Description: Ahh, 2am and you’ve had a couple of beers. Now what? You could stop on by any one of the late night 24hr fast food joints for “4th meal” and pay for it in the morning, or you could head on down to SE 12th and Hawthorne and get some Frites. Yep, I’m calling them Frites instead of fries because they are that good.
Potato Champion is Portland’s only late night fry cart and from my experience, the only cart in town specializing in Belgian style frites. Belgian style frites are potatoes that are peeled, cut, washed and then blanched with a first fry before frying them again. This makes them crispy on the outside while staying fluffy on the inside. I don’t know about all that techno mumbo jumbo, I just know that they are just what the doctor ordered after a few beers at the local microbrew.
When I visited, it was pretty quiet on the corner, so I walked right up. The owners are very friendly and kind as I assume they get a few of their share of drunkards rolling by. I ordered a large cone with the Rosemary Truffle ketchup. Plenty for one person and I barely got to the ketchup as I was devouring the hot yummy fries without really thinking to pair them with anything. Next time I will try the tarragon anchovy mayo or maybe Poutine.
Ah, how can I explain my love of Poutine? It’s simply trashy, French Canadian comfort food. Je t’aime la Poutine! See, Poutine is considered the national dish of Quebec, Canada. Much to the chagrin of the “real French” who consider the French Canadians a bunch of backwoods redneck idiots when it comes to cuisine. Sacre Bleu! Still, I dare you to not love anything with crispy fries covered in a rich brown chicken gravy and cheese curds, especially after a night of imbibing. I fell in love with Poutine while an exchange student in Quebec one summer, and I still crave it. It’s nice to see a place in Portland serving it.
Small cone: $3.50
Large cone: $4.50
Choice of sauces: Horseradish Ketchup; Rosemary Truffle Ketchup; Mayonnaise; Pesto Mayo; Tarragon Anchovy Mayo; Remoulade; Dijon Mustard; “Harder” Hot Mustard, etc.
Poutine: Small: $4; Large: $5 (Vegan and Vegetarian available)
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday: 8pm – 3am; closed Sunday-Tuesday