There is a new restaurant coming to the Chicago area, with Lake Zurich being one of the chosen few locations, and it is called Smoke’s Poutinerie. Gesundheit. They serve one thing, and that one thing is poutine, which is a dirty sounding name for something delicious. I am still on the fence with the whole poutine craze–which really isn’t a craze because it has been in Canada forever. (That is writer talk for “I have no idea how long it has been around but trust me, I am sure Wikipedia does.”) Poutine is essentially french fries, cheese curds and a brown gravy and it looks just as good as it sounds. I need to broaden my horizons as french fries go, and will definitely be trying this restaurant because the menu has things like bacon on it. So in honor of our first “poutinerie” coming to Lake County, here are some great places to get french fries that aren’t soaked in gravy.
My spell checker is going crazy now, so let’s just throw another poutinerie in there. Poutine. Poutine.
It’s just so much fun to say.
Best French Fries in Lake County
Big Ed’s BBQ
4030 Northpoint Blvd., Waukegan | (847) 473-5333
Seriously, when you name anything on the menu “loaded,” you pretty much have my family’s full attention. Their loaded fries are covered in mozzarella cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onion. Come to mama.
2134 E. Grand Ave., Lindenhurst | (224) 444-8056
I have to say, this place has amazing gyros, but that’s not what this article is about, so let’s talk potato. Their Greek fries are covered in a Greek dressing and topped with feta cheese. So maybe order these on the side of your gyro.
Lone Star Steakhouse
6210 Grand Ave., Gurnee | (847) 855-8183
These loaded cheese fries are a little different from most cheese fries because they are steak fries, topped with two different kinds of cheese, bacon, green onion and ranch dressing. It is listed under appetizers, but it is so large that you can share it with another person. Kids eat free on Tuesday when you order an adult entrée; convince the server that this is an entrée and you will be my hero. [Editor’s note: this location is closed as of June 2017.]
217 Center St., Grayslake | (847) 223-2388
I like a place that gives you several choices. There are twisted fries which are topped with chili, cheese sauce and green onions or the Buffalo fries, covered in wing sauce and crumbled bleu cheese. They also have garlic Parmesan fries that are tossed in garlic, Parmesan cheese, basil and salt.
20771 N. Rand Road, Kildeer | (847) 448-0782
Instead of eating at Dave and Buster’s while you are hanging out with the kids, try Smashburger, which is just next door. They offer four choices of fries: Smashfries (tossed in olive oil, rosemary and garlic); my personal favorite, the french fries (really thin fries, salt only); spicy Buffalo fries (red-hot; dry seasoned with a side of ranch); and sweet potato fries.
Worth the Trip
8403 Antioch Rd. Salem, Wisconsin | (262) 843-4621
Okay it’s in Wisconsin, but really close to the state line that we can let this one slide. Plus, who doesn’t love a little drive with the family in the country and for the monkey fries alone, it is completely worth it. Their monkey fries are pull-apart fries with three cheeses, bacon and served with two sauces.
1724 S. River Road, Des Plaines | (847) 699-8590
Saving the best one for last, I mentioned before that I have eaten outdoors in 40-degree weather in the name of cheese fries? This is the place and I know it isn’t technically Lake County, but it is seriously worth the extra 15-minute drive outside of our county line. The three-layer fries. Say it with me, THREE-LAYER FRIES. Go for the fries, stay for the hamburgers and hot dogs. There is really no seating inside with the exception of a small bar and bar stools, so sit outside and eat cheese fries in 40-degree weather. The children will love you for it. But be prepared: it’s a cash-only establishment.
Say it with me kids, poutine, poutine, poutine.
Never gets old.
Did I miss your favorite place for poutine or fries? Tell me about it in the comments section below.
This is literally the first time I’ve ever seen anyone call out Paradise Pup’s fries over their burgers. Like anybody, anywhere.
Are you sure you were actually at Paradise Pup in Des Plaines? Because their burgers are worth waiting in line out in the freezing cold, but their fries are limp, tasteless little beige nuggets of sadness.
Another place to try with unexpected potatoey delight is Miramar in Highwood. The highlight of their menu is their steak frites (with hotel butter). It’s a mountain of ultra-fine, crunchy strings, perfectly browned, that get elevated to a new height when they spend a little time sitting in the decadent garlic herb butter that pours off the perfectly grilled ribeye.
There’s also another new contender in the area, if you’re willing to travel to the far north end of Waukegan. Create Your Own Cheesecake and Cheesesteak makes a basket of gorgeous fries cooked crisp outside, fluffy inside, and smothered in a really flavorful cheese steak mix and topped with a creamy ranch drizzle.
Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee