Wednesday, January 09, 2013

French Fry Diary 453: Little Shanty

I was actually invited to Little Shanty by the owner Jonathan Lidz via the Facebook, and he promised to reimburse gas money if I didn't like the fries. If there's anything I like more than a challenge, it's a man who's confident in his fries. Or in this case, they're his Grandma's fries.

The Bride and I normally spend New Year's Eve with friends in North Jersey. The last few years it's become a New Year's Day tradition to hit Smashburger and then take a look at the always-closed American Bandstand Grill on the way home. I figured since it already was sort of a FFD road trip anyway, why not stop in to Little Shanty on the way up? Thanks to various social media and a GPS, it was a done deal.

We finally found it on New Year's Eve afternoon, in a strip mall in Warren NJ, a small but cozy place. And right there on the sign, there it was, "Grandma's Fries." Yep, I couldn't wait. There's a simple but very varied menu available, with vegan and gluten free options as well. I went for my usual, a burger and fries, and a side of onion rings. We ordered and took a seat where we could see our food being cooked in the kitchen, and before long the friendly waitress brought it out to us.

After trying the fries, rings, and taking a bite of the burger, The Bride and I both said to each other, "We're not getting our gas money." The food was just not that good, the meal was fantastic.

The onion rings, properly named Angus & Patty's Almost Famous Onion Rings, are truly among the best, if not the best o-rings I've had, period. Thin and thick at once, very crispy, I think these sweet onions were beer battered, but they didn't taste like it, a good thing because I don't usually like that. These are the best.

Grandma's Fries were thinner than usual natural cut shoestrings with fried onions mixed in - a great combination. The fries were hand cut, pan-fried, crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside. I loved the addition of the onions, a simple thing, but the just the right zing for the fries. These perfectly crispy fries were great for sandwiching on the burger, which was big and juicy, the best I've had in a while. It was cooked to order and served on a brioche bun. I loved this entire meal, they even had Coca-Cola products, bonus.

The Bride would have liked her burger a bit more well done, but hey, that's her. And even still, she thought it was excellent. She also thought the fries a little salty, but again, there was nothing left on the tray at the end of the meal if you know what I mean. If I had any complaints, it would be I hadn't tried the fry dipping sauces, or the homemade chips, or the hot dogs, or the shakes. They also have Funnel Cake Fries, as well as Deep-Fried Oreos and Milky Ways. Oh well, I know we'll be back. Little Shanty is too good to stay away for long.

I loved Little Shanty. It gets my highest recommendation. I have found a new favorite restaurant. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and their own website. I just wish they weren't so far away. Hey, Jonathan, any thoughts on opening a Little Shanty down in South Jersey?

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