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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Disco Fries is your new late-night hero

Thank God
Photo Courtesy of Discofries

Since I grew up in suburban New Jersey, I’ve had my fair share of diner food. Though I am aware there are diners in Wisconsin as well, there is something oh-so-special about Jersey diners that can’t be experienced anywhere else. Despite differing menus from diner to diner, there has always been one reliable snacking staple: disco fries.

Yes, I am aware french fries covered in cheese and drizzled in gravy are actually an American adaptation of the sacred Canadian poutine. They’re delicious. I had been craving late night diner food all of last fall, and now my prayers have been answered with the recent opening of Disco Fries on State Street.

Just two days after it’s official opening, I asked two of my east coast friends (one from New Jersey and the other from Washington, D.C.) to accompany me on my first taste test. I was not sure what to expect when I walked into Disco Fries, and my first impression of the joint reminded me of CARS: Sandwiches & Shakes in New Jersey.


Discofries: Madison’s newest drunk food joint

The niche menu of fries and shakes made the decision-making process easier (though the three of us stood there staring at the menu for a solid 12 minutes before deciding on anything).

We eventually settled on three different types of fries: disco fries, southern fried poutine and donut fries. We all arrived hungry and left full.  

Southern fried poutine:

First, the southern fried poutine came out. Green chives topped steaming cheese curds glistening underneath the light, along with aromatic chicken gravy, a heap of french fries, fried chicken nuggets and cheesy goodness. It was love at first sight. I was the first to dig in, but my friends did not hesitate either. The general consensus was we could definitely eat these again.

Overall flavor combination: 10/10

Quality of toppings: 9/10

Sauce/gravy flavor: 8/10

Rate of salivation upon smell and sight: My dog when bacon is cooking on the griddle

In fact, none of us wanted to stop eating the southern fried poutine until they were almost completely gone. Finally, we moved onto the next dish: Disco Fries’ disco fries.

Disco Fries:

They were definitely not what I had in mind. The disco fries I am accustomed to at home are simple french fries smothered in Thanksgiving-turkey-quality gravy with mozzarella cheese melted on top.

These were fully loaded with brisket, cotija cheese, beef gravy and herbs. It turns out my friends weren’t exactly big on red meat, and I’m not either. I only had a few fries with the beef gravy and cheese.

This gravy was significantly different than that of the previous fries. It felt heavier, heartier and — for lack of a better term — meatier.

Overall flavor combination: 7/10

Quality of toppings: 7/10

Sauce/gravy flavor: 6/10

Rate of salivation upon smell and sight: However you would react to beef smothered in a liquid form of beef

Jillian Kazlow/The Badger Herald

Donut fries:

Finally, we turned to the donut fries.

These are two of the most amazing fried foods combined. These ended up being donut dough, cut into strips to mimic the shape of fries. They were covered in brown and white sugar with a generous amount of chocolate sauce on top. One of my friends said they reminded her of churros, and we all agreed. But they were much more doughy. There was not a trace of these left after we were done with them, except for a few dabs of chocolate sauce sparkling under the light.

Overall flavor combination: 10/10

Quality of toppings: 9/10

Sauce/gravy flavor: It’s chocolate sauce. What do you think? #Yum

Rate of salivation upon smell and sight: A waterfall of saliva you can’t control until you dig in.

Jillian Kazlow/The Badger Herald

Bloom is a Pinterest lover’s paradise

One of the employees told me I could modify any of the items on the menu to my liking, and I could even get an order of plain fries with a variation of dipping sauces. Though the menu was quite small, there appears to be a french fry dish for everyone.

Sometimes, all we need are some fried potatoes to treat ourselves with. Scientific studies show potatoes are delicious. I will definitely be back soon to try out their milkshakes, but those were not an option on our first visit — neither of us could stomach any more calories. Let’s just say wearing stretchy leggings was a good call on my part.

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