Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
If you’re going to build your business around a food experience that might most easily be described as “Asian-influenced poutine,” the first step is to make sure your fries are up to the task. Umami Fries, a newish shop in the heart of Dinkytown, has taken the requisite care: its fries are small, crispy, and slightly chewy, which gives them the fortitude to hold up while bearing the burden of toppings such as Angus beef, shiitake mushrooms, and coconut sauce.
Our Gogi Pork Fries ($12) were (as you’d hope) a carnival of umami, with toppings including earthy kimchi, gently spicy gochujang pork, sesame seeds, queso fresco-style cheese, and a perfectly cooked fried egg bringing a mixture of heat, acid, and real earthy depth to this deceptively complex and convincingly delicious dish. For an entree that is essentially a pile of stuff thrown atop a pile of fries, the Gogi Pork Fries look great, too, with the white, yellow, red, and green of the dish served up in balanced proportions that make for a meal as visually inviting as it is satisfyingly tasty.
The restaurant also does burgers (which we can’t vouch for, not having tried them) and tacos (which we can recommend.) But the loaded fries are the thing, and with good reason.
THE DISH: Gogi Pork Fries, $12
THE PLACE: Umami Fries, 405 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis
THE REASON: Texture, depth of flavor and—yes, okay—ass-kicking umami.