Review: Summit Grill

Do you ever wake up in a cold-sweat, in the middle of the night with thoughts like “I forgot that I enrolled in that class and now it’s two weeks before finals and I haven’t ever submitted an assignment”? Or maybe it’s more like “My teeth are crumbling out and have to save all the crumbles to take them to my dentist!”

Well, these fries will lead to similar, perhaps more pleasant, thoughts. For us, it’s been “I NEED BEEF GRAVY!” or “Why don’t more restaurants cover things in melted cheese?” It’s been a bit of burden, interrupting our sleep and all, but we promise these fries are worth it.

Cue orchestra music, the angels floating down from the sky. These fries are a work of art.

The fries are a take on the Canadian classic, poutine– although even calling them that might be a stretch. The shoe-string style fries are topped with melted pepper jack cheese, thick gravy, shredded beef, a fried egg, truffle oil, and what we assume are green onions. Maybe the fried egg on top is unnecessarily extravagant, but we don’t mind. It certainly made for great photos.

If you would like a high resolution version of this photo to enlarge and hang above your mantle, feel free to send us an email at We’ll send it free of charge!

Amazingly enough, these fries manage to stay crisp– even the ones smothered in gravy at the bottom of the bowl. You’ll probably need a fork to really dig in there and get a good size piece of beef with your fry so even though this dish is marketed as an appetizer, we recommend sharing with someone you don’t mind swapping spit with. Or we also recommend getting an entire order for yourself to go and eating it while binging-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Whatever suits your fancy.

Overall, these fries earn their highest marks for taste, style/flair, and experience. They also do quite well in environment and value ($9.95 for an order and you get a ton of meat. Seriously, I was full before my meal came out). See the complete breakdown and overall rating below:

Final Rubric (scored out of 5 for each category- see FAQs for more details):

Style/flair:  5
Value:  4
Overall taste:  5
Environment:  4
Experience:  5
Bonus:  +1 for WOW factor
Average/overall rating:  4.8 → 5 Stars



Review: Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue

Starting this review, we were reminded of all the famous Joes in the world. There is, of course, ex-VP and meme star Joe Biden. Joe Montana also comes to mind, because Chiefs. Then there’s the great Joe Muiller, famous for his impeccable sport coats, ugly Christmas sweater party planning, and quips about his favorite subject – ethical dilemmas facing healthcare.

Real BBQ experts know that the best BBQ comes from gas stations, like Joe’s.

But I digress. These Joes pale in comparison to the most famous Joe of all: Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue. Known for their burnt ends and fresh cut fries, Joe’s recently won the title “Best KC Fries” according to a tournament on the Kansas City Star which they celebrated by giving patrons FREE fries for a day (with the purchase of a sandwich, of course).

As graduate students on a budget, we appreciated this gesture and were more than happy to stand in a line going out the door for these fries. And let me tell you, totally worth it folks!

Sandwiches are divided in two so they can easily be shared between two struggling grad students.

In our experience, these fries are best enjoyed in the parking lot of the gas station/restaurant combo (we recommend the alley behind the building). On your way out, you can even enjoy wonderful conversations from hungry patrons lined around the building, though they may not appreciate watching you eat your food.

Scootch closer and smell your screen. You won’t regret it, we promise.

We had a great time, though. The fries were fresh and hot. They’re seasoned perfectly– just a tad sweet, but not overly so. And on top of that, the bag is deceivingly large. We couldn’t even finish them between the two of us.

Overall, Joe’s Kansas City earns its highest marks for taste, environment, experience, and value (just over $3 for a side as pictured above, just over $5 for a large bag).  They don’t earn great marks for style/flair, but honestly it isn’t even needed. These are great, no-nonsense fries that would make anyone happy to enjoy. See the complete breakdown and overall rating below:

Final Rubric (scored out of 5 for each category- see FAQs for more details):

Style/flair:  3
Value:  4
Overall taste:  5
Environment:  5
Experience:  5
Bonus:  +1 for freebies
Average/overall rating:  4.6 → 5 Stars


Review: Beer Kitchen

Beer Kitchen is a known gastropub in Westport, MO. We didn’t know what that meant, so our first thought was “Gastropub? More like astropub because these fries are out of this world!” Followed by a hearty chuckle.

Now that our first obligatory pun is out of the way lets get down to business.

Use of fresh herbs adds an extra level of boogee to these fries.

While Beer Kitchen is a bar, their food in on par with the likes of the bougiest KC restaurants. The vibe is equivalent to your classic tuxedo shirt, fancy yet comfortable so don’t be afraid to rock your nicest sweatpants here.

During our trip, we ordered a plate of “stockyard” fries, “Belgium-style” fries, and (of course) the almighty truffle-parmesan. We also ordered a side of garlic and chipotle aioli just to make sure we were getting the full experience.

