For those visiting this quiet community for a little bit of rest and relaxation, there is one thing you have to do before you leave: indulge yourselves in something that has made Sturgeon Falls famous all over the world…. our chip stands.
While there are several chip stands to choose from, like Monique’s Chip Stand across the tracks (a relative newcomer to the fray), and Brutus Express on the highway (it’s shaped like a train so is hard to miss, and is the only one that remains open year round), there is little doubt which two chip stands stand out. Larry’s Chip Stand and The Riv Chip Stand. It is a rivalry that has been going on for decades, through different owners, in varying permutations. The buildings may have changed over the years, but the great-tasting pogo’s and fries have been a constant.
Much like the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s, these two establishments face off against each other day in and day out. There is an imaginary line drawn straight down the street, a kind of ‘no-man’s land’ that divides the two busiest chip stands in a town famous for its fries. And although the line is perhaps imaginary, the rivalry is not.
Much has been lost through the years as to why this rivalry became so heated in the first place (it depends of course on who you talk to), to be truthful, the current owners get along just fine. That’s not to say that they wouldn’t refer to have ALL the business, but they aren’t at each other’s throats.
It is a situation best compared to the rivalry between Coke and Pepsi. Some like one, some like the other. And some like both. You will see entire families patronize only one establishment, and groups of friends doing the same. But if you are visiting, we recommend you just try for yourself and come to the determination through proper trial.
The Chip Stands normally open during March Break, and close around Thanksgiving. The owner’s and staff put in long hours during this time, and it is evident when you sample the products yourself. There are pogo’s (hot dogs on a stick dipped in batter and deep-fried), there of course the world-famous French fries, poutine’s (fries with cheese and gravy), char-broiled burgers, shakes, and a variety of other treats to tickle the tummy.
There are mainly two ways to order: walk ups can order on the spot and wait while it is made fresh right there, or if you are more resourceful, find their phone numbers and call in your order before you go there. Either way, you are guaranteed to have your meal come to you piping hot!
Some of the chip stands (The Riv in particular as well as Brutus Express) feature large sitting areas so you can eat your meals right on the spot. Many people take the opportunity to stand and talk to friends and acquaintances while they enjoy their feasts. There is almost always a small crowd in front of one or all pf these establishments, and it is an awesome way to meet the locals.
So while you have come to a vibrant community with so much to offer, why not check out the local chip stands and see why their fare is world famous…..you’ll be glad you did!