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Three top restaurants for casual and upscale steak frites

Steak frites in this iteration is seared flat iron topped with citrus butter and served with pomme frites.  (The Spokesman-Review file photo)
Steak frites in this iteration is seared flat iron topped with citrus butter and served with pomme frites. (The Spokesman-Review file photo)

There are many restaurants that serve steak and more that serve french fries, but the superior option is to serve both – and together.

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself ordering one entree more than any other – steak frites, a steak with fries and some kind of divine dipping sauce.

Some nights, I’m all in for a steak plated with an exciting selection of sides – broccoli, potatoes, mushrooms, etc. – but other nights, I don’t need anything beyond this simple and perfect pairing.

Of course, you can always order a side of fries with a steak. But, to me, there’s something so much less transgressive about ordering steak frites, that is, a steak that already comes with them.

It’s casual and upscale at the same time.

Even better, add a Caesar salad to start, and you’ve crafted the perfect meal. You pre-emptively rid yourself of guilt with the salad and then treat yourself to the cheat meal you really wanted.

In other words, steak frites are the way to go.

Steak frites as such can be difficult to find, but luckily there are at least three local restaurants that do this dish right.

Magnolia American Brasserie

Magnolia American Brasserie – just like any French brasserie – serves a flat iron steak topped with caramelized shallots, Bearnaise butter, tarragon aioli and a side of fries. The steak at medium rare with perfectly crisped shoestring fries tie together through the tarragon-forward dipping sauce and toppings.

Info: 110 S. Madison St., (509) 862-6400, ihg.com/hotelindigo

Park Lodge

When it comes to Park Lodge, most people will direct you toward the roast half chicken with wild mushrooms, potato puree and chicken jus – and they aren’t wrong. It’s a memorable dish. But for me, it’s the steak frites: a sliced, 10 oz. hanger steak with fries and a mustard cream sauce.

Start with a grilled hearts of romaine salad and pair it with a glass of Justin Cabernet Sauvignon, and we’re in business. Usually just the right amount for one, the steak frites is easily shared. It’s the kind of steak you’ll dream about until you can order it again.

Info: 411 N. Nettleton St., (509) 340-9347, parklodgerestaurant.com

Wooden City

Wooden City’s steak frites take a different approach featuring a 10 oz. ribeye with black peppercorn pan sauce, steak butter, garlic aioli and French fries. The fries and steak bring just the right combination of textures, and the seasonings complement each other to a T.

Despite it being the same weight as Park Lodge’s steak, this portion, for some reason, seems more suited to sharing – maybe it’s the mound of irresistible french fries. I recommend starting with a gin Bramble cocktail and ending with an order of the apple crisp and the recommended sauternes dessert wine.

Info: 821 W. Riverside Ave., (509) 822-7194, woodencityspokane.com

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