Review: Louie’s Wine Dive

You know that feeling where you just need fries and seafood AT THE SAME TIME?!? Oh… just us? We were about to hit up Long John Silvers but as those have become a rare sighting we came across an even better alternative. Louie’s Wine Dive in Waldo delivered with an interesting mussel, fry combo.

Moules-frites are a real thing, people. Look it up! You don’t even have to leave the midwest for these ones.

Okay to be honest, half of our Frequent Fryer team has never tasted mussels so this was an adventure to say the least. Let’s just say one of us felt mussels are an acquired taste and don’t necessarily want the taste of the ocean in our mouth. Don’t worry, our review remains unbiased.

A noticeable requirement at Louie’s: everything must be covered in beautiful garnishes.  

The other fries we tried at Louie’s were a take on poutine. Honestly, these reminded us more of cheese fries than anything else, but we believe Vladamir Poutine would approve. Maybe these fries even have the power to keep Russia from meddling in another international election, but who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

While we really enjoyed Louie’s creativity and willingness to try new things, we were a little underwhelmed by both dishes. The mussels in the moules-frites were a tad sandy and the fries were soggy from being drenched in a salty liquid beneath the mussels. The poutine was fine, but like we said earlier, they were your standard cheese fries. They didn’t remind us of poutine.

In the end, these fries earned their highest rank for style, environment and value ($6 for poutine and $8 for moules-frites during happy hour). Unfortunately for us, the taste and experience just wasn’t there. 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:  2.5
Overall taste:  1.5
Environment:  3
Experience:  2
Bonus:  None
Average/overall rating:  2.4 → 2  Stars



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: 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