Sandwich of the Week: Al’s French Frys' Double Cheese
If you live in Burlington, Vt., you’ve heard of Al’s French Frys.
The sprawling burger joint, located just south of downtown, started as a french fry stand run by Al and Genevieve Rusterholz in the late 1940s, and over the years it just kept growing. The latest incarnation still has a distinctly 1950s vibe, and a menu that appears to not have changed (in both offerings and price) in years. Burgers are still just $1.60, and fries cost even less than that.
After you place your order, you get in line and watch as the griddleman skillfully works the flattop. By the time you reach the front of the line, your order is there waiting for you. Their most popular offering, the $3.25 double cheese, is our Sandwich of the Week.
The patties are small, and sit between halves of a soft white bun. If you don’t order any toppings, which cost extra, all you get is meat on a bun, which certainly implies that they stand behind its quality. The never-frozen patties are indeed high-grade beef, but some lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, cheese, and ketchup never hurt. This is a seriously good old-school burger, one of the country’s greatest. It hits all the right spots, and is a completely different creature from those gargantuan 12-ounce patties that are now ubiquitous.
But on to the restaurant’s true claim to fame, the fries, or frys. The potatoes are scrubbed and hand-cut on a daily basis, double-fried, and are the Platonic ideal of the french fry. They’re crispy, the inside is pillowy soft, and no ketchup is necessary.
But if you choose to pour some nacho cheese and chili on top you certainly won’t regret it.
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