Otherwise known as changos or fried cheesecake, this Mexican-inspired dessert is made up of a creamy cheesecake filling rolled in a pastry tortilla that is fried, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar then topped with either a chocolate, caramel or fruit sauce and served with ice cream.
WHERE TO FIND XANGOS
El Rey Tolteca
Ashburn and Manassas; elreytolteca.com
Arlington and Centreville; chasintailscrawfish.com
13999 Metrotech Drive, Chantilly; backyardgrillrestaurant.com
FRIED ICE CREAM
The juxtaposition of fried ice cream has baffled people’s minds just like the origins behind it. Some believe it is an Asian dessert, others Mexican. Some think it came about at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, while some think it wasn’t invented until the 1960s. What we can agree upon is that eating this flash-fried treat is something. At Elephant Jumps, chef and owner Tom Pinyo says the restaurant uses two breads to form a sweet vanilla ball. Then it is refrozen to survive the fry, which is done for a mere 15 seconds. Placed in a bowl, the fried ice cream ball is then covered in 151 black rum and set aflame and served: It’s called Eternal Flame.
WHERE TO FIND FRIED ICE CREAM
8110-A Arlington Blvd., Falls Church; elephantjumps.com
Los Tios Grill
Multiple locations; lostiosgrill.com
El Fresco Mexican Grill
4088 Airline Parkway, Chantilly; elfrescomexicangrill.com
The Similans Thai Eatery
13005-L Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax; thesimilansthaieatery.com
9114 Center St., Manassas; zandrastacos.com
1669 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria; mayisland1.com
FRIED CANDY BARS
If you’re ordering a candy bar at a restaurant, you most likely are not counting calories, so go ahead and get it fried. The deep-fried candy bars that have been on Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper’s menu since its inception in August 2005—“I had heard they were being served in chippers in Ireland, so of course we had to go check it out,” says owner Cathal Armstrong—come in three options: Snickers (the most popular), Milky Way and Mars bars (Armstrong’s favorite). Dipped in batter then fried for about three minutes, the chocolate melts into the golden brown batter casing holding in the warm caramel and nugget.
WHERE TO FIND FRIED CANDY BARS
Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper
728 King St., Alexandria; eamonnsdublinchipper.com
Wanting to play up the outdoor patio setting with a beach theme, Dogwood Tavern put funnel fries on their menu about a year ago. The deep-fried batter topped with powdered sugar and served with chocolate dipping sauce was supposed to be a summertime treat, but its popularity kept it on the menu year-round.
WHERE TO FIND FUNNEL FRIES
132 W. Broad St., Falls Church; dogwoodtavern.com
7015 Manchester Blvd., Alexandria; boardwalkfries.com
Every Thursday and Friday, Anhthu Pham and her staff prep for the upcoming weekend by making batch upon batch of churros mix. A trip to Los Angeles got Pham thinking about her future in the churro biz: “I wanted to create a concept that we didn’t have here, so I flew to L.A. to do some research and saw that churros was a really cool and unique idea,” she says. That’s how Leeburg’s Churrology was born. The downtown shop churns out numerous options of fried doughy sticks—traditional cinnamon sugar, of course, and those covered in Fruity Pebbles, Oreos, strawberry shortcake crumble and s’mores, plus some stuck into a serving of ice cream. Pham says she is looking for a new space, somewhere in Fairfax, and hopes to add more offerings to the menu. For churros, she wants to stuff them, mixing up savory concoctions and churro ice cream sandwiches. For additional menu items, she’s thinking smoothies, lattes, kombucha and more.
WHERE TO FIND CHURROS
7 Loudoun St. SW, Leesburg; churrologyva.com
21430 Epicerie Plaza, Sterling; coladashop.com
Multiple locations; shillabakeryusa.com
Multiple locations; costco.com
4053 Campbell Ave., Arlington; palette22.com
Don Churro Restaurant
13905 Metrotech Drive, Chantilly
When you stop in Brion’s Grille across the street from George Mason University and order a fried cupcake, what’s inside is a surprise. The flavor of cupcake that is dipped in a sweet potato batter and then deep fried, icing and all, depends on what they have on hand that day. You could get a straight up vanilla cake base or maybe red velvet, peanut butter or double chocolate. Regardless of the flavor, the fried dessert is served with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
WHERE TO FIND FRIED CUPCAKES
10621 Braddock Road, Fairfax; brionsgrille.com
Multiple locations; bdoughnut.com
Multiple locations; duckdonuts.com
1604 Village Market Blvd., Leesburg; fracturedprune.com
Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee
Multiple locations; sugarshackdonuts.com
9792 Center St., Manassas; facebook.com/donutislandbakery
Food truck; facebook.com/Macs-Donuts-167389766619225
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
Food truck; astrodoughnuts.com
13830 Lee Highway, Suite 4, Centreville; texasdonutsva.com