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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Frito Pie in Georgetown!

posted by on April 26 at 10:57 AM

Update: I was rushing out the door to get to a campaign event when I posted this last night, and I later learned that the second photo was nonsensical. So, I give you: Chips and queso!*

I was thrilled to learn last week that Smarty Pants in Georgetown, where you can get a hot sandwich the size of a baby, also serves Frito pie!

Frito Pie, you’ll recall from a previous discussion, is basically chili, cheese, and chopped white onions dumped on top of a pile of Fritos. It’s standard cafeteria fare in Texas, where I grew up, and it looks like this:


Smarty Pants’ Frito pie veers from tradition—it includes (horrors!) beans—but it’s otherwise a damn fine Frito pie, topped with spicy pickled jalapenos and a generous dollop of cooling sour cream.

My conclusion? Mention it on Slog, and it shall be so.

Chips and queso… Chips and queso… Chips and queso…


*Bonus recipe for sitting through this again:

1 lb. Velveeta or similar cheeselike product
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
Beer to thin

Melt cheeses together in a Crock-Pot for about ten minutes; thin with beer. Place a scoop of guacamole in a ramekin; pour queso on top. Serve with tortilla chips.

RSS icon Comments


Throw in some lettuce and tomato and I will be there tomorrow. Sour cream on the side. No beans.

Posted by lawrence clark | April 25, 2007 5:59 PM
Mention it on Slog, and it shall be so.

Does that picture mean you're going to eat giant bees next??

Posted by jamier | April 25, 2007 7:19 PM

Erica's spreads memes like bees spread pollen. Let a thousand frito-flowers bloom...

Posted by Eric Grandy | April 25, 2007 7:33 PM

and there's no need for the above apostrophe-s. fuck.

Posted by Eric Grandy | April 25, 2007 7:33 PM

Erica, that resembles the national food of Oh!Canada!.... a dish of "Poutine". This consists of french fries topped with white cheese curds followed by gravy. The gravy isn't the U.S.type ubiquitous brown gravy, but a more tangy, vinegar-like version. The mess is served in a bowl, preferably white styro, however I hear Green's in Canada are now opting for other types of containers. I have had regional(West Coast Canada) variations which include graded chedder and onions, however I believe this is looked down upon by Poutine purists. Best consumed around 2:00 AM after a half rack of Uncle Ben's or a pitcher of Margartita's

Sadly, I have not found Poutine avaiable in Washington State.

Bon Appetit, Everyone!!


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | April 25, 2007 7:56 PM

I'd scarf down so many baby sandwiches in exchange for some chips and queso right about now.

Posted by jared from houston | April 25, 2007 7:57 PM

Yeah, where are the chips and queso? That's the only reason to go to a sit-down Mexican place.

Posted by sam iv | April 25, 2007 8:09 PM

You and your vendetta against chili with beans! What is wrong with you Barnett? HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO GET MY FIBER????????

At 5- Thanks for providing me with another way to punish my Stranger office mates' arteries. I'm soooo making that soon.

Posted by Jonah S | April 25, 2007 8:13 PM

I convinced the chef at the pike brewery at the market to make poutine once, so there's one place that makes it (unofficially). if the place serves cheese fries and has other things on the menu involving gravy, it's usually not too big a deal to ask the server to put some of the already-made gravy on the cheese fries. not pure poutine, but still damn tasty.

Posted by Ann | April 25, 2007 8:19 PM

JONAH S. Wrote:
"I'm soooo making that soon."

Jonah, a standard requirement of a proper dish of Poutine is that it is tongue-burning hot. Make sure to assemble your ingredients and have
them at the ready just prior to assembling the dish.

FWIW, I have found that a well prepared and consumed bowl of Poutine will generally require a nap after consumption....or two or four more beers.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | April 25, 2007 9:04 PM

you can get poutine at steelhead diner. not as good as the stuff i had in vancouver with foie gras gravy, but still chockfull of artery-clogging goodness.

