Here’s a list of wild and exotic French fries being served across America
This laid-back mini-chain of restaurants in the Sacramento area offers a menu of elevated diner foods, and even features a salad bar. The signature dish here is the Urban Fries, which come topped with a pungent combination of blue cheese, spicy chile oil, and crushed red chile flakes. The result is earthy with a kick of heat.
25. Urban Fries — Jack’s Urban Eats, Sacramento, Calif.
This laid-back mini-chain of restaurants in the Sacramento area offers a menu of elevated diner foods, and even features a salad bar. The result is earthy with a kick of heat.
24. Loaded Crack Fries — HopCat, Detroit, Mich.
“Don’t worry. We won’t tell your friends” promises HopCat on their menu. They’re referring to their Crack Fries, which are beer battered and sprinkled with a special cracked black pepper house seasoning. The way to go here, though, is the Loaded Crack Fries: their signature Crack Fries topped with cheese sauce, red onion, jalapeños, and cherry-smoked bacon. It’s a habit we think is well worth picking up.
23. Thai Ginger Fries — the Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's (formerly Jonesy’s EatBar), Denver, Colo.
From one of two restaurants to earn multiple spots on this list, the Thai Ginger Fries at Jonesy’s are too good to pass up. The signature twice-fried potatoes are piled liberally into a bowl and topped with fresh ginger, lemongrass, scallions, and sweet Thai chile sauce.
22. Pommes Frites with Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayonnaise — Pommes Frites, New York, N.Y.
One of the most popular fries-only establishments in the country, Pommes Frites in New York’s East Village serves up cones of freshly fried Belgian-style frites to hungry Manhattanites. The sauces here are where things get interesting, exemplified by the addictively delicious pomegranate teriyaki mayo.
21. Tornado Potato — Tornado Potato, Anaheim, Calif.
This popular South Korean street food dish is about as fun to look at as it is to eat — the potatoes are spiral-cut, skewered, and deep-fried. Tornado Potato’s wacky-looking fries are topped with everything from Cajun seasoning to caramel and chocolate sauces. They’re even available wrapped around a sausage.
20. Chile and Cocoa Waffle Fries — Max Brenner, New York, N.Y.
Cocoa powder on French fries? You’d expect nothing less from chocolate master Max Brenner. The golden, crispy waffle fries are dusted with chile and cocoa powders and served on their own or alongside dishes like the restaurant’s signature burger.
19. Ooey Gooey Fries — Chego, Los Angeles, Calif.
Roy Choi’s Chinatown eatery claims to be all about rice, but they know how to treat a potato, too. Exhibit A is their Ooey Gooey Fries, which come beer-battered with sour cream sambal; Monterey jack, Cheddar, and cotija cheeses; chiles; cilantro; and pickled garlic. True to their name, they are ooey, gooey, and very tasty.
18. Pastrami Gravy Fries — Plan Check, Los Angeles, Calif.
Served as a special menu item at their Fairfax and Sawtelle locations, Plan Check’s Pastrami Gravy Fries were named on laist’s Best Dressed Fries list. No surprise there, as they are fried in beef tallow (the way McDonald’s used to treat their golden strings) and then covered in chopped pastrami, pastrami gravy, chopped pickles, and Swiss cheese.
17. Poutine with All the Add Ons — Saus, Boston, Mass.
The team at Saus is serious about sauce — that’s why they offer more than 15 choices on their menu with which to decorate your order of pommes frites. However, the go-big-or-go-home option here is their poutine with all the add ons. It starts with frites topped with cheese curds from Pineland Farms and beef–chicken gravy; you can complete the decadent dish with a deep-fried egg, bacon bits, truffle mushrooms, “bacon n stout”-braised beef, and pork belly (each for an extra charge of $1.50 to $3.00). We’ll take four, please!
16. Purple Shoestring Fries with Blueberry Ketchup — Boise Fry Company, Various Locations
In case the name didn’t give it away, this Boise-based company takes their fries very seriously. After studying different preparation methods, they settled on the process of carefully prepping each fresh potato after which they fry their fries in natural peanut oil — which contains little to no saturated or trans fats. You choose the type of potato or similar tuber —purple, gold, sweet, Okinawa, or yam — and can have them cut into five different styles: shoestring, regular, homestyle, curly, or their own “po-balls.” All these choices yield an almost overwhelming number of possible combinations, but we suggest going for the purple shoestring fries with a side of blueberry ketchup for a decidedly unique bite that won’t give you the blues.
