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Fries à la Carte pushes the frontier on French fries

Imagine a delicious Thai curry dish, made with spicy green coconut milk curry, drizzled with savory hoisin sauce and sprinkled with green onions, crunchy sesame seeds and fresh Thai basil bursting with flavor. Sound delicious? Now, take away the rice and dump this concoction onto a pile of just-crispy-enough, lightly salted sweet potato fries. Jaw dropped? Mind blown? That's just one dish that Fries à la Carte, the newest addition to The Lot, has to offer.

Not new to Bend's food cart lineup, Fries à la Carte has been making cameo appearances at local festivals and events for the past two years. However, starting in late February, it found a permanent spot parked at The Lot.

Owner and native Oregonian Brandon Chambers has loved cooking since he was a kid. After establishing his roots at Parrilla and Jackson's Corner, he built his own cart and operates it himself, installing upgrades and repairs as needed. Inspired by the independence of the food cart business model and the freedom to do things on his own terms, Chambers set out to offer fries with a different approach. Other than simply pairing fries with dipping sauces and poutines, Chambers wanted to push fry frontiers. Using the best quality potatoes, organic ingredients and spices, his menu includes staples like Gorgonzola Bacon Fries, Carne Asada Fries, Sweet Potato Curry Fries, as well as Caesar Salad, Bacon Bleu Salad, and Spiced Fries.

The Gorgonzola Bacon Fries are made with shoestring fries, gorgonzola aioli, chopped bacon, green onions, cajun seasoning, and fresh gorgonzola crumbled throughout (note: Chambers recommends, and I confirm, dumping a generous amount of Frank's Red Hot sauce on this dish). For fans of southwest flavors, the Carne Asada Fries are made with shoestring fries and drizzled with cilantro salsa verde and crema, topped with steak, cotija cheese, sliced radishes, and chopped green onions. Portions are large enough to share, but not colossal. (Although, full disclaimer: this writer nearly finished three plates of fries.)

Fries à la Carte also recognizes that classic French fries also can be good enough in their simplest form, and offers its fries with just salt or with one of its spice blends: ranch, Peruvian chile-lime, Vietnamese lemon curry, parmesan garlic, powdered honey, truffle oil/rosemary, or ghost pepper chocolate. These spice blends are available for both the shoestring fries or sweet potato fries. As well, there are two salad options, offering a less guilty—and delicious—alternative to the tasty fries, or at least some sort of balance.

Fries à la Carte

The Lot, 745 NW Columbia St.

11 am-3 pm, 5-9 pm. Tuesday-Saturday.

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