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More than Meet the Fries via Chicago Tribune Dining

By Jessica Reynolds
Chicago Tribune

Loaded fries deserve more than side status.

Chicagoans could spend the rest of our lives debating who has the best fries in town. In fact, we tried to set the record straight on that a few years ago. (The favorites were FiveGuys, Mr. D’s Shish-Kabobs and Gene & Jude’s.)

But enough of the past. This time, we decided to explore fries that don’t stand on their own but come slathered in toppings and doused in sauces, making them more like meals than sides. Poutine, of course, fries smothered with gravy and cheese curds, is the original loaded fries. But the classic Canadian fry dish was omitted from this excursion. Instead, this is an assortment of inventive fries you won’t meet on every restaurant menu. So come along. Forks are required. Ketchup is not.

Sweet potato curry fries at Saucy Porka: What do you get when two former food truck chefs decide to go stationary? A hole-in-the-wall lunch spot on a short street in the Financial District with a loyal lunch crowd lured from their offices by the bao tacos (aka bacos), banh mi sandwiches and curry sweet potato fries. You can show up before 11:30 a.m. or after 2 p.m. to score a table here, but those who like eating during prime lunch hours should call ahead for takeout.

The burnt-orange crinkle-cut sweet potato fries, springy with a faintly crispy shell, are topped with crumbled queso fresco cheese and paired with a curry aioli dipping sauce on the side. The pervasive taste of curry is distinguishable on each fry, which may tempt you to skip the heavenly sauce every few bites. Ahalf-order is $3, and a full order, which could easily be your whole lunch, is $5. Open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday

400 S. Financial Place, 312-662-1351saucyporka.com

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