Best french fries: Prohibition Pig

While the history of french fries may be debated — did they originate in France, or in Belgium? Are they named simply after the lengthwise cut of the potato? — they are ubiquitous and undeniably satisfying. For the second year running, and the second year we included this category in the 4393 Awards, readers decided that not only does Prohibition Pig have the best french fries around, it’s the best casual restaurant in Waterbury. And now, it’s owned by 4393 three-peat best chef Eric Warnstedt, who with business and beverage partner William McNeil (Hen of the Wood(s) in Stowe and Burlington, Doc Ponds in Stowe), purchased the popular eatery and brewery in December 2018. So what makes the fries at the Pig so spectacular? The secret comes from Babe’s feathered friend — the fries are fried in duck fat. A special small fryer is reserved for the pillowy potato sticks, punched by hand from Green Thumb Farms potatoes grown in Maine, which take two dips in duck fat before being tossed in salt and presented in a small cast iron skillet. A full order, served bare, isn’t exactly an afterthought at $8 (hits the spot for one or two diners, or more, depending on how fast your friends or family can grab them), but you can add a helping as a side for your whole-hog or pork loin, chicken, brisket, or tempeh barbecue plate for a small upcharge. Ask for the complimentary lineup of house-made barbecue and hot sauces, or order a creamy dipping sauce — a roasted garlic aioli is the most popular to go with the fries. The duck fat fries also star in the house poutine, which comes slathered in gravy and Maplebrook Farm cheddar curds. You can make it a meal with a handful of chopped pork, or add little flavor bombs of local bacon or house-pickled jalapenos. More info: 23 S. Main St.

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