Review: Dempsey’s Burger Pub

While idle college kids and youths enjoyed the festivities of 4/20 AKA National Pot Day, we decided to set a good example by indulging in fries and working on our capstone project instead. To be honest, we mostly did this to avoid any sneaky traps put forth by police. Hot Cheetos can be hard to resist, after all.

Pictured: “Fire Fries” on top; duck fat fries on bottom. Served with roasted garlic aioli, sweet chili aioli, truffle cream, and Sriracha aioli.

Dempsey’s Burger Pub in Westport turned out to be the perfect sanctuary to complete our tasks and stay out of trouble. Dempsey’s offers a variety of fries and sauces which are unique to the establishment.

During our visit, we decided to try the “Fire Fries” with ghost chili salt and crushed red pepper and the “Duck Fat Fries” which speak for themselves.

Zoom in for an extra-enhanced view of the crushed chili pepper flakes. We’ll wait.

We had actually been told about the Fire Fries from a few friends, but honestly, they taste exactly how they look– like fries with a sprinkle of chili flakes. They were a nice twist on regular fries, though.

We recommend pairing these fries with discussion about systematic failures in the state’s mental healthcare delivery model. Really brings out the flavor.

These fries will hit all the aromatic notes you’re looking for!

The duck fat fries also offered a little promise of something different since they were sprinkled in orange zest. We really appreciate that Dempsey’s wanted to try something new, but for us, these fries were overly soggy and just plain greasy. Even the orange zest couldn’t make up for that.

Overall, we really appreciated what Dempsey’s was going for with their fries, but they might have failed in execution. Regardless, we liked the environment and the value (around $4 for a side of fries and two dipping sauces). 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:  2
Environment:  3
Experience:  2
Bonus:  None
Average/overall rating:   2.8 →  3 Stars



Review: Long John Silvers ⚓️

Ahoy’ mateys! This week, we didn’t have to sail th’ seven seas to give a go’ this Kansas City seafood classic. No, in fact, Long Johny-boy Silvers be right in our backyard nextdoor to th’ ole’ A&W. When we arrived we asked fer a big box ‘o th’ fried stuff’n alas, that seems to be what we have be given.

It may be harrrd to pick out th’ fries from th’ rest ‘o th’ fried stuff, but trust us when we shout they be thar.

Overall, th’ fries were crisp ‘n flavorful– as if they had be pulled fresh from th’ sea that mornin’. Sadly, though, the four whales slain that evening had died wide apart; one, far to windward; one, less distant, to leeward; one ahead; one astern. These last three were brought alongside ere nightfall; but the windward one could not be reached till morning; and the boat that had killed it lay by its side all night; and that boat was Ahab’s.

Bonus points for the tartar sauce. Just like me mother use to make.

The waif-pole was thrust upright into the dead whale’s spout-hole; and the lantern hanging from its top, cast a troubled flickering glare upon the black, glossy back, and far out upon the midnight waves, which gently chafed the whale’s broad flank, like soft surf upon a beach.

Ahab and all his boat’s crew seemed asleep but the Parsee; who crouching in the bow, sat watching the sharks, that spectrally played round the whale, and tapped the light cedar planks with their tails. A sound like the moaning in squadrons over Asphaltites of unforgiven ghosts of Gomorrah, ran shuddering through the air.

Started from his slumbers, Ahab, face to face, saw the Parsee; and hooped round by the gloom of the night they seemed the last men in a flooded world. “I have dreamed it again,” said he. “Of the hearses? Have I not said, old man, that neither hearse nor coffin can be thine?” “And who are hearsed that die on the sea?”

“But I said, old man, that ere thou couldst die on this voyage, two hearses must verily be seen by thee on the sea; the first not made by mortal hands; and the visible wood of the last one must be grown in America.” “Aye, aye! a strange sight that, Parsee:—a hearse and its plumes floating over the ocean with the waves for the pall-bearers. Ha! Such a sight we shall not soon see.” “Believe it or not, thou canst not die till it be seen, old man.” “And what was that saying about thyself?”

“Though it come to the last, I shall still go before thee thy pilot.” “And when thou art so gone before—if that ever befall—then ere I can follow, thou must still appear to me, to pilot me still?—Was it not so? Well, then, did I believe all ye say, oh my pilot! I have here two pledges that I shall yet slay Moby Dick and survive it.”

“Take another pledge, old man,” said the Parsee, as his eyes lighted up like fire-flies in the gloom—“Hemp only can kill thee.” “The gallows, ye mean.—I am immortal then, on land and on sea,” cried Ahab, with a laugh of derision;—“Immortal on land and on sea!” Both were silent again, as one man. The grey dawn came on, and the slumbering crew arose from the boat’s bottom, and ere noon the dead whale was brought to the ship.

