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Such a simple little side dish, yet so revered in American culture. Some like their fries doused in ketchup, cheese, chili, or mayo, while others prefer the tang of malt vinegar. How glorious is the wide variety of interpretation on what exactly constitutes a fry.
Where else in town can you get the best deep fried frites? Here's our guide to the top spots for everything from sweet potato fries to traditional pommes!
10. The papitas at El Mago de las Fritas ($2.50) are listed on the menu as "French Fries Mago Style," meaning that a heaping pile of skinny, flat sided potato strings pack a powerful crunch. They also top almost everything on bread that you order here, an extremely wise decision in the world of sandwiches. The papitas are sincerely too munchable; it's risky to order them without securing a french fry friend to share.
9. Shake Shack uses Yukon Golds for their fries ($2.70, add $1 more for the cheese sauce) giving these babies a golden coloring, and a creamier texture than fries made with other types of waxy potatoes. The crinkle cut texture holds on to both ketchup and cheese extremely well, and there are no artificial trans fats. Old school cafeteria style fries to make you reminisce and smile.
8. Sweet potato fries at LoKal Burgers and Beer ($4) tend to be longer, narrow, with a tapered end. The skins are left on, which tames the sweetness a little. You can order you burger with a half and half side of fries, meaning that you never have to choose between the sweet potato based and the regular type. They are super crispy, but never arrive overcooked or greasy.
7. You can't show up at Pascal's On Ponce and simply order a plate of fries. In fact, you'll have to select a specific item off of the "Bistro Menu," or lunch menu. Get the Mussels Mariniére, or a sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs; for traditionalists, choose the
classic steak frites and you
will be rewarded with the truest local representation of what actually constitutes a "French fry." These pommes frites have a firm exterior shell, and soft potato centers lurking beneath.
6. "Five Guys Style Fries" (regular sized $3.29, large $4.99), are hands down the best fast food fries on the market. We hesitate to even associate them with the words "fast food," because they appear nothing like the character lacking fries at other chains. Five Guys teaches their staff to hand-cuts the potatoes leaving the skin on, a nice crispy addition to the to tips and backsides of the fries. They cook them in peanut oil, and pile on the salt while still warm. We like this particular fry best with malt vinegar, and there are bottles of it laying around in spades.
5. Pappas Fritas ($8) at Area 31 begin with Kennebec potatoes, which are fried in a blend of duck fat and canola oil. The scent of truffle oil hits your nose immediately, and we like that in this instance, the parmesan is shaved in slices, rather than scattered. Even though every fry doesn't necessarily get cheese, the ones that do have a much more pronounced parm flavor. Long slivers of chive add a burst of green onion goodness on the finish, cleaning out the truffle taste to prepare your tongue for another dose of it.
4. Bourbon Steak's "trio of duck fat fries" ($5) can be found on their "Bar Burger Menu," and the great news is that a single order equals three completely different kinds of fries. One gets dusted with Spanish paprika, another has garlic, parsley and rosemary all over it, and lastly, truffle oil scented fries have a truffled-up aioli to match. And that's only one of the three sauces; barbecue and onion ketchup are stacked up alongside as well. Fry dipping customization is welcome - go crazy.
3. Yardbird's "House Cut Fries" arrive with a sprinkling of a finger-licking, most fetching "bacon salt"
($7) along with a snappy buttermilk dipping sauce, which is also baconized. The fries themselves have varied along the restaurant's way between waffle cut and the expected quadrilateral shape, we'll happily take either type. The fries are grease-free and even the smallest trace of oil is quickly zapped up by a brown paper lining. The ideal southern spin on French fries.
2. The "sweet frites" ($8) at Haven are coated with a spiced brown sugar mix that evokes Thanksgiving memories, but we bet your grandmother never served them with a citrus-y spicy dip. The lemon cayenne aioli that accompanies these French fried beauties really cuts through the weight of the sweet potato (a bit of spice and brightness combats the rich, starchy flavor). Plus, the overall crunchy exterior hides a smushy inside, making this our favorite sweet potato fry.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. DB Bistro Moderne's garlic pomme frites are amazing ($7 during happy hour, $9 during dinner) because of the extremely generous helping of freshly chopped herbs and aged parmesan tossed over the top of the warm fries (causing it to melt slightly into the potato). However, the reason DB wins our admiration is that they don't just make the best pomme frites in town, it's a tie between that, and the gaufrettes.
Sort of a cross between a fry and a potato chip, DB's gaufrettes (above) have an almost transparent surface. They are shaped like potato wedges, but are completely hallowed out inside; light, crisp and beautiful! You'll have to either order the smoked salmon club sandwich (they come on the side) or ask for a special order though; the gaufrettes, sadly, are not sold separately.