for a while seth and i have been wanting to try the strangely named restaurant duck fat. but knowing that any restaurant with such a name would be an indulgence, we had to wait until we had a little extra cash. with some money burning a hole in our pockets we decided what better day to splurge than some random wednesday in the middle of january (in fact it is not so random a day in that we have a new president today, but this isn't really a political blog so we will stay away from that for now).
from our home in the west end we walked down to that foodie corner of portland, nestled between old port and the east end, which houses duck fat. it is so named because they use duck fat to fry their french fries. and oh what french fries they were! it is no hyperbole to say they were the best french fries i have ever had. it is rarely a french fry i meet that i do not need to salt, but these were perfectly seasoned, not only with salt but with little bits of fried garlic. we opted for truffled ketchup and garlic aoli as our dipping sauces. they were wonderful complements to the fries and quite ample portions. this is a lot for me to say, because as seth points out, i am a sauce whore.
they have a nice selection of panini, salads, and soups and today seth and i both went for panini. i had the tuna melt with provolone, capers, tomato, and cornichons. seth was a little skeptical at my selection but was pleasantly surprised to taste the deliciousness. this was no ordinary chicken-of-the-sea tuna melt, no doubt made with high quality canned tuna in olive oil (i don't know this for sure but its what i like to think for my $8.75 sandwich). it was salty and crispy and perfectly filling. seth went for the long island duck confit panino which he loved very much. the waiter suggested that for a mere $2.50 more he could add goat cheese. seth opted not to add it as the sandwich was already$9.50 but said that he did think the goat cheese would have been great addition. he thought their panini were wonderfully thin and commented on how it is difficult to find a panino with the right bread to filling ratio.
the service was excellent and even though you order at the counter the attention was better than table service at many places. with a tip commensurate with the fine service, our bill was just over $30. a bit of a splurge for a mid-week lunch for two. but as they are open until 9pm every night but sunday, it would be an affordable dinner. they also had some signs up about an awesome happy hour featuring a pbr tall boy and a small french fry for $5. sounds like a very happy hour to me.