This Sunday I tried to get a group of friends to hike a section of the Greenbelt Trail, which spans 32 miles across Long Island from the LI Sound to the Great South Bay, following the Nissequogue and Connetquot Rivers. Scheduling group things with high school chums is getting increasingly difficult though. Some of our us are back at school, finishing a degree or starting a new one, some have jobs, full or part time, and SOME moved all the way out of the state (you know who you are.)
When the hike didn’t happen, my girl Chelsea and I did not want to give up on a day of adventure. Thus was born the Fantastic French Fry Forage of 2013.
(I talk, and write, a lot. But I like that about me. So I’ve broken this post right in half. Come back again for the second part, and the glorious end to our escapade!)
With the help of Newsday.com, we picked out six establishments to sample. We eliminated the chains we already knew (Bobby’s Burger Palace and Five Guys Burgers and Fries,) and we know we’re not particularly partial to wedges with lots of potato, so we also dropped Toku in Manhasset from the list. With a little more research, we had to also remove Roots Bistro Gourmand in West Islip, as it was more of an upscale restaurant and we were looking for grab-and-go places. This was disappointing, I was most looking forward to trying those fries pictured in the slideshow. But I have family in WI, so I will make my way there one day.
And we were off!
The lovely Chelsea
First on our list was the only location east of us, Hot Diggity Dogs in Medford. Hot dayum, those were some delicious fries. On the side of a very busy road, Medford Ave (route 112) it’s the tiniest looking stand alone shop from the outside, but the inside was brightly colored and welcoming.
Hot Diggity Dogs
With funny quotes on the walls, and rolls of paper towels instead of napkins, it was a very comfortable stop, even for Chelsea who sat on what looked like a seat taken from a church pew. It had the number 69 on the arm rest, and I’m a child so I thought that was funny. I actually inquired on their Facebook page, cause I really want to know where it’s from. As of yet, no response.
But the fries were fantabulous, lightly seasoned, and they came with three sauces. The green one belonged on a burrito. Chels and I usually can handle spicy, but this dip didn’t fit the fries. The yellow one tasted like a creamy honey mustard, and the last, we discovered, was HDD’s signature Boom Boom Sauce. It was good, just like any version of Mac Sauce is, but spicier, which I love. All-in-all a great experience.
Left to right: …I’m sure you can figure it out.
We felt kind of full when we left, which was a bad sign. I made the mistake of ordering us two small fries. Chelsea, genius that she is, decided we should split an order at our remaining destinations. Good thinking, girl.
So we made our way to Huntington, which we decided is a grownup’s Patchogue. That’s a very weird thing to decide, and would take a description of perceived Long Island stereotypes, so I’ll leave that for another day, because I hope to visit Huntington again.
Huntington’s European Republic
We entered European Republic, a small place squished up between a jeweler and an awesome looking burger place called Top Bunz. I’d also like to mention the next shop was the Village Creperie, and it took a lot of will power not to just end my journey there.
But we shuffled to the back and ordered a not-so-small small fry, which didn’t take long at all. The wraps we saw all around us looked very good, but we forgot about them when we tried our dish. Served in a paper cone, they were thicker than I normally enjoy, but it didn’t matter. Crispy and delicious, we dipped them in the two sauces we picked. There were tons of crazy combos of sauces, but I’m not much of an adventurer and Chels isn’t much of a decision maker – so we ended up with Barbecue Cheddar (unusually delicious) and Blue Cheese (expectedly delicious.)
It was at this particular location we decided to be more adventurous when it came to our going out experiences. Chelsea and I want to be those people who go, “Oh, I know a great little place to eat there!” But for like, everywhere we go. So, here’s to you, European Republic, for being the eatery that opened our eyes to how blind we were. And for having outstanding fries.
Our journey doesn’t end here, but unfortunately this post does. If you enjoyed this, read part 2 for culmination of the Fantastic Fry Forage!
Other fun pictures from the day –