Posted by d | April 25, 2007 9:22 PM
    Two things:
  • Small correction: I think it's Smarty Pants (not Shorty Pants)
  • Frito-Fruckies: A fantastic dessert that involves Frito-chips and chocolate. You don't even have to be stoned to enjoy this one... Recipe is here if you want to be big hit at your next potlach...
Posted by frito-laid | April 25, 2007 10:19 PM

First: Shorty Pants should be a bar, though. Like Shorty's, but for children.

Second: Shouldn't Frito Pie be served in a bag of Frito's?

Third: I believe "d" @11 is referring to the freakishly and deliciously inauthentic poutine at Feenie's in Kitsilano. To which I will only add: yum.

Posted by Eric F | April 25, 2007 10:32 PM

Careful, ECB. If you mention Georgetown in the slog you may be accused of gentrifying it.

Posted by SP | April 25, 2007 10:42 PM

#10 Jensen Int---

too funny. Poutine sounds right-on esp. with the recommendations of the side. Uncle Ben's half rack? man, i'd like a trip up to B.C. this summer. i hear it's more difficult to find the "smoke" shops these days, unlike a '99 festival. then again, how are the quirky trusties to be indulged. what i'd really like to do is take a raft or something into Burrard Inlet FWIW- Buffalo Springfield and The Cardigans Unite!

Posted by Garrett | April 26, 2007 7:49 AM

I love it when capitol hill retards can't muster out of a booze induced haze to realize they are in another neighborhood.

Smarty Pants.

ps: matts chili dogs has a the best frito pie in the city so far. They call it "chili chips"

Posted by vincent | April 26, 2007 8:45 AM

With all your bitching about sprawl and energy consumption, ECB, you really need to think more about what you eat. Bacon hot dogs, veal and this Frito crap do more to harm the environment and public health than a Hummer does.

Posted by DOUG. | April 26, 2007 9:03 AM

Z'Tejas in the Bell Square parking complex has a kickass queso in their Tejas Trio (of guac, salsa, and queso). Plus they serve an amazing cast iron corn bread for free throughout your meal.

Mmmm, now I know where I'm going for lunch today.

Posted by Carollani | April 26, 2007 9:18 AM

Z'Tejas! Yes! I used to live two blocks from the original one in Austin. If only the Bell Square wasn't sort of soulless (and, frankly, not as good) and across the freaking bridge, I'd be there, like, now.

Posted by ECB | April 26, 2007 11:05 AM

I'm hungry.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 26, 2007 11:06 AM

I had Poutine in Vancouve, BC last year at Chambar, but it didn't have cheese on it. Poutine originated in Belguim, I believe.

Posted by elswinger | April 26, 2007 11:07 AM

Because of this post yesterday I had to go to the store and buy chili and Fritos. It was good too.

Posted by monkey | April 26, 2007 11:19 AM

I can't believe you're really from Texas, Erica, if you aren't putting a can of Ro-Tel in your queso.

Posted by Fnarf | April 26, 2007 11:51 AM

E.C.B.: Indeed, you are talking about queso fundido, cousin of our friend fondue! A fancy version is available at Tango (with venison sausage!) and, it's rumored, Tia Lou's in Belltown (does it even still exist? Literally, no one's ever been there).

And, per a little research on the W.W.W., Cocina Esperanza in "Sunset Hill" (clearly a made-up name, apparently in Ballard) has it as well. As a writer at one of the dailies who shall remain anonymous puts it, it's "chip[s] 'n' dip with chorizo, mushrooms or spinach putting the 'fun' in the fundido."

Slog provides! Wad of cash, wad of cash, wad of cash.....

Posted by Bethany Jean Clement | April 26, 2007 12:00 PM

You forget to mention the canned Rotella green chili's.

Posted by Tex gal too | April 26, 2007 12:20 PM

Can't tell you how many times I poured chili and American cheese into a bag of fritos at Austin high school football game concession stands. I'm going down there for lunch today - can't believe I didn't know about this before.