15. Carne Asada Fries — Lolita’s Taco Shop, Chula Vista, Calif.
This taco shop has been serving authentic Mexican dishes for more than 30 years, and owners Joaquin and Dolores Farfan have since expanded to create a mini empire of five locations around San Diego with a sixth planned to open this summer. Lending their Mexican culinary expertise to one of America’s most iconic dishes, they top their fries with homemade guacamole, sour cream, chopped pieces of the shop’s signature carne asada, and cotija cheese.
14. Smothered Fries — The Shaved Duck, St. Louis, Mo.
The Shaved Duck in St. Louis is known for their commitment to excellent barbecue, and their Smothered Fries are an homage to the perfect pairing that is smoked pig and potato. They start with hand-cut fries and then top them with cheese sauce, freshly grated sharp Cheddar, and, of course, pulled pork. Pair the dish with a bottle or pint of one of their many local craft brews and settle in for a delightful food coma.
13. Pommes Frites with Bordeaux Wine, Figs, and Sage Mayonnaise — Pommes Frites, New York, N.Y.
The second eatery to score more than one spot on our list, Pomme Frites’ claim to fame are their perfect frites and their vast array of out-there dips and dressings (their version with pomegranate teriyaki mayo already came in at #22 on this compilation). The most outrageous, in our opinion, is listed as the last option on their online menu: Bordeaux wine, figs, and sage mayonnaise.
12. Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries — The Hat, Various Locations, Calif.
We’ve heard of chili cheese fries, and we’ve heard of fries topped with pastrami (see #18 on this list), but chili cheese fries topped with pastrami? The good people at The Hat — a California favorite with over 10 locations spread across the Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties — knew a good idea when they tasted it, and it’s a cult favorite that isn’t listed on their online menu but nevertheless has the internet abuzz with recommendations to sample the gargantuan pile of crisp fries topped with astounding amounts of shredded cheese, chili, and bits of pastrami.
11. S'mores Fries — Sticky’s Finger Joint, New York, N.Y.
Late night munchie options abound in New York City, and the Sticky’s Finger Joint Murray Hill location boasts their own unique take on how to satisfy your late night sugar and fried foods craving: S'mores Fries. Atop golden, skin-on fries is piled mini marshmallows, homemade toasted marshmallow sauce, homemade chocolate sauce comprised of Dominique Ansel-approved cocoa powder, and crushed graham cracker. You can even ask them to add one of their delicious fried chicken fingers — c’mon, we know you want to.
10. Dirty Dirty Fries — Pickled Fish, Long Beach, Wash.
Located atop the Adrift Hotel, Pickled Fish has a website that encourages visitors to try their “creative, fun, locally inspired cuisine and wood fired pizzas… craft cocktails, regional wines, and northwest microbrews while enjoying the amazing view.” We think that sounds just great, but we insist that you also order their Dirty Dirty Fries. Fried in beef tallow, they’re topped with garlic, fried pork belly, pepperoncini, and goat cheese.
9. Beer Cheese Soup Smothered Fries — The Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's (formerly Jonesy’s EatBar), Denver, Colo.
These thick-cut beauties are consistently recognized as the best fries in Denver — among their many accolades, they were named the Best Fries in America by CNN in 2012 — and it’s pretty easy to see why. Piling comfort food on top of comfort food, The Centennial Tavern at Jonesy's fries are smothered in a layered of thick beer cheese soup, prompting us to question everything we thought we knew about cheese fries.
8. Crispy Fries with Mornay Sauce, Garlic Aioli, and a Farm-Fresh Fried Egg — Au Cheval, Chicago, Ill.
Au Cheval is probably best known for its buzz-worthy burger, but their fries deserve a special mention of their own. A study in excess, these are made with mornay sauce (think creamy, cheesy goodness) poured over crispy fries, topped with a fried farm egg, and served with a side of garlic aïoli.
7. Jumbo Lump Crab Cheese Fries — Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.
The playful Varga Bar is decorated with photos of pinup girls and serves a menu of elevated comfort foods. In this outrageous dish, thin-cut fries are fried to perfection and tossed in a coating of truffle oil before being topped with a healthy serving of jumbo lump crabmeat, melted white Cheddar, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
6. The Original Loaded Kimchi Fries — Chi'lantro BBQ, Austin, Texas
With a name that’s an amalgamation of “kimchi” and “cilantro,” Chi’lantro serves creative twists on traditional staples from both Korean and Mexican cuisines, often fusing culinary elements from the two cultures onto one plate. They proudly claim to be the inventors of the Original Kimchi Fries, and we’re not about to stand in their way. An order of these fries comes topped with the customer’s choice of either ribeye bulgogi, spicy pork, spicy chicken, soy-glazed chicken, or marinated tofu. On top of that, you’ll find Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, onions, caramelized kimchi, cilantro, “magic sauce,” sesame seeds, and a dose of sriracha.
