Duckfat, open since 2005, is the creation of Nancy Pugh and Rob Evans, who are also co-owners of Hugo’s, the James Beard Award-winning Portland restaurant. Duckfat, their more casual eatery, makes excellent panini, soup, milkshakes and housemade sodas, too, with a very satisfying wine and beer list to boot. But the fries? Oh, the fries. Where to start? Well, with Maine potatoes, sliced somewhere in between a traditional fry and a shoestring fry. Then deep-fried – TWICE! – in duck fat. Yes, duck fat. From a duck. Which gives them a savory crispiness unlike any other fry I’ve ever had – and if there’s a bad-for-you food that I am a total sucker for, it’s French fries.
CNN agrees with me, apparently, and said the following on its website:
When it comes to delivering the perfect fry, it’s all in the name at this Portland sandwich shop. The locally sourced potatoes are twice fried in a healthy coating of duck fat that results in a crunchy exterior but leaves each fry’s interior fresh and tender. They’re then served in paper cones with a handful of specially made dips like smoked mussel mayo and chopped egg and caper mayo. Being close to Canada, Duckfat also offers its own version of poutine, topping those same crispy fries with a heaping of local cheese curd and house-made duck gravy.
I’ve not yet had the poutine – it’s the savory equivalent of having a super brownie sundae, and extreme guilt can sometimes override extreme gluttony. But I have tried most of the dipping sauces, and I must recommend either the truffle ketchup or the Thai chili mayo.
Great. Now I want Duckfat fries. What Maine restaurants make your favorite fries?