And yes, Z-Tejas' queso is pretty darn good (not quite Rotel good, but close), but it's always a little sad to me to see the funky 6th street restaurant of my Austin life appear in the Bell Square version. They are so completely different. Where are those wonderful muffins they'd have fresh for breakfast after running around Town Lake? The funky wall colors? Sigh.

Does anyone know of other places that have good queso?

Posted by Becca | April 26, 2007 12:41 PM

Erica, was the original Whole Foods in Austin as souless as the ones in Seattle are?

That could be a new category in Restaraunt section! Souless Food! hmmmm, i know there's a joke on what those food stops could be called, anyone to help out a FOODie CONasseur? ideas can be found googlyling.

Posted by Garrett | April 26, 2007 1:00 PM


When I lived there, the Whole Foods (since closed and reopened nearby) was pretty much exactly the same as the ones here. That said, it wasn't the original--I think the Sixth Street one was the second incarnation.

And Fnarf: Ro-Tel is fine, but not necessary--what is necessary is the guac, although traditionalists may disagree.

Posted by ECB | April 26, 2007 1:12 PM

There was an amusing thread on a travel blog I frequent a while back about a Texan lady who was going to visit a B&B in Blackpool, Lancashire, and wanted to prepare her landlady a special treat from back home -- this very "queso" dish. She wanted to know if you could buy Velveeta in Britain, or should she bring it on the plane. It was difficult to get across to the Brits trying to help her just what exactly she was talking about, but once they got the full picture, they were stunned and horrified. B&B landladies in Britain are extremely unlikely to want you anywhere near their kitchen, especially with a giant lump of molten plastic "artificial cheese food product".

Queso with quac and no Ro-Tel is almost as bad as beans in the chili.

Posted by fnarf | April 26, 2007 1:28 PM

I know I'm late to the party, but I'd like to point out that in the initial Frito Pie post a few weeks back I pointed out that Smarty Pants has Frito Pie, in both meaty-meat and non-meaty-meat form. I only mention it because of the "mention it on Slog" comment.

It's a bit highbrow but the Santa Fe Cafe on Phinney has a pretty decent queso on the menu. We had some this week!

Posted by Shorty Pantalones | April 26, 2007 2:12 PM

Fnarf, member last summer when the Racerboy "Punker Than" came out? I haven't gotten it yet, but it reminds me of trying to out-Austin do you. Anyway, some fun times in that quac(k) place.

The first friend I met in Seattle went to school in Austin and his name was Austin! He told some stories about parties with his college bud, Chris Ware, who later went to Chicago and virtually to Fantagraphics, in the link below. Austin is in Brussels now; I should write him a postcard asking about Poutine.

Posted by Garrett | April 26, 2007 2:25 PM

I'm eager to agree with you, Garrett, but I don't know what "out-Austin do you" means. I've never heard of Racerboy, and I've never been to Austin. Since they apparently don't have Ro-Tel in the stores there, I'm not sure I ever want to go.

Posted by fnarf | April 26, 2007 3:10 PM

Fnarf, I'm not working currently, spending too much time reading this blog and saying nonsensical things like you mentioned. I'll just say Texas is strange, from Denton to El Paso.

Btw, I went to a few Nicotine Anonymous meetings at SCCC when I was in school there, then they stopped abruptly. They did have a preachy (biblical music link) vibe that may have unhinged it. Anyone know of a similar group with some good results?

Posted by Garrett | April 26, 2007 3:30 PM

The original Whole Foods was in a small building on Lamar. It was a little larger than Rainbow Grocery, but not much. I think at that time it was a co-op. They had lots of produce, bulk grains, and a counter where they sold smoothies and vegetarian soft tacos. At least once a year Austin has a flash flood, and all of the businesses along that street would flood. Whole foods painted marks along the wall to show how high the water got during the major floods. It was definitely a community grocery store.

To the dismay of my friends who worked there at the time, they went public around 1992. Soon after that opened up the first big store further down Lamar - and then another in Austin - then expanded through Texas, and then through the country. Most look the same, but they try to incorporate local details in the decor.

I know they are huge now - but when I go I remember them as they started - and appreciate the role they've had in promoting organic food and agriculture.

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