5. Mapo Tofu Chili Cheese Fries — King Noodle, Brooklyn, N.Y.
This psychedelically colorful Bushwick eatery specializes in Pan-Asian fare and Tiki drinks, and they’ve created some buzz around their more outrageous dishes, like Dorito Kimchi Carbonara. Their inventive take on fries — served with sizzling peppercorn-infused Szechuan sauce, scallions, cheese, and tofu — has received its fair share of praise, too: they were named the Village Voice’s 55th most favorite dish in 2013.
4. Python Chili Cheese Fries — Sammy's Wild Game Grill, Houston, Texas
This Texan restaurant serves beers, burgers, and sausages with an exotic twist: many of their meats aren’t your standard burger joint fare, and you’ll find kangaroo patties and pheasant with cognac links on the menu. Their take on chili cheese fries is equally wild, with a pile of golden strings smothered in python chili, Cheddar jack cheese, and green onions.
2. Okonomiyaki Fries — Illegal Food, Atlanta, Ga.
Quietly committed to a farm-to-table approach without the posturing, Illegal food in Atlanta puts care into their food by making and treating just about everything in-house, including condiments, pickles, and charcuterie. This philosophy is extended to their acclaimed okonomiyako fries, which are hand-cut, double-fried, and dressed with house-made sriracha, Japanese mayonnaise, shredded nori, and bonito flakes.
1. Triple Fried Duck Fat Fries — Salty Sow, Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Ariz.
Both locations of this American gastropub aim to serve “contemporary farmhouse fare… mindfully sourced from local farms and purveyors.” This mindfulness is extended to their kitchens’ executions, and there’s whole lot of patience exhibited by the chefs, too. Case in point is the care and time that is put into their Triple-Fried Duck Fat Fries, which are — you guessed it — triple-fried in duck fat, topped with a 110-mintue egg, and served with a side of cold béarnaise sauce. When one considers the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare each of the three ingredients in this dish, it’s safe to say it’s an outrageously time-consuming appetizer to make. Even more importantly, it’s outrageously satisfying to eat.
America's Most Outrageous French Fries
For the average person, there are few foods more addictive or satisfying than a serving of french fries, fresh from the fryer. Whether they're thin-cut or steak-cut, shoestring-style or Belgian-style, curly or crinkled, fries are a food that Americans hold near and dear to their hearts. So in honor of National French Fries Day, here is a look at some unique and innovative versions of this iconic dish.
Just as some restaurants and vendors aim to elevate foods like pizza, burgers, and grilled cheese, many fries experts across the country are serving up their spuds in creative ways. From topping the fries with intriguing ingredients to coming up with outrageous presentations (like spiral-cut and skewered), the opportunities for innovation are endless.
Frysmith, a popular Los Angeles-based food truck is dedicated to offering crispy, golden fries (made with Kennebec potatoes) layered with things like shawarma-marinated steak, chicken braised in tomatillo-tamarind sauce, and homemade kimchi. And over in Portland, Ore., Kenny & Zuke's tops their gargantuan servings of fries with its signature pastrami and melted Swiss cheese.
Photo by Marcus NilssonBy Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit
Slow-Fried French Fries
There are certain foods that are better when not made at home, like french fries. To achieve golden-brown perfection, you have to fry them twice: first at a low temperature, to poach them then at a high heat, to crisp them up. Very tasty, very much a pain in the neck. A few years back, I read about how French chef Joel Robuchon supposedly does it at his house: He puts sliced potatoes in a pot of cold oil, turns on the heat, and lets them go. It sounds too simple to work. But as the temperature rises, the potatoes cook from the outer layer in until the fries are wonderfully crunchy outside and creamy in the center. You’ll never make fries any other way-even if you’ve never made them before.
Peel 2 lb. large russet potatoes cut into long french-fry sticks, about 3/8ࡩ/8 inches thick. Rinse shake off water.
Transfer potatoes to a large deep heavy pot, spreading potatoes so they’re no more than 2 layers deep. Pour in safflower or vegetable oil to cover potatoes by 1″. Place pot over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes (oil will begin bubbling gently). Continue cooking, occasionally loosening potatoes from the bottom of the pot with a heatproof spatula, until potatoes are very tender, 25-30 minutes more. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes longer (oil will bubble more vigorously).
