I stopped at Hot Doug's for an early lunch last week, duck sausage w/dried cherries, caramelized onions and real Dijon mustard. After I placed my order I engaged Doug in a conversation about Hot Doug Duck Fries, specifically the lack of crispness occasionally verging on limp.
Doug said that in the case of the duck fries he feels that by taking them past the just done stage they start to loose some of the duck fat flavor. He also said, and this applies to the regular fries as well as the duck fat fried, that he does not have room for two setups for frying French fries to cook them in the French (Belgium) style of a blanch at lower temp to cook the potato then a higher heat fry to crisp.
Doug went on to say that if he cooked his fries at a higher heat, to crisp the outside, that the inside would not be cooked all the way through, conversely, if the inside was cooked through the outside would be burned. This is due to the fact that he uses real (fresh cut) potatoes.
When I asked how places that, obviously, do not take the time for a two stage frying setup to crisp their fries to achieve crisp outside and cooked inside, Doug said that most places buy a frozen partially cooked product, so all they have to do is fry them at a temperature that crisps them and not worry about the fry being cooked all the way through.
Doug is a heck of a nice guy and really seems to care about what he serves the public, including using 'real' French dijon mustard. Ok, so I didn't ask Doug if he uses Dijon from France instead of the ersatz dijon one gets at most places. You know the kind, the flavor is diffused as opposed to having that sharp bite one gets with with dijon that is not watered down with fillers and poor quality mustard seed.
Hot Doug's 2314 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618
Mon-Sat 10:30am to 4pm