For us, the stockyard fries definitely stole the show, which was no surprise since they are topped with smoked gouda fondue, onions, pickle relish, AND BBQ burnt ends. The combo was flawless together. The burnt ends were reminiscent of those from a gas station BBQ restaurant (the best kind of BBQ, no debate allowed). Safe to say these fries would have anyone drooling.

Stockyard fries? More like stock-yo-momma’s house with these fries, cause they are SO good.

The Belgium-style fries were also an under-stated favorite. Definitely crispy and very pun-able (Belgium fires? More like Bel-yum fries). They also went well with the chipotle ketchup, which was a huge favorite around the table– not too sweet and a little kick of spice.

The truffle fries, on the other hand, didn’t receive the same reviews. We thought they were a tad oily for our tastebuds. We liked them because of the cheese, but not sure we’d go with them again.

Truffle fries? More like duffle bag fries, because you’ll want to pack these up and send them away (last terrible pun, I swear)

Overall, these fries earn their highest marks for style/flair, taste, and environment (we finally feel like we get gastropubs now!) Value was OK– Belgium were $3 for a small, truffle-parmesan were $3.50 for a small, and stockyard fries were $9. Aiolis were $0.65  a piece. We also give them bonus points for chipotle ketchup.

For that reason, Beer Kitchen becomes our second restaurant ever to earn the highest score ever of 5 stars. See the complete breakdown and overall rating below:

Final Rubric (scored out of 5 for each category- see FAQs for more details):

Style/flair: 5
Value: 3
Overall taste: 5
Environment: 4.5
Experience: 4
Bonus: +1 for chipotle ketchup
Average/overall rating: 4.5 → 5 Stars

DISCLAIMER: We have since learned that Beer Kitchen will be closed for renovations till the end of April, 2017. We sincerely apologize if we made any of you severely crave their fries, but we promise they are worth the wait. 


Review: The Burger Stand at Casbah

Welcome! If you’re reading this, thank you for joining us on this fry journey.

Top row, left to right: truffle fries and fiesta tofu fries. Middle: sweet potato fries. Bottom, left to right: duck fat fries and cajun fries.

We’re starting our reviews with The Burger Stand at Casbah in Lawrence, Kansas. Yes, we know Lawrence is not really a part of Kansas City, but because it is close by we had to make a visit. And what a visit it was.

I think we wouldn’t face much disagreement going as far to say that The Burger Stand is the mecca of fries, the so-called “big kahuna.” With options like poutine and truffle fries, what’s not to love? Not to mention the wide array of sauces. The fry-sauce combos are endless!

Our very tactical method for keeping track of the sauces. Seven total, not including regular ketchup!

On that note, we decided to go BIG for our first review- sampling five different types of fries from The Burger Stand including regular potato fries, such as duck fat, truffle, and cajun, but also more unique fries such as tofu and sweet potato.

Check out our review of each fry dish in order of our least favorite to our favorite and the final rubric/score we decided to give The Burger Stand below:

5) Fiesta Tofu AKA the “Busted Bitch” ($4 for a side order)

If Toby Flenderson was a fry this would be it. Kind of bland, boring- even murder story wouldn’t make these fries interesting. 

Pairs well with basically any sauce since tastes like nothing.

4) Cajun AKA the “Thottie” ($3 for a side order)

The “whoo!” girl of fries, would get drunk after one drink. Well seasoned, good spice level.

Pairs well with chili dip, cocoa ketchup, or BBQ.

3) Sweet Potato AKA “sweet, sweet Miss Patti” ($3 for a side order)

The type of fry your mom would set you up with. Sweet with a great personality. Tossed in cinnamon and sugar this is the perfect dessert fry.

Pairs well with roasted marshmallow sauce.

2) Truffle AKA our “Side Piece” ($3 for a side order)

On the boujee scale, this fry is Judge Judy in a luxury mid-sized sedan. Could be crispier. Overall pretty good.

Pairs well with roasted parmesan aioli (for that extra boujee).

1) Duck Fat AKA our “Main Bitch” ($3 for a side order)

Aesthetically pleasing, beautiful kind of like Miranda Kerr (post Orlando Bloom breakup). Pure crispity crunchity goodness. Our overall favorite.

Pairs with any sauce, the O negative of fries.

These duck fat fries are so beautiful, no angle could make them look bad.

Overall, The Burger Stand gets its highest marks for taste, style, and experience (like when your hipster friend takes you to the coolest new underground bar for Moscow Mules). The customer service was also very good and the value was nothing to shake your finger at.

For these reasons, The Burger Stand’s fries are awarded the highest honor of our blog- five stars. See a complete breakdown of the scoring below.

Final Rubric (scored out of 5 for each category- see FAQs for more details):

Style/flair: 4.5
Value: 3
Overall taste: 5
Environment: 4
Experience: 5
Bonus: +1 for sauce
Average/overall rating: 4.5 → 5 Stars


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