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The Dish: Pork Fries
Where to Get Them: Fainting Goat, 1330 U St. NW; (202) 735-0344; faintinggoatdc.com
What They Are: Deep-fried head cheese with black garlic puree
What They Taste Like: These hearty golden ingots look more like fish sticks than fries. The crackly, crunchy panko crust conceals a mash of rich shreds of pork perked up with smoked Dijon mustard and espelette pepper. Both the swipe of garlic on the plate and lightly sweet pickled onion jam on the side help cut through the dish’s unctuousness.
The Story: In an effort to use almost every scrap of the pigs he sources, chef James Barton boils their heads. The noggin-to-tail proponent turns the bits that come off into a meaty mash that’s cut into logs, breaded, and dropped into the deep fryer. “Most people don’t know what they are,” says Barton, “and I’m OK with them not knowing.” Sorry, chef, but the pig is out of the bag.
How to Eat Them: Don’t treat them like your average order of frites: Use a knife and fork.
Photo by Nevin Martell