries are the default choice for top of the list.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience, most notably but not exclusively in the fields of international relations and history specifically military history. His work can be found at Examiner.com.