Using a slotted spoon, transfer fries to paper towels to drain. Season with coarse sea salt.
Frying french fries (Photo credit: fritish)
America's Best French Fries
Sidekicks are never given enough credit. Tonto had to sit back and let the Lone Ranger take the spotlight Ron Weasley faithfully followed Harry Potter to all ends of the wizarding world and Robin always had Batman's back, no matter how sticky the situation. It's quite possible that our most beloved heroes would never have been as successful without their trusty partners by their sides. The same applies to food: Where would spaghetti be without meatballs, peanut butter without jelly or a burger without french fries?
French fries hold supporting roles on menus across the globe. The Dutch and the Belgians prefer them served in a paper cone with a side of mayonnaise, while the Brits like them sprinkled with just enough salt and vinegar to clear the sinuses. On the other side of the Atlantic, fries provide the foundation for many a quirky creation. In Canada, a saucy concoction known as "poutine" features french fries drenched in brown gravy and cheese curds. Here, in the United States, these crispy, golden spuds are often customizable: steak, shoestring, crinkle-cut, curly and waffle-cut fries are just a few variations to try. A disappointing french fry is hard to come by, but which eateries make the cut as America's finest potato-handlers?
Using tips from culinary experts and hungry diners, U.S. News Travel has tracked down 11 places where spuds get the respect they deserve. Whether you're a flavor innovator or a french fry purist, these eateries are consistently recognized by food critics and foodies alike for their mouthwatering portions of tantalizing taters.
Sarah_Ackerman / Flickr
Boise Fry Company
This list wouldn't be complete without calling out classic and unconventional varieties found in the Potato State. And one Boise, Idaho, eatery pays tribute to the state's choice crop with a menu devoted to french fries. Boise Fry Company serves up more than 100,000 dippin'-ready combinations. Choose from six different types of potatoes, five varieties of cuts and a long list of signature sauces and seasonings. All ingredients used are organic and locally sourced, while every potato is put through a 30-minute-long prepping process before being dropped in peanut oil, which does not contain any preservatives or trans fats. Dunk a crispy sweet potato shoestring into blueberry ketchup, or dip a homestyle purple fry in zesty chipotle aioli. (If you're extra hungry, pair your potatoes with a well-crafted burger.)
With a name like Duckfat, you know you're in for fried potatoes packed with rich flavor. This intimate sandwich shop in Portland, Maine, serves up Belgian-style french fries in a paper cone. These indulgent, locally sourced potatoes are fried twice in -- you guessed it -- duck fat. The outcome of Duckfat's double-dip preparation process is crispy exteriors and soft, fluffy innards, with duck fat creating an intense taste. You can sample these fries layered in one of eight signature sauces like truffle ketchup and Thai chili mayo. Or, you can turn this savory side into a full meal by ordering the poutine: delicious fries covered in cheese curd, house-made duck gravy, chives and a duck egg.
Amsterdam Bar & Hall
St. Paul, Minn.
The Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul, Minn., is the place to go for live music and a late-night snack -- especially if you're looking to nosh on french fries. This laid-back performance space devotes the top section of its menu to hand-cut spuds. Following suit with Amsterdam-style fries, the skins here are served beneath a layer of chopped onions with your choice of dipping sauce. You have your pick of eight different toppers, including standard ketchup. But for an atypical mouthful, dip your fries in signature sauces like curry mayo or honey sambaal. If the crispy fries just won't do, try one of Amsterdam Bar & Hall's "boats of fries." The "oorlog" option comes smothered with onions, peanut satay, mayonnaise and honey sambaal, while the "pataje jus" features a hearty dose of onions and gravy.
Helmed by celebrity chef Michael Mina, BOURBON STEAK (located in northern Miami's Turnberry Isle hotel) features a varied menu of contemporary American dishes, all of which are created from organic, locally sourced ingredients. While you'll find everything from sizzling sirloin to steamed Maine lobster gracing tables in the main dining room, we recommend you head to the bar and place an order for duck fat fries. The thickly cut (but not too thick) potatoes are sliced and then fried in duck fat for a crispy, bold taste. Once cooked to perfection, the fries are coated with three different seasonings and served with three signature sauces -- the selected fry and sauce duos change seasonally. The pairings pictured above are the rosemary-herb fries with spicy ketchup, the onion-flavored fries with chive crème fraîche and the smoked paprika fries with signature barbecue sauce.
