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THE BEST: Fries


Fat Guy
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Thanks again, Irwin. Curious if out paths have crossed.

Knew Kroc and met Simplot. Both cut out of the same mold, which is why Kroc took so quickly to Simplot and the rest is the history that you describe.

Some further questions.

Measuring Brix. I know how to measure the brix of soft drinks, but how does a restaurant do that with potatoes? And if you happen across the brix for potatoes....

Yukon Golds. Having spent my formative years with McDonald's I'm a believer in long french fries. Not shoestring though. My problem with Yukon Gold potatoes is that they are short and round, resulting in short French Fries and a lot of scrap pieces. My issue with the Belgian places in the US is that they fry up everything. The frites I've remember from a couple of trips through Belgium were nice and long.

Rubbens Fryers. What makes them superior? Is it that they cook small batches? An internet search gives the impression that they are expensive - maybe 4 or times more than a heavy duty Keating or Pitco. Is it worth it / necessary for a restaurant that wants to serve a top quality, twice cooked french fry?

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Yukon Golds.  Having spent my formative years with McDonald's I'm a believer in long french fries.  Not shoestring though.  My problem with Yukon Gold potatoes is that they are short and round, resulting in short French Fries and a lot of scrap pieces.  My issue with the Belgian places in the US is that they fry up everything.  The frites I've remember from a couple of trips through Belgium were nice and long.

This is absolutely fascinating, gentlemen! No wonder most supermarket potatos don't taste like much, at least in comparison with what I've been getting at the local farmer's market.

Is it possible that the Yukon Gold's, because they are so popular, have been hybridized to be a rounder potato (as in it may be easier to harvest, bag, or whatever)? I suppose I should do some research on the Yukon Gold.

Edited to add: I should also mention that one summer between college years, I worked at a frozen french fry factory, cutting bad spots out of potatos after they'd been through the chemical peel prior to being cut and frozen. It was such a nasty experience that it was 20 years before I'd eat a frozen french fry, and to this day, a frozen fry still causes a shudder. I was mighty relieved to be laid off due to lack of potatos. I then went to the Bird's Eye factory in Southern MN for the corn pack. We did a lot of heavy drinking that summer.

Edited by snowangel (log)
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Spicy fries at The Red Cat or The Harrison (same owners) with huge shavings of fresh parmesan on top, or plain crisp fries at Mermaid Inn (also same owners).

Also, there are awesome fries at Westville on west 4th.

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Casting my vote for B. Frites, here, with Tartine right up there next to 'em. OH man, Tartine's fries are so incredible. The mere thought of their moules frites makes me salivate uncontrollably. :wub:

Edited to just say that the BEST fries I have ever had, bar none, were the ones Sam made a couple of years ago. He fried them in ...goose fat.

K, wiping drool off the keyboard.

Edited by bergerka (log)

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Hmmmm. So much concern over process on a food mainly consumed when shithoused on hooch. Oh well. A foodie Im not.

Pomme Pomme over on Houston just north of Ludlow does the Belgian thing, and after a night on the turntables at Motorcity, nothing satisfies like a grande at 4:30 in the A.M. with a choice of several sauces. I always let the counter person pick em. I had something with olive in it. Blech. Everything else was good, but alas I was indeed shithoused, so I dont know what I was eating.

I agree too with the previous sentiment that the waflle fries at Crif's are awesome as well.

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My two favorite fry places these days are Steak Frites and Edward's (across from The Odeon). The burgers at each of these places are quite good (maybe not Burger Club material, but I like 'em), but I find the fries to be really good. Long fries, slightly browned. Yum.

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  • 2 months later...

Decided to check this thread out because of its recent mention on the "Best Buffalo Wings in NYC" thread, and was surprised to note that my favorite frites in town weren't already mentioned (at least I didn't see it in a quick scan of the posts....):

Cafe de Bruxelles, in the West Village. Truly outstanding frites (I haven't been there in a few years, but I trust it hasn't changed much)--certainly much better than the ones I had at Les Halles (downtown).

Petite Abeille also does frites pretty damn well.

The B. Frites on Broadway @ 52nd St. really is a pretty fair imitation of the frites stands I tried in Belgium.

