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Hi Pointe 5

Chef Mike Johnson worked in France and spent time in Belgium where he also enjoyed the Andalouse Sauce on fries. It's a customer favorite at the Hi Pointe Drive-In.

Q • My husband recently traveled to Belgium, where he enjoyed fries served with andalouse sauce. We discovered that Hi-Pointe Drive-In serves them and have become fans. Would they be willing to share the recipe? — Mary Robinson, Chesterfield

A • Pink, piquant and lush andalouse sauce brings out the best in the crispy French fries at Hi-Pointe Drive-In. Although mayonnaise-based condiments aren’t as common as ketchup in the United States, this alt-dipping sauce has legions of fans worldwide. “I’ve been a proponent of mayo on fries for a long time,” chef and owner Mike Johnson says. When he cooked in France in the’90s Johnson traveled to Belgium where he first tasted this savory dip.

This easy-to-make sauce gets its sweetness from ketchup, its brightness from vinegar and its kick from cayenne pepper. The sauce comes together in a flash, but the fries at Hi-Pointe Drive-In require much more attention. First, the cut. “We cut them a little thicker, in between a skinny fry and a steak fry,” Johnson says. The cooking process adds to the texture and crispness of the fries. “We fry them once at a low temperature, cool them off, then fry them at a higher temperature to finish them. That way they’re cooked all the way through, and then get crispy on the outside the second time.”

“Originally the concept for the Hi-Pointe was going to be more like an in-and-out-burgers, fries, shakes. That’s where I was going with it. Then my partner Charlie Downs said, ‘We need sandwiches.’ It was the best move we ever made because it sets us apart. We have all these crazy sandwiches, too. We’re not just a burger place.

“Charlie and Carolyn Downs are the best partners ever. Carolyn is the master of anything shake- and dessert-related,” he says. The three also head up the Sugarfire Smoke House restaurants.

Johnson advises first-time visitors to order a burger. Like their famous fries, the burger patties at the Hi-Pointe aren’t business-as-usual. The house blend of brisket, chuck and rib from locally sourced beef delivers great taste in the smashed burger patties. Johnson mixes ground turkey with ground chicken thighs to produce a moist and flavorful turkey burger. They also sell vegan Impossible burgers.

The menu lists 10 burgers on the boards, but Johnson is committed to making people happy if the menu selections don’t entice. “People can ask for what they want on their burger. They can make it difficult sometimes, but if we have the product we’ll make it,” he says.

As tasty as the food is, the atmosphere at Hi-Pointe is just as delicious. At the McCausland location, colorful shipping containers stacked like blocks extend the footprint of the original building. Johnson found the spaceship ready for take-off above the patio at a junkyard. The cheeky graphics and fun elements throughout provide visual stimulation and sometimes a good laugh. Reviews posted in vinyl graphics on the windows tout the great burgers and list the awards Hi-Pointe has racked up from local and national food media, but in true Hi-Pointe sassiness, Johnson and crew also posted a singular review front and center. ‘Worst restaurant ever!’ “We get a lot of reaction to that one,” Johnson says.

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Hi-Pointe Drive-In

1033 McCausland Avenue

314-349-2720

634 Washington Avenue

314-405-8274

To request a recipe • Would you like to request a recipe from a restaurant that is still open in the St. Louis area? Send your request along with your full name and the city you live in to reciperequest@post-dispatch.com

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{h2}See recipes from the top restaurants in St. Louis

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