Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Croquer: Steak Frites
Also translated as "My Favorite Meal", Steak Frites is quite simply the French interpretation of the divine union of steak and potato. As I worked as a waiter during college I was a strict vegetarian, despite the world-class grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and wild Chinook salmon I served.. But it was one weak after-lunch-shift staff meal that my dwindling body said sternly to my brain "today you are going to have the steak frites the kitchen is so graciously offering to you and damn it you are going to ENJOY them." My body ultimately knew what it wanted, and rewarded me with the most enjoyable meal of my life thus far. Hence Marché set the standard for all Steak Frites to come, which is not easy to beat.
A close contender however is the steak frites plate on the bar menu at my other alma mater Bluehour in the Pearl District of Portland, seasonally adapted, pictured here composed with freshly chopped ripe heirloom tomatoes at peak season. I can still remember the exact flavor of this very plate of food - perfection.
I have not dined extensively in the brasseries of Los Angeles, however the best I've had was at Sunset Junction's tucked-away gem Cafe Stella. Even without the truffle-scented frites (also a must), Stella's steak frites still deliver, and leave me with a content comfort that still to this day takes me back to that first day back on the chuckwagon.