The French Fryar

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Pommes Frites

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Pommes Frites

Neighborhood: East Village

As my first post in NY, I thought it’d only be right if I paid homage to the only place dedicated to frying potatoes into glorious small bites. Finally, a place that’s doing their part to give back to the greater good. Many of the greatest thinkers of our time have spoken of these fries.

I believe it was Sisqo who said it best:

"This thing right here.
Is lettin’ all the ladies know.
What guys talk about.
You know.
The finer things in life,
Ha ha ha.
Check it out.”

So true, Sisqo, so true.

Or perhaps it was the underground group “N’Sync,” who put it so eloquently in one of their most popular writings:

"You’re all I ever wanted,
You’re all I ever needed (yeAhhh),
So tell me what to do now ‘cause, iiii IIIIII IIIIII IIIIIIII, I want you back.”

Lastly, unrelated, but a good friend of mine once wrote:

"A na na na na na na nana,
Na na na na nana,
Gettin’ jiggy wit it
Repeat 3x.”

I really have nothing else to say. All this place does is make french fries and it’s awesome. And there’s literally 28 dipping sauces. You might be asking, “But Mike, why wouldn’t you get all the dipping sauces?!” To which I would respond by posting this picture…

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Texture: 5

Seasoning: 4 (there’s a lack of seasoning, but I assume that’s intentional to let the sauces do the trick)

Freshness: 4

Crispiness: 5

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Ratings Scale

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It’s NY Time

You know when you start a blog, and then get bored posting, but then get inspired again because you’re in a new city with new french fry possibilities? No? Oh, um, ok, cool. Well, that’s what happened. Sorry for the delay. Let’s do this.

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Happy National French Fry Day

As we all take time off to reflect, think about your family, and those who have provided french fries for you in your life. Big ups to all of the potato farmers who have helped us get to such an auspicious occasion.

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permalink Cliff’s Edge aka Secret Backyard Treehouse Restaurant
Neighborhood: Echo Park
So here’s the deal. These fries were built around their dippability; they’re paired with a Gorgonzola dipping sauce. Creamy (yet thin/drippy), melty, fresh Gorgonzola sauce. I’m not even a big fan of Gorgonzola and straight up, I want to bathe in this stuff. The fries themselves were ok (not that fresh, nothing special at all), but they get mad points for going next level with dippability.
Texture: 3
Seasoning: 3.5
Freshness: 2
Crispiness: 4
(Every time I use this rating scale I just think about Drew Carey hosting on Who’s Line Is It Anyway? when he says it’s “the show where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.” Big ups.)
Ratings Scale

Cliff’s Edge aka Secret Backyard Treehouse Restaurant

Neighborhood: Echo Park

So here’s the deal. These fries were built around their dippability; they’re paired with a Gorgonzola dipping sauce. Creamy (yet thin/drippy), melty, fresh Gorgonzola sauce. I’m not even a big fan of Gorgonzola and straight up, I want to bathe in this stuff. The fries themselves were ok (not that fresh, nothing special at all), but they get mad points for going next level with dippability.

Texture: 3

Seasoning: 3.5

Freshness: 2

Crispiness: 4

(Every time I use this rating scale I just think about Drew Carey hosting on Who’s Line Is It Anyway? when he says it’s “the show where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.” Big ups.)

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Ratings Scale

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permalink Rustic Canyon
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
I’ll describe it via made up website url: http://www.superfreshbutsuperboringfries.org/thatburgerwasabsolutelyridiculousthough
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Tavern

Tavern fries

Tavern

Neighborhood: Brentwood

Finally, a place that’s doing their part to give back to the greater good. It makes you feel like you’re home again…because we all grew up in households that made french fries. It makes me really, really happy when fancier place care about their fries (and doesn’t overdo it). But freal, these were awesome- really simple, but really good: sea salt + fresh rosemary (that they grow there).

Texture: 5

Seasoning: 4.6

Freshness: 4

Crispiness: 5


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Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken

Honey's Kettle Fries

Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken

Neighborhood: Culver City

Hmmm. The random light cajunesque seasoning really makes these. I do like them, but they’re not the best, and they’re consistently not crispy. Ever. Wack city.

Do NOT order them to-go though- they get crazy limp/soggs.

A mini-rant on ordering fries to go; I don’t really know any place with good takeaway fries. Sadly most places don’t think about this- with a foam or plastic to go box, your fries are dead within 1-2 minutes of closure.

Those who throw them in paper bags are the smartest, but oddly, not that many do. There are thousands and thousands of fries that die everyday, and with your help, we can make a change. Please check out www.helpthefries.org for more info.

Let’s see…

Texture: 3

Seasoning: 4.6

Freshness: 2

Crispiness: 0.7

Ample side grease from being relatively close to amazing tempura-esque fried chicken: 5.0


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Umami Burger

Umami Fries

Umami Burger

Neighborhood: Mid-Wilshire

These reminded me of legos. Legos didn’t taste good, nor were these fries brightly colored with bumps, but they were the most perfectly rectangular fries I’ve ever had. This is neither a good nor a bad thing, it’s just interesting to note. Believe me, a lot of people think this is interesting- I have like 2.5-3 readers now. So, Umami used to do this awesome thing where they’d pile up their steak fries like building blocks- but they no longer do it. They changed the fries/presentation. So shady/damn economy. They sort of make up for it with their BYOB policy. But, they fail on a couple levels;

1st fail: They only offer a house ketchup, with literally a spoon sized portion. Now a LOT of people have been emailing in asking me my take on this- I don’t like it at all. First off, if you’re going to only offer your house ketchup, give us more than a spoonful (you can ask for more but the service is consistently shitty). And second, at least make it good. It tasted fresh, but I wanted my heinz. There’s something about that sugary/fake taste that’s oh so right. I may or may not bring my own heinz with my booze next time.

2nd fail: They literally give you 9 fries.

3rd fail: They literally give you 9 fries. Seriously, fuck you guys. Since they don’t come with the burgers, this is portion you get when you order it as a side. A SIDE. There is no reason for this.

Oh yeah, the fries themselves- always crispy, super simple, nothing special. Well salted. Bastards.


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25 Degrees


25 Degrees
Neighborhood: Hollywood

Can we just sit back and take a moment to recognize the fact that all meals are greatly improved with fried goods of any kind? Seriously though. 8 words: French fry-encased hot dog on a stick. To some, nasty, to me, intriguing. Instead of making us reach down to take a break from eating the hot dog, on a stick (because that’s not convenient enough), you get the best of both worlds in one bite. Technology these days. This has nothing to do with 25 degrees, I just wanted to celebrate fried foods.

25 Degrees is money in the french fry bank. Just had thyme & sea salt, but the simplicity really complemented my drunken desires very nicely.

Here are 4 random french fry attributes that I am rating these fries on. I won’t average them out to get the final score. French fries should never be associated with math. Ever. I just felt like breaking it down.

Texture: 3.8
Seasoning: 4.2
Freshness: 3.1
Crispiness: 3.6


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