1. The Pomme Souffle- Boca
Talk about a one of a kind experience… this French-inspired dish is the only one you’re going to find in the city, and you’d be missing out on something truly special if you choose not to give these a try. If you’re wondering, yes, they’re pretty much just ballooned up, fried potatoes. We were curious how they did it, so we asked Sebastian. their Marketing Manager, just how they got them to get that way.
Not only are they a rarity in the city, but they also have a relatively short shelf life before they deflate and flatten out! It only takes about twelve minutes before they turn into potato cakes! This means you’d better get to work as soon as you get it. Don’t forget to add some champagne on the side, because the two together are a match made in heaven. Who knew bloated, airy fries could be so good? Oh, wait, they’re fries. They have to be good.
2. The Wurst Disaster – Wurst Bar
Fries + Sausage… yes. So much yes. This poutine has a twist on it that will make any Comfort Food lover feel amazing. Instead of focusing on artisan nonsense, they keep things together by making their own White Gravy in-house. Then they, of course, have to throw sausage into the mix by adding it on top. Does it make a difference? Yes. The spices in the sausage combine perfectly with the creamy gravy and salty fries to form a masterpiece.
Thought that was it? Not by a mile. We haven’t even talked about the cheese curds yet. Oh yeah, fresh Wisconsin cheese curds seem to melt in your mouth when you chomp down. Cheesy, salty, spicy, and… meaty? It’s perfection. Make sure to try one of their cocktails while you’re there. We recommend the Moscow Mule. You’re going to have a great time. In fact, you’ll have the best wurst time ever…
3. The Gravy Fries – Pleasant Ridge Chili
Gravy fries?! What?! Yeah, you heard us. No “poutine” about it. They like to keep it simple with these fries, but simplicity is often beautiful, and these fries are no exception. We know, it’s kind of crazy for a chili place to have gravy fries, but don’t let that distract you from what makes these fries so good: family tradition. That’s not to say that the idea didn’t come from the customers…
They’ve kept the company in the family for fifty years, which was under the direction of Tony Sideris until he passed away four years ago, but his love for quality meals has been passed on to his children and grandchildren. You gotta love it, and every meal they serve, especially these Gravy Fries, feel like a home-cooked meal, which explains why people just keep coming back. Oh, and they’re open super late too, so you can come in and grab some when you have the late night munchies. Oh yeah…
4. Sweet Potato Fries With Apple Butter – Habits
What’s better than Sweet Potato Fries? Obviously Sweet Potato Fries with an amazing Apple Butter dipping sauce. Actually, it probably isn’t that obvious, and you may not have considered doing it, but you really need to, and there’s no better place to try this delicious combo in Cincinnati than at Habits.
When it comes to what you should drink with it, we were recommended to try a spicier Bourbon Cocktail, and we were glad we did! The fries seem to pull out even more of the spices in the bourbon when you combine the two tastes. Oh, and don’t stray away from trying these with the Godzilla Burger. We love it.
5. The Braised Pork Poutine – Bistro Grace
Wow, what a piece of art. We never would have imagined that someone could make poutine look graceful, but the people at Bistro Grace have done just that. Instead of settling for the average poutine, they carefully place Braised Pork all over the mountain of fries, and then coat it with line after line of their creamy, artisan gravy; sprinkling White Cheddar Cheese Curds on top.
You’ll definitely want to grab some before summer ends, because they’ll be switching back to the Duck Poutine soon (not that that’s not amazing too), but this is a little less rich, making it perfect for a summer day. To complete it, grab a hoppier beer with it. We recommend the MadTree Happy Amber. It cuts the richness out a bit, but only complements the complexity of the dish as a whole. They may have only opened less than a year ago, but they definitely know how to make one hell of a poutine.
6. GD Chile Cheese Fries – Green Dog
Can fries actually be sort of healthy? This is the question we asked ourselves when we first read the menu. Well, yes, actually. Instead of following the formula for typical fries, or just about any other variation on fries, Green Dog decided they’d add a little bit of Latin flair to these fries, and it was a brilliant idea. Topped with salsa verde & fresca white cheddar, black beans, and sour cream, it actually seems like something off of a Mexican restaurant’s menu.
Not only are they amazing, but they’re also both vegan and vegetarian friendly. The black beans add plenty of protein and the veggies almost make this a complete meal. It’s 100% one of the best food alternatives in the entire city, and that’s something that Green Dog’s entire menu tries to offer. Whether you’re looking for vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options, you’re going to find something to fit your needs.
7. The Poutine – Senate
C’mon now. No Cincinnati fry list would be complete without Senate’s poutine. Sure, it’s not the gourmet dogs that everyone knows them for, but it’s the perfect way to set your meal off in the right way. It literally looks like a volcanic eruption of gravy goodness. Short Rib caps off the top, followed by waves of gravy, covering all of their delicious, hand-cut crunchy fries. Oh, and if you want to get real fancy, you can throw an egg on it.
But hey, even if poutine isn’t your thing, you should definitely try the Truffle Fries. If we had to choose between those fries and eternal life… well, we’d probably choose the fries. No shame.