At this beloved Houston food truck, Eastern flavors meet south-of-the-border zest. Roaming the streets of Houston, Coreanos serves up what it describes as "Mexican cuisine with Korean in-between." But Coreanos' wacky fry toppings earn it a place on this roundup. If you're not super hungry, keep it simple with an order of seasoned fries, which are served with a side of signature "el scorcho" dipping sauce made from spicy ketchup and Korean barbecue sauce. You can also turn your spuds into a full meal with one of two loaded options. The Kim Cheese fries come layered with spicy pork belly, caramelized kimchi, cheese and el scorcho sauce, while the Three Wise fries come with spicy beef short rib, spicy chicken, spicy pork belly, grilled onions, cheese and, of course, el scorcho sauce.
Fresh Fries Truck
You'd be amazed by the types of toppings foodies dress their fries with -- anything from hummus to mango chutney can be found layered on crispy spuds. But before you chide these seemingly odd flavor combos, try them and other out-of-the-ordinary concoctions for yourself at the Fresh Fries Truck in Los Angeles. Pick between natural-cut, curly or sweet potato fries paired with 12 unique "awesome sauces," including chipotle mayo and sweet and sour. Or, if you're feeling a little more adventurous, try an order of "fancy fries," which come topped with unconventional sauces like green chili guacamole or hoisin sauce and crunchy noodles. Perhaps the most intriguing menu items are the sweeter varieties: The "Sweet Tooth" features sweet potato fries topped with sweet cream sauce, while the goat cheese fries are coupled with a raspberry sauce.
Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen
In the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin district sits a trendy tavern with an unyielding love for french fries. Named for Jasper O'Farrell, the Irish immigrant who designed many of the city's major streets, Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen features a menu devoted to quality fries. First, pick your preferred style: thin-cut, thick-cut or sweet potato spuds. Then, sprinkle these crispy bites with your choice of seasoning. You can keep it simple with a light dusting of sea salt or enjoy a more decadent truffle, parmesan and herb seasoning. The kitchen also serves up hearty plates of poutine Jasper's staff recommends using thick-cut fries as a base to dive into hearty helpings of gravy, mushrooms or smoked cheese fondue.
Buffalo wings and nachos are likely offerings you would expect to find on a bar menu . not layered on top of french fries. But Jonesy's EatBar, a gastropub in Denver's Uptown neighborhood, pairs its crispy potatoes with these flavorful specialty combinations. Jonesy's unique toppings have been recognized by many local media outlets like Westword and CBS Denver for the tasty additions to its delicious spuds. Only thick-cut potatoes can accommodate Jonesy's signature toppings: You can load your fries with one of five "World Famous" flavor combos. For an inventive take on the classic comfort food, sample the Bacon Mac & Cheese fries, or get your appetizer fix with the nacho or wing-styled wedges. If you're craving even more specialty flavors, try the Thai Ginger fries, which come doused with ginger, lemongrass, scallions and Thai chili sauce.
New York City
This New York City fry shop may be small, but the flavors found inside are mind-blowing. Located on Second Avenue in the East Village, Pommes Frites specializes in traditional Belgian fries, known as pommes frites. The thick-cut potatoes are fried twice to ensure both a soft inside and a crispy exterior and then piled high in paper cones. By themselves, the fries are delicious (albeit simple), but pair them with one of the 28 specialty sauces and you'll have trouble reverting back to plain ol' ketchup. Some of the restaurant's more unique dips include Vietnamese pineapple mayo, peanut satay and Bordeaux wine, fig and sage mayo. Not sure which sauce to choose? Pommes Frites will let you try each and every one (free of charge) until you find your favorite.
Thrasher's French Fries
Ocean City, Md.
Thrasher's has been catering to french fry purists since 1929 when J.T. Thrasher opened a small concession stand along the Ocean City, Md., boardwalk. Thrasher's can now be found in three separate locations in Ocean City and a fourth in Bethany Beach, Del. And to traditionalists' delight, the tried-and-true recipe hasn't changed -- the potatoes are still hand-cut and fried in peanut oil with the skins. But if you prefer to dip your chips in ketchup, you're out of luck. In terms of condiments, Thrasher's only provides a slight sprinkling of salt and vinegar so as not to detract from the rich taste of its signature spuds. You'll want to savor the flavor with a friend or two Thrasher's smallest serving comes in a 16-ounce bucket, though if you came hungry, you can order a hefty 53-ounce portion.
