Duck Fat

I have a little saying when I'm trying to describe something wickedly addicting: "It's like crack, only better for you."

Not that I'd know. Having never tried the former, I'm guessing here...

But I'm tempted to say the same thing about Duck Fat, a tiny little restaurant on Middle Street in Portland that happens to be owned by Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh of Hugo's fame. Problem is, the eat-in-or-take-out shop is known, far and wide (NYT, Food & Wine, Travel and Leisure) for its Begian-style french fries, which get their amazing flavor and all-around crackiness from — you guessed it — duck fat. Which means they're like a heart attack in a paper cone.

A trip to the ICU never tasted so good. But don't stop with the fries. If you already have one foot on a gurney, you might as well go for it. My suggestions? For dinner or lunch, try the duck confit panini or the roasted beet salad. For brunch, head straight for the toast and jam (buttery grilled brioche stuffed with mascarpone cheese elevates toast to an art form). Or, if you're feeling fatalistic, flush or just f'ing hungry, expend a week's worth of calorieS in one hit with the poutine: Belgian fries layered with cheese curd and homemade duck gravy.

And they say crack kills.

Duck Fat, 43 Middle St., Portland. Call 207.774.8080 or visit Duck Fat online.


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