Ever find yourself chowing down on a burger and fries, wishing there was a way to combine the two into a single kick-ass dish? If so, “the frita,” the eponymous sandwich from Frita Batidos, is the answer to your prayers: your choice of patty (chorizo, beef, chicken, fish or black bean), topped with shoestring fries on a brioche bun.
Really. Am I the only one who can’t believe that she didn’t think of this on her own?
I head to the West Washington joint to get my frita-fix at about 1 pm on a Monday. The place is pretty quiet, although a few people are seated at long white picnic tables in the dining room, chatting over snacks on banana-leaf “plates” and sipping water from plastic cups. I go to the counter and check out the brushed-steel menu on the wall.
Despite the rep for speedy service, fritas aren’t fast-food cheap. The burgers start at $8, and add-ons are $1 a piece. I can’t justify ordering my $13 dream sandwich (a black bean frita with muenster, avocado, bacon and a sunny side up egg), so I tone my order down, adding just muenster and avocado for the low-ish price of $10.60. After all, do I really need a fried egg and bacon on a sandwich that comes with chipotle mayo and fries? Answer: Duh, absolutely, maybe every once in a while, but not on the regular.
After a few minutes, a server brings me one of the sexiest sandwiches I’ve ever seen: the bun is toasted to golden-brown perfection, visible chunks of sea salt cling to the fries, and a silky blanket of muenster hugs the burger with the kind of tenderness only melted cheese can sustain. l almost feel guilty destroying such a masterpiece, but the salty-savory-creamy symphony that erupts in my mouth after bite #1 quickly replaces guilt with sensory wonder and awe. I don’t care that the drippy condiments make for a sloppy meal. As far as I’m concerned, a messy face is a small price to pay for a rich sandwich that’s just spicy enough to tickle my lips, but not so spicy I’m gasping, “Waaater.”
With that in mind, I don’t think Frita would make great first-date fare, though with such killer food and a relaxed, casual atmosphere, this seems like it’d be a great spot to gather with friends, or for grabbing a quick solo meal.
Prices are too high for me to enjoy fritas as much as I’d like, but considering I also enjoy fitting into my skinny jeans, this is not altogether bad. I’d recommend this place for those looking to splurge, financially and/or calorie-wise, and can look past messy fingers for the sake of good grub.
Address: 117 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI
Hours of Operation: Sunday-Wednesday: 11 am to 11 pm, Thursday-Saturday: 11 am to midnight.