I don’t usually go for fries on the side with my barbecue. I’m all about the pickles and potato salad. But at Hard Knox BBQ (2931 E. Battlefield Road, Springfield, 417-720-4811) the menu offers some next-level fries that have made me reconsider my past no-fries blunders. The ones at Hard Knox are skinny and crispy—thinner than a standard fry but thicker than those dinky lil’ shoestrings that always get cold too fast. And every perfectly thin bite is seasoned just right, with enough salt to make me race back for bite after bite in between nibbles of tender brisket (my barbecue protein of choice). You can add jack cheese sauce to these fries, but honestly they don’t need it. They’re some kind of perfection all on their own.