My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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Tout Va Bien has great fries.

Freds also has awesome fries they at sort of like thin steak fries. They come in a paper cone with a few sauces.

2nd ave deli has fries that I thin rival Nathans.

What do you think the worst fries are?

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  • 1 year later...

Although the last post in "Best Fries" is old, I'd like to add an update. B. Frites is now closed and they were great!

My favorite fries are now from Keens Steakhouse on 36th Street, they taste double fried, and are both creamy and crispy. The good thing is they have a pub as well as a restaurant, so you don't have to have an expensive dinner to try them.

Emma Peel

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On three visits, I've always found the fries at Orsay beyond reproach. I haven't been there since Feau was brought in, but I can't imagine that the presence of a higher-profile chef would (necessarily) ruin this key element of the restaurant's appeal.

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The best fries I have ever had are at The Grapevine in Brookside in Tulsa. They cook them in olive oil, then top them with blue cheese and chopped applewood bacon and toss them in the salamander until the cheese starts to melt. YUMM.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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i'm not a big fan of french fries in general but my favorites are at 7A a 24 hour restaurant in the east village at the corner of east 7th street and ave A. I think they're seasoned or something to set them apart from typical fries.

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I just realized no-one has mentioned the garlic fries at Pampa. I haven't been there since July 2003 (and due for a return some time in the next couple of months), but I really enjoy those.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Yukon Gold and Maris Piper are different varieties

Does anyone know where I can get some "Rubbens Fryer" seed potatos for the UK?

Bintje is also a separate variety from both. Yukon Golds were developed at the University of Guelph and received a distribution license in 1980. Bintje and Maris Piper have been around much longer (I know Bintjes have been around since the early part of the 20th century.)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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had the frites at les halles for lunch yesterday. amazing.

the color is something i've just never seen in fries before.

plus they were still crisp after sitting in a pool of jus for over half an hour.

for sentimental value, pommes frites on 2nd ave comes in second. to respond to what was said previously, i absolutely remember them being blanched in oil and fried again to order. but this was three to four years ago.

Edited by mdhl (log)
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I will never forget my first experience, close on fifteen years ago, with Tartine and their frites, which at the time were cooked in pure beef tallow (they have since, I understand, had to abandon this practice due to cost, but no doubt someone can confirm or dispute this). Mind you, both my and my friend's dishes already came with a heavy heaping (and the butter saturated sauces with our respective entrees didn't hurt) but we were both so blown away that we ordered another platefull. Sex should only be that good. I distinctly remember us both pounding the table, gasping for air, tears in our eyes -- think Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." Of course we were both sick for days afterward. Since then, either I've become more jaded (impossible to conceive, I know) or they actually have altered the process, but their frites don't produce quite the same effect any more (no doubt much to the relief of Tartine's staff). Still the best that I can think of in NY, though.

On a side-note: the fries at 107 West (Broadway and 107th Street) are outstanding, particularly given that I usually have them delivered and therefore not right out of the fryer: thin, crispy, deep golden brown. Don't know how they do it.

Food, glorious food!

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I've heard Pommes Frites are the best Belgian fries in NYC, but this is just hearsay.  Have you tried 'em, FG?  I've also read many times that Les Halles and Pastis have incredible fries.

You're talking about the place on Second Ave. just off St. Marks place? Their fries are pretty good, yes, but they're only fried once and therefore don't have that great balance that real Belgian fries get from being cooked in two different temperatures of oil.

I agree that both Balthazar and Pastis have very good fries.

This is my first time posting on the site, even though I have read many of the forums for a while. I guess I have to jump in sometime, so here I go....

FG,

What kind of balance are you talking about? Is it the texture that you yield when you fry twice at two different temperatures. The golden crunch on the surface and the creamy interior? I have never had Belgian fries, maybe that would help.

Have you tried fries cooked in horse fat, I have read that it yields the best results.

I am fairly confident in writing that Belgians love their horses\...horse meat that is.

Maybe the horse fat is the trick? Why is it that you think the fry at two different tempetures have a balance?

The best fries I have had were cooked in goosefat, at my friends house. Perfection!!!!

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