In Dining

Look out nachos, you have a serious spice-tacular competitor. (PHOTO: Royal Brevvaxling)

Eat this now: Sriracha peanut fries from Punch Bowl Social

It's time for Dining Month, presented by Deer District and its spooky Halloween-themed alter ego, Fear District. Throughout the month of October, we'll be serving up fun and fascinating content about all things food. The signature dish, however, is our 2019 Best of Dining poll, who's winners we will dish out all month long. Get hungry, Milwaukee!

Ever order something on a menu in the "sharable" section and quickly realize the last thing you want to do is share it with anyone other than your own selfish mouth? Yeah, that happened this weekend during our first dinner visit to Punch Bowl Social before we checked out all three of the Fear District haunted houses.

My party of three ordered the Sriracha peanut fries ($11.50) spontaneously after the server asked us if we wanted an appetizer. We even wondered if we had over ordered or ordered something too spicy for one of our diners, but once the fries hit the table we pretty much stopped talking altogether and instead started devouring fries.

The French fry experience was a little different in that we ate the fries with forks because they were smaller than average fries and loaded with so many unique and complementary toppings we had to make sure we had a little bit of everything in each bite.

The absolutely perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside fries came topped with a flavorful but not overpowering Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, garlic mayo, pickled red onions, pickled red chilis (medium in heat), cilantro and crushed peanuts. The combination of the spice and the cooling mayo and the crunchy peanuts and the soft-but-firm red onion was unlike any other texture we had ever experienced and although it was a lot going on at once – it totally worked. It worked so well that we ate the entire bowl and probably could have skipped our entrees, but we had already placed our order for those, too.

For our main course we had Mediterranean salad, the A La Bama chicken sandwich (that had an incredible white barbecue sauce on it) and a shrimp burger which is just what it sounds like: a little weird, but also with an excellent sauce.

All in all, our dinners were good, but the radiating star of deliciousness during this meal was definitely those dang fries.

Next time, I'll be tempted to order the fries as my meal. Although the crab rangoon dip looked really tempting as well. Can a person order two items off the "sharable" menu just for themselves or is that bad form? Who cares, hand me a fork.

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