It’s hard to refuse a french fry, but some are more irresistible than others. These nine places meet (and exceed) our high fry standards. The humble potato has never had a higher calling.
Basil Mediterranean Bistro (1): This Corner spot with a novel-length menu offers fries that are crispy, generously salted and dangerously delicious dipped into hummus.
Boar’s Head Inn (2): Perhaps it’s the tucked-away feel of having lunch in the Old Mill Room, or the mini bottles of condiments, but the french fries with their knobbly outsides and fluffy insides are well worth the visit.
Boylan Heights (3): If you’re on the sweet potato side of the fry camp, you can’t miss this gourmet burger bar’s piling of sweet and salty gems.
Five Guys (4): While burger-lovers divide over this growing chain’s main course, they unite over the fries—rustically cut and plentifully served in a grease-absorbing brown paper sack.
Guadalajara (5): Parents craving margaritas and enchiladas swear by this Mexican restaurant’s very American fries that please even the pickiest of kids.
The Local (6): The paper cone-wrapped fries at this upscale casual Belmont restaurant hold their own next to its sublime manchego, caramelized onion and bacon-topped burger.
Petit Pois (7): This Downtown bistro shows that the French really do make the best fries, especially when nestled alongside a hanger steak topped with caramelized shallots and herb butter.
Sticks (8): You can feel good about ordering the tasty fries from this kebob shop that skewers up healthful food fast—just be sure to save some fire-roasted red pepper sauce for dipping.
The X-Lounge (9): This swanky lounge makes Canadian mouths happy with “poutine,” Quebec’s staple snack that loads fresh cheese curds and beef gravy over a stack of fries.—Megan Headley
Fry, baby, fry
We asked Horse & Hound’s chef Luther Fedora for a lesson on what makes the fries at his W. Main Street restaurant so completely irresistible, and how, if we dare, to recreate them at home.
Spud choice is most important. Fedora uses the Idaho potato (a.k.a. Russet), favoring its consistent flavor and texture from batch to batch. He hand cuts the potatoes and then double fries them in soybean oil until golden brown. The first fry cooks the potato through at a lower oil temperature, and the second fry crisps up the exterior at a higher oil temperature. Fedora keeps his seasoning simple with just salt and pepper, letting the potato’s flavor take center stage. He admits that making great fries at home isn’t easy (all the more reason to leave it to experts like him), but having the right tools will help. He recommends a mandolin for making uniform cuts and a deep pot with a clip-on thermometer for deep frying.
Meet French Fry’s cousins, Potato Wedge and Tater Tot. These crispy alternatives to their slender relative kick it up a notch.
Originating from Germany and sometimes called jojos, potato wedges have a long, tasty history. Unpeeled potatoes dipped in spices are roasted to perfection, while more adventurous cooks fry ’em up crunchy. The classic way to inhale jojos is with fried chicken, baked beans and slaw. Locals know Wayside Chicken has been serving up the best of all four for over 20 years.
All hail the tot! These potato-ey nuggets, created and trademarked in 1953 by Ore-Ida, are a TV dinner staple and Napoleon Dynamite’s favorite, emerging as the newest trend in fried sides (“Totchos” anyone?). Sure, you’ve had sweet potato fries, but sweet potato tots? Grab ’em at The Downtown Hotdog Company (right).
Did you know?
Of the major fast food joints, Chick-Fil-A serves up fries with the lowest sodium count, according to a comparison from WebMD. When you want a little more potato and a bit less “fry,” the waffle fries at this relatively wholesome chicken chain fit the bill.