Perched on a quiet street corner near Independence Park in Philadelphia, Varga Bar provides a lively atmosphere -- complete with posters of 1940s pin-up girls originally drawn for Esquire magazine by artist Alberto Vargas -- for an evening drink or weekend brunch. While this local institution may not specialize in fry-making or sauce selection like other eateries found on this list, Varga Bar earns recognition for its unique twist on the spud. Appearing on both the brunch and dinner menu are Varga Bar's much-admired crab-cheese fries. The shoestring spuds are fried until golden and tossed with truffle oil. Then, the creatively crafted fries are paired with large chunks of jumbo lump crab meat, smothered with a creamy white cheddar sauce and sprinkled with parmesan.
America's 50 Best French Fries
French fries can be found on restaurant menus all over America, from the smallest take-away shack to the grand bastions of fine dining. Although the origin of the fry is somewhat of a sore spot for our European friends (the French and the Belgians still can't agree about which country invented them), they have become a fine example of classic American fare. Everyone has a preferred consistency -- satisfyingly crunchy, delightfully crispy, or soft and soggy -- and great debates have sprouted over the superior way to cut them. Crinkle, curly, shoestring, steak, or waffle: just about everyone has a passionate opinion.
We've tackled the task of determining the country's best French fries twice before, and there are 14 fry dishes on this year's list of 50 that have now made the cut two years running. Twenty states are represented this time around. The three states with the most places on this list are California, New York, and Texas, and although you won't see any from Alaska or Hawaii as you click through, we've got fries from all four corners of the continental United States covered, from York, Maine to Miami, Phoenix, and Seattle.
For 2015's ranking, we first set out to define exactly what we would be considering loaded fry dishes weren't included, as we already covered them with America's Most Outrageous French Fries. Some of our selections are fried in duck fat or dusted with an herbed seasoning, but every honoree made the list because their fries are outstanding on their own. Avocado, sweet, and yucca fries were also out, as the flavors inherent to these spuds vary too greatly from traditional fries to make it a fair fight.
The editorial staff here at The Daily Meal first nominated our own favorite French fries, and then we asked our knowledgeable City Editors to let us know which fries are considered the best in the 24 American cities we currently cover. We also added the potato batons from all of the restaurants that made last year's list of the 101 Best Burgers in America, as we figured that if a restaurant knows about good burgers, they most likely know how to churn out delicious fries as well. We then built a survey and opened it up to you, our Daily Meal readers, asking you to tell us who you think serves the best. You answered the call, and when the dust settled, we had a clear winner.
On Thursday, March 26, just three days after closing our survey, a 7-alarm fire broke out on New York's Lower East Side, on 2nd Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets, following a gas explosion. Although our offices are situated a mile away in the Flatiron District, we heard the sirens and smelled the smoke while hundreds of fire fighters raced to save four buildings that had gone up in flames, with the tragic loss of two lives. One of these buildings had housed Pommes Frites, the restaurant poised to be named the home of America's best French fries this year.
These beloved purveyors of Belgian fries are currently running a fundraising campaign to help finance a new home for their late-night munchie institution, but at the time of publication, Pommes Frites is not serving their delicious fries. So, we went on to the runner-up and kept on going.
Here, then, are the 50 best French fries in America:
50) Hodad's (San Diego)
Photo Credit: flickr/Loren Javier
While much has been made of Hodad's burgers, their fries are standouts, too. The fries are wedge-cut, seasoned, served piping hot, and are crispy, golden, and perfectly cooked.
49) Poe's Tavern (Sullivan's Island, S.C. Atlantic Beach, Fla.)
Both locations of this restaurant serve classic casual dishes that are best accompanied by French fries: gourmet burgers, chicken sliders, fish tacos, and seafood sandwiches. However, their hand cut fries are good enough to stand on their own. If you're near the South Carolina outpost, be sure to pop in and try them with Poe's Original Fry Sauce, which is primarily a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise, and vinegar.
48) The Blind Tiger Pub (Charleston, S.C.)
Photo Credit: The Blind Tiger Pub
A step inside The Blind Tiger Pub may reveal a typical dive restaurant, but if you're lucky enough to get a table in the backyard patio, you'll get to enjoy a much more pleasant garden atmosphere. The fries here are thick-cut, crispy, and golden-brown are offered as an accompanying side to the many burgers and sandwiches and are also an option on the sides menu.
47) Becks Prime (Houston)
Becks Prime, a regional Texas chain, offers fresh-cut fries made from Idaho potatoes. These deliciously classic fries are simple, crisp, and available with both chili and cheese as toppings.
