Some time back I saw Michael Symon on The Best Thing I Ever Ate talking about a Polish Boy. The sandwich sounded as simple as it did delicious: a kielabasa in a bun with fries, barbecue sauce, and cole slaw. But unlike a lot of things I see on Food Network, I opted not to make one. It seemed to me the kind of thing that would taste better if eaten in Cleveland.
Then last week I read Scott Raab's The Whore of Akron. Raab is one of my favorite writers working today, but I wasn't a fan of the book: the way a 60 year old man - who by his own admission has not lived in Cleveland in three decades - is devastated by a 25 year-old multi-millionaire deciding that he would rather live in Miami than Cleveland is just creepy. (I love the Angels and Mike Trout is my favorite Angel of the 25 years I have been following them, but if he makes it to free agency and decides he wants to play for another team, it won't ruin my morning, let alone my life.) However, there is one delicious bright spot to the book: the Polish Boy is mentioned in detail.
That settled it, I was making one.
I went by Five Guys in the mid afternoon and ordered a large fries. There were none ready - there actually wasn't anyone else in the whole place - so I had to wait for several minutes for a fresh batch.
"Sorry about the wait," the kid said to me when my order was ready.
"I don't mind," I replied. "I'm not eating them now; I'm making sausage sandwiches tonight and they fries are going on top of the sandwich."
"On top of the sandwich?" he asked.
He whistled and lowered his voice. "Daaaaamn... that sounds good."
A few hours later I blasted the room-temperature fries for less than ten minutes in a 500-degree oven and they firmed up just how I like them.
I don't think I'll be making these again. They were delicious, but I think a big part of the reason I liked them so much was the fun of throwing all these random things together. If I were to make them again, I just don't see it being as much fun, if that makes sense. However, if I'm ever in Cleveland again, I am definitely getting one.