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Favorite fries?

Two reasons for posting.

1) Where can I get get the best fries around?

2) Are the fries at Sel de la Terre still as good as the absolutely delicious rosemary-scented ones I had a few years back?

Thanks.

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  1. I really don't care that much about fries, but for some reason I am compelled to order them whenever I get anything from Urban Gourmet in Ball Sq. Somerville. They must cook something else that's super delicious in the same fryolator. They are crispy outside, soft inside, and have a trace of garlic to them. Although, I've gotta say that otherwise, Urban Gourmet seems to be slipping a bit this summer, which is a shame since it's my local go-to place. I think the owners have been out of the kitchen more and the service shows (cold grilled veggies when they're ordinarily freshly grilled or at least heated, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

      I try to stay away from fries, but from recent memory...I'll choose the sweet potato fries at Firefly's in Marlborough. I haven't been to the Framingham location.

    2. Fries at the North Street Grille in the North End are excellent and plentiful.

      3 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug

        Second these, and they're also sprinkled with rosemary.

        1. re: Rubee

          I generally try to avoid eating fries anywhere - but those Rosemary fries are addictive. I sometimes order a menu item at NSG based on the fact that it doesn't come with fries! How sick is that?

          1. re: Northender

            I do the same but for a different reason, I can't stand smelling like a frylator afterwards, they need to do something about the ventillation in that joint.

      2. The fries at River Gods in Cambridgeport are very, very good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: newhound

          I second River Gods! I was just there last night gorging on them, with their fantastic roast-garlic aioli.

          28 Degrees' fries aren't too bad, either, though their aioli could use more flavor. And the fries themselves are a bit too thin and underdone for my liking. Just preference, I guess.

        2. Cajun Cheese Fries at the Cambridge Deli and Grill (on River Street, across from River Gods). So good, but you'll have to wait until September 5 -- the deli is on vacation. Frowny face.

          1. Plough and Stars on Mass ave in Cambridge has a basket big enough for 3-4 people with some homeade aioli deliciousness for 4.50. The basket and a draft guiness is the meal of champs. Stay away from fries? puh-lease!

            2 Replies
            1. re: wisconsingal

              Have to say that I found the fries at Plough and Stars mediocre, at best. They tasted like frozen to me.

              1. re: bella_sarda

                Lately I've found the Plough's fries a bit under-fried. The first few times I visited after they reopened they were really great. They still taste nice and potato-ey -- but are pale and not crisp enough. They didn't seem pre-frozen to me, although they might have been. I think I'll start asking for them well-done and see what happens.

            2. Bluecheese and bacon fries with ranch dressing at the bar at Gargoyle's. Sure, there are actual naked potatoes out there that are better, but the smothering is just too good to pass up.

              1. 400 Highland in Davis Square has great fries. They're thin and crunchy and dusted with herbs. Very similar to Sel de la Terre.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pamalamb

                  400 Highland is out of business and the space is for lease.

                  1. re: gini

                    Wow, that was quick. Too bad, I enjoyed their basil ginger gimlets.

                2. East Coast Grill is a good standby combine that with portuguese fries from any of a half dozen places to make Cambridge St my vote for fries (the Druid also has respectable, although nothing like twice-fried fries).

                  I also do like Sel de la Terra and have had good fries at the West Side Lounge

                  You can't beat fries at the beach too. Not my favorate for clams, but probably the better hand cut fries I have had on a beach around here is Hampton Beach.

                  1 Reply
                  1. If you're willing to pay a bit more, the fries at Spire are honesttogod, the best ones I've ever eaten in my entire life. Like, I think I moaned just a little bit every time I took a bite. Perfectly salted and herbed, little bits of onion and whatnot sprinkled around. Go, go get some now! And bring me some back!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: iheartveggies

                      Quick question about the fries at Spire. Did you have these recently? and if not, do you know if they are still on the menu after Gabriel Frasca left?

                    2. Now, feel free to start throwing things at me, but....the Cheese and Bacon fries at Outback are awesome. A giant portion served with ranch dressing. Wash it down with a beer or three and it's quite a sinful way to spend a happy hour.

                      1. McDonald's fries are amazing and I'd say that they are the best I've ever had.

                        The fries at the Stockyard used to be very good, although last time the thin, nicely cut fries were replaced by undercooked fried potato wedges. The waiter advised that the "real" fries sometimes make a comeback, it depends on the night.

                        Cabot's in Newton has great fries --- they may be frozen, but they are unique and delicious.

                        I am decidedly unimpressed by everything else at Redbones in Somerville, but their fries are outstanding.

                        The sweet potato fries at Bartley's in Cambridge are excellent, although the onion rings are even better.

                        I'm not sure whether all TGI Friday's restaurants do this, but the hash browns served with breakfast in the Providence Airport were the best I can remember having.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: lipoff

                          The McDonald's fries were good until they quit frying them in beef tallow in the early 90s. Now they're just fast food fries with beef extract flavoring that are cooked a little longer than usual so they can be ok once in a while. Too many just make you feel gross.

                          I had the fries with my Reuben at Cabot's about two weeks ago. I thought the whole meal screamed Bickford's (except my friend said his milkshake was very good).

                          Don't get me started on the rings at Bartley's.

                          1. re: Dax

                            I used to live a stones throw from Cabots and tried to avoid eating anything there but ice cream. Food just isnt very good.

                            Johnny in Newton Center used to have good sweet potato fries , not sure how they are these days, I have not been in years.

                            You can still get a good batch at McDs once in a while but it seems to be a rarity. If you get a fresh hot crisp batch with enough salt, then they are great.

                            I love the fries at fairs where they cut the potato right there in the trailer and dump them in the hot oil. Just had some a few weeks ago at the Lowell Folk Festival. So hot when i got them, that I couldnt hold the container and had to put it down.

                            1. re: hargau

                              Rest assured, I had them about a month ago. Those sweet potato fries at Johnny's are still as good as you remember them.

                            2. re: Dax

                              Try the rings at The Paddock in Somerville. They make Bartley's seem like Durkee's.

                          2. I've got 2 favorites : Halfway Cafe (in Watertown, Marlboro and Dedham) and Iguana Cantina in Waltham.

                            For fancy fries, the truffle parmesean fries at Sorrellina were out of this world.

                            1. Eliminating Sel de la Terre's rosemary fries from the discussion, and just debating the merits of plain, old salted fries, I have to put in a vote for the ones at Porter's near the Garden. Truly outstanding representative of the thin-crispy-salty-school of fries.

                              1. Has anybody had the fries from the chain Maoz? I had them in Barcelona every night with the garlic mayonaise and still crave them all the time.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: gbednarz

                                  I devoured huge quantities of Maoz fries and falafel while I was in Europe... is there a branch opening up in Boston?

                                  1. re: Devourer

                                    I doubt it, I was just looking for support on how good those fries were.

                                2. My favorite fries are at Casablanca, I like them on the crunchy side and these are just fantastic.

                                  1. Love the handcut fries at Joe Sent Me in Cambridge.

                                    1. Don