46) db Bistro Moderne (New York City)
Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne serves skinny, shoestring-style fries. They are well salted and piled high in a silver cone, and are accompanied by a trio of sauces: mayonnaise with horseradish, spicy Dijon mustard, and ketchup.
If you’re not looking for a smothered treat and instead looking for some fries with a more flavorful punch, check out these herb salted Parmesan French fries for just that! You’ll be frying these on the stovetop although you can take this idea right to the oven with some of your baked fries as well, so don’t worry too much if you’re a bit scared of that hot, boiling oil.
And this French fry creation is everything you love about pizza but made with the delicious crispness of a perfect fried potato (hence, the nachos above). Beef, pepperoni, cheese and more go into the making of this fries spread. Of course, you can personalize them to your own liking – Hawaiian style with ham and pineapple, classic cheese with lots of marinara and more!
1. The Breslin Bar & Dining Room (New York City)
This funky gastropub from chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman has perfected the classic British-style chip, and in the process has also perfected the French fry. The fries here, identified on the menu as “thrice-cooked chips,” are fried, well, three times, resulting not in an overcooked fry but one that has about twice the “crust” of other fries, encasing a perfectly cooked, creamy potato center. Thick-cut and addictive, they pair well with the cumin mayo that they’re served alongside, but they’re good enough to eat on their own. These fries are unlike any others: while still maintaining their basic DNA, they don’t need duck fat or truffles to stand out, keep the potato at the center of the action, and are the best in America for the second year running.
The capital's version of a hot dog is called the half-smoke, and it's a more substantial sausage than a frankfurter. It's typically made with half beef and half pork (hence the name), smoked, and then griddled before serving. The most famous place to grab one is Ben's Chili Bowl, where they top it with mustard, onions and homemade chili sauce.
Bought some Campanelle because boxes of pasta were cheap, and it looked neat.
I looked for a campanelle recipe online, & this popped up:
I love all of these ingredients, but I may lose the onion or substitute garlic…
Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 BOX Barilla Campanelle
- 1/3 CUP Italian Pancetta, Julienne
- 1/4 CUP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 CUP White Onion, Chopped
- 1 POUND Butternut Squash, Peeled, Cubed
- TO TASTE Salt
- TO TASTE Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
- 1 SPRIG Fresh Rosemary
- 1 1/2 CUP Chicken Broth
- TO TASTE Balsamic Vinegar
- SAUTÉ pancetta in a large skillet over medium- high heat until crispy. Drain excess fat.Set aside.
- HEAT olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions and rosemary, sauté until golden.
- ADD the butternut squash and the chicken broth. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the squash gets soft.
- DISCARD the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Process half of the sauce in the blender until smooth. Thin sauce with more chicken broth if desired. Return sauce to pan.
- COOK pasta according to directions and toss with the sauce.
- TOP the pasta with pancetta , drizzle with Balsamic vinegar.
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Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar
You lucky devil. You just found recipes for all your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV Host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home for less money than eating out. Todd’s recipes are easy to follow and fun to make! Find your favorite copycat recipes from Chi-Chi's here. New recipes added every week.
- American Coney Island
- Auntie Anne's
- Bahama Breeze
- Baja Fresh
- Barney's Beanery
- Big Boy
- BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
- Bob Evans
- Bonefish Grill
- Boston Market
- Buca di Beppo
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Burger King
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Capital Grille
- Carl's Jr.
- Carnegie Deli
- Cheeseburger in Paradise
- Cheesecake Factory
- Claim Jumper
- Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
- Cosmic Wings
- Cracker Barrel
- Dairy Queen
- Del Taco
- Dunkin' Donuts
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- El Pollo Loco
Chi-Chi's cofounder Marno McDermott named his restaurant chain after his wife Chi Chi. He claims the name is quite memorable as it translates in Spanish into something like "hooters" in English. The Minneapolis Star quoted McDermott in 1977 shortly after the first Chi-Chi's opened in Richfield, Minneapolis, "English-speaking patrons remember it because it's catchy. And the Spanish-speaking customers are amused. Either way, it doesn't hurt business."
One of the side dishes included with several of the entrees at Chi-Chi's is the Sweet Corn Cake. It's sort of like cornbread, but much softer, almost like corn pudding. You'll find it goes well with just about any Mexican dish. The recipe requires a bain marie, or water bath—a baking technique commonly used to keep custards from cracking or curdling. This is done by baking the corn cake in another larger pan filled with a little hot water.