Fer that reason, LJS earns a respectable score ‘o three stars. See a complete breakdown of the rubric below.

Final Rubric (scored out of 5 for each category- see FAQs for more details): Also if you haven’t caught on yet, happy April Fools’ Day!

Style/flair: 3
Value: 5
Overall taste: 5
Environment: -2
Experience: 5
Bonus: +1 for tartar sauce
Average/overall rating: 3.4 → 3 Stars


Review: Winstead’s

When you think of Kansas City classics, what do you think of?

Perhaps you think of Gates BBQ and the inevitable yelling lecture you’re going to get from your waitress. Or maybe you think of the Western Auto sign that hasn’t been lit since the Chiefs won a Superbowl. Well, whatever comes to mind when you think about Kansas City classics, you cannot forget Winstead’s diner. The chain first opened in 1940 and has been serving diner-loving Kansas Citian’s ever since.

Diner A E S T H E T I C S am I right?

Normally, we at FF try to limit ourselves to just french fries (we are heart healthy!), but this week we couldn’t resist. Total, we ordered two steakburgers (also a KC classic), a strawberry shake, a chocolate malt, and an order of fries. We felt terrible for the rest of the day after eating all of it, but it was well worth it.

‘Bout your average tater. Nothing wrong here.

As far as fries go, these babes are about what you expect from diner fries. Pretty average taste-wise, but the thick cut makes them ideal for dipping in malts/milkshakes. For us, the ice cream was the real star of the show.

The Winstead’s sign outside is so powerful, it invokes nostalgic memories I never actually experienced.

Food aside, though, the real appeal of Winstead’s the diner vibe. It makes you want to crack open that old diner lingo dictionary so you can look like a real expert while ordering.

We headed to the Plaza location which was bustling with business workers on their lunch break, families, and kids on their spring break. We also got to experience the great service you hope for at a diner, including when the waitresses brought out the tambourine for the customer that ordered a Skyscraper Milkshake (pictured in the back and serves 4+).

For that reason, Winstead’s earns its highest marks for environment, experience, and value ($2.49 for a side). Taste and style were just OK in our opinion, overall earning Winstead’s a score of 3 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: 3
Value: 4
Overall taste: 2
Environment: 4
Experience: 4
Bonus: None
Average/overall rating: 3.4 → 3 Stars


Review: HopCat

This week, we review the long awaited “Crack Fries” from the new HopCat restaurant in Westport. We went in with high expectations from glowing reviews, a mention on the “Top 10 Fries in America” list by Food Network Magazine, and even a neon “Crack Fries” sign outside the restaurant (see a picture of that beauty below).

For the most part, we found these fries stood up to the hype.

Fries are beer battered and seasoned with special “crack” seasoning (we speculate a combo of black pepper, sugar, and lemon pepper) then served with a side of warm cheese. Those facts alone should make these fries the honorary side dish of the Midwest.

However, due to the these fries’ name, we do not feel this review would be complete without a shout out to the iconic Office scene where Ryan yells at Pam for comparing breadsticks to crack. I guess if we were to compare these fries to something in our world, we would say they are like a fee-for-service reimbursement contract in a value-based market or like a good game of frolf on a nice Kansas day.

Either way, we found these fries to be very delicious.

This sign is 100% FF-approved aesthetics. It would look classy in any basement (or dining room).

The fries were crisp and crunchy- probably from being beer battered (whatever that means) and the seasoning received rave reviews all around the table. The main consensus was sugar was what made them so delicious, not the cheese surprisingly!

But despite the positive reviews of the fries, we at Frequent Fryer felt HopCat didn’t meet the same marks as other restaurants we reviewed. The food we ordered for our entrees was just “meh” and the service wasn’t the best. On top of that, one of our beers came out 30% foam, which was less than ideal. We know HopCat is new and still working out the kinks so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt there, but our experience left us wanting more.

I hate to nitpick as much as the next person, but when your beer only comes 70% full it throws off the entire fry to beer ratio that is essential for proper fry consumption.

Overall, these fries get their highest marks for taste, environment, and style/flair. We, however, couldn’t give them high marks for value (plain crack fries were $5.50 with only one dipping sauce) or experience as we felt that it probably wouldn’t be a place we would return to again.

Regardless, the fries were delicious and they still receive a great overall score of 3 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: 3.5
Value: 2.5
Overall taste: 5
Environment: 4
Experience: 2
Bonus: None
Average/overall rating: 3.4 → 3 Stars