Man Food: The Double Cheddar Frikandel at Saus

This is a cheese-smothered hot dog on steroids. Nuff said.

All photos by Katie Barszcz

Simplicity and a finely-tuned deep-fryer are the backbone of Saus, a Belgian-style frites and waffles hideaway in the heart of Faneuil Hall. It’s a short and narrow space with only a few tables that lead up to the counter; the smell of freshly fried potatoes and an overwhelming chalkboard full of menu items awaits. But the restaurant is not exactly a two-trick pony. In addition to their signature frites and waffles, Saus now features croquettes, salads, and Frikandel, a classic Belgium/Dutch street food item. The Frikandel is a sorta sausage-meets-burger concoction; it’s an elongated meat tube (sorry, it’s the only way to describe it) that is spiced and simmered on the stove-top before taking a plunge in the deep-fryer.

I opted for the Double Cheddar Frikandel (also available are the ‘Speciaal,’ ‘Burger Style,’ or ‘Spicy’ varieties) which is doused in their cheddar-Duvel sauce and even more shredded cheddar for added luxury. It’s served in a toasted hot dog bun, and an order of fries round out a decadent meal. The Frikandel is as advertised; it’s like a hot dog on steroids, spiced like a sausage but veering more towards meatloaf territory. It’s a pork and beef marriage that I can get behind. The meat is more under-spiced than over, it’s simply prepared, and the cheddar-Duvel sauce is shamelessly applied which makes for a very slippery sandwich. The finished product doesn’t feel like something that just came out of the fryer—it’s absent of a good crunch factor, but thankfully is not greasy or oily either. The cheddar-Duvel is complemented by a slight bitterness from the beer and is impossibly creamy from more cheese than should be legally allowed. It has the thick, smooth consistency of  a gravy, and I would happily sip it through a straw if I could.

The frites are the model size of thickness, and a lovely combination of crispy and light. They might be in need of some salt, but they are as enjoyable as any other fry out there. Which isn’t to say they are one-of-a-kind, but the array of dipping sauces that pair with the frites clearly sets them apart. With plenty of creative and interesting dipping sauces to choose from (like curry ketchup and peanut butter-and-soy) the fun clearly lies in what you’re dipping in, and not the other way around. Bacon Parmesan is one of their best sellers, and like the Frikandel, it tastes exactly the way it should: heavy on the bacon, nutty from the Parmesan. The Frikandel may sound exotic, but it’s more familiar and user-friendly than meets the eye. Think of it as a slightly spiced sausage covered in a cheese sauce, and you’ll be good to go.

Saus, 33 Union Street, Boston, 617-248-8835,

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