Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Special Request: Dogs 'N Frys Loads Its Fries with Unexpected Toppings

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Special Request: Dogs 'N Frys Loads Its Fries with Unexpected Toppings

Article excerpt

Q * We hit Feast's recent list of top hot dog joints. All five are winners but we've fixated on the Mexican fries at Dogs 'n Frys in Florissant. Two Brothers, Clayton

A * "If you don't hot dog, you don't America."

So says Mo Mangal, whose parents fled Afghanistan at the start of the Soviet-Afghan War and whose own fiance slept in a refugee camp before arriving in St. Louis. "We came to the land of opportunity, America," he says. "My friends don't understand how amazing this country is."

Still, Mangal didn't set out to sell hot dogs. The concept emerged hanging out with a hockey buddy one night: fun and creative quality all-beef hot dogs and specialty fries in a family-friendly place.

First-timers often stick with classic Chicago-style and chili dogs, Mangal says, even if, in his opinion, the best hot dog on the 30-dog menu is the PBJ dog. "We make our own peanut butter and jelly sauce."

To keep up with demand, Dogs 'n Frys hand-cuts and twice-fries 500 pounds of Idaho potatoes a week, loading the crispy twice- cooked fries with unexpected toppings like homemade mac and cheese and pizza ingredients. Lots of people, he says, come in just for the fries.

For Mexicano Loaded Fries, Mangal tops the seasoned fries with house-made white queso and fresh tomato, green onion and sauted jalapeo. "It's a really simple fry," he says. "And so good."

And no lie, Dogs 'n Frys has its very own "toasted-ravioli" story. One day, a wayward bun accidentally fell into the fryer and out popped a deep-fried hot dog bun that Mangal tops with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Will it become as legendary as St. Louis toasted ravioli? Maybe. "It tastes like an amazing waffle," Mangal smiles, a glint of American Dream in his eyes.

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Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and "veggie evangelist" at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

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