Best French Fries - 2011
Original Ranch House
A thunderstorm rages outside the Original Ranch House when a vintage Chevy truck pulls into the parking lot. A man clad in a poncho, plaid shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots climbs out of the driver's side. He high-steps to the front door and swings it open. The joint still has the charm of a '70s truck stop in the Appalachian Mountains despite its location in Miami-Dade's most Cuban-American city. He takes off the wet poncho and hangs it on the dry rack near the cash register. A waitress offers him a seat at one of the red leather booths. He respectfully declines, telling her that he prefers to sit at the Formica counter. He straddles a red swivel stool, reading the burger and sandwich options on the menu. He orders a patty melt on sourdough bread. The $8.55 plate comes with steak fries, his favorite kind. Some folks like their spuds crinkly or thin or cut into waffles. Not this fry guy. From his seat at the counter, he can see the cook methodically peel and slice a potato into thick white sticks. The dude's mouth curls into a smile when the fries are dropped into a scalding fryer. The waitress brings him his order. He picks up one of the golden treats. He caresses the crisp exterior and snaps the fry in half. Steam rises from the severed ends. He blows on the fry to cool it and pops it into his mouth. Outside, the downpour ceases. The Original Ranch House is open seven days a week.