Try more of my Chi-Chi's copycat recipes here.
Menu Description: "Our specialty! French Vanilla ice cream with a crunchy, crispy cinnamon coating. Served with your choice of honey, chocolate or strawberry topping."
Cooks at Chi-Chi's chain of Mexican restaurants are instructed to not memorize recipes for the dishes they make. Management says each chef is required to consult the company cookbooks every time they whip up a meal, so that each dish tastes exactly the same in every Chi-Chi's any time of the day. Perhaps it's that practice that has made Chi-Chi's the largest Mexican restaurant chain in the country.
This crispy-coated ice cream sundae is not exactly fried as you may expect by the name. The scoop of vanilla ice cream is actually rolled in cornflake crumbs that have been flavored with sugar and cinnamon, giving it the appearance and texture of being fried. It's a simple idea that tastes just great, and is well worth the try. Chi-Chi's calls this their "specialty" and claims it's the most requested dessert item on the menu.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
Menu Description: "Grilled steak or chicken wrapped in a flour tortilla with cheese and sauteed vegetables. Then the burrito is basted with spicy barbecue sauce and grilled again. Served with Spanish rice and sweet corn cake."
This dish burst with the Southwestern flavors that have become so popular lately. Southwestern dishes like fajitas and specialty burritos are the latest rage in the restaurant industry, and now more chains than ever are creating their own spicy, Southwestern-style-goodies.
I think you'll really enjoy this one. Chi-Chi's has taken fajita-style grilled beef, rolled it up like a burrito, grilled it again, and then smothered it with smoky barbecue sauce. This dish has quickly become a favorite menu item at Chi-Chi's and a favorite for people tiring of the same old Mexican food. Fire up the grill and give this recipe a try.
Menu Description: "Seasoned beef, refried beans and cheese."
Marno McDermott was a successful Minneapolis restaurateur, opening a chain of Mexican restaurants in the seventies called Zapata's against the advice of skeptics who said he would never be able to sell Mexican food to the large population of Scandinavians in the area. Marno proved them wrong then, and once again in 1976, when he partnered with Max McGee, a former Green Bay Packer football player, to open the first Chi-Chi's in Richfield, Minnesota. The restaurant was built inside a deserted Kroger grocery store and became instantly famous for the intensely flavored and larger-than-usual portions of food. To keep volume high, Chi-Chi's designed a custom computer-driven system that clocks every aspect of service from the time each server enters an order to when the order is placed in front of the customers. Special attention was given to the design of the menu items as well, with each dish taking no more than nine minutes to prepare, even during the rush hours.
At the restaurant you can order the Nachos Grande with beef, chicken, seafood or a combination. This recipe will show you how to make the beef and chicken versions.
A deserted Kroger grocery store in Richfield, Minnesota, was the site for the first Chi-Chi's in 1976. That was the year restaurateur Marno McDermott got together with ex-Green Bay Packer football player Max McGee to open the first of what would soon become a growing chain of Mexican food restaurants. Today, with around 100 restaurants found mostly in the Midwestern and Eastern states, Chi-Chi's has become famous for its large portions of food, and for the expression, "don't touch the plate, it's very hot!"
Alongside many of the entrees served at the restaurant is this sweet side dish. It's sort of like a combination of custard and cornbread, with corn and cornmeal in it. But the original is loaded with butter. That means if you eat just a very small scoop of the tasty corn cake you'll be putting away around a dozen grams of fat. By using light butter or margarine and substituting milk for the heavy cream, we knock those fat grams down to about half of the real thing served in the restaurant. Yet the flavor and texture is just as good.
Serving size–1 scoop
Calories per serving–125 (Original–185)
Fat per serving–6.5g (Original–13g)
At one time the ice cream in this popular dessert was actually fried. A scoop of ice cream was rolled in breading, then refrozen. Just before serving, the ice cream would be flash-fried in oil for a few seconds, and then served immediately, still frozen in the middle. Considering that the nonfried version served at the restaurant chain still has around 34 grams of fat per serving, we can assume the fried version would weigh in with even more.
Now we're going to take those grams down even further—by an amazing 80 percent! We'll do that by using fat-free ice cream and fat-free flour tortillas. We'll also cut way down on the fat by spraying the tortillas with a light coating of cooking spray and then baking them, rather than using the traditional frying method. Use a light touch on that whipped cream can, and you've got a very low-fat dessert that just has to be experienced.
Serving size–1 dessert
Calories per serving–371 (Original–611)
Fat per serving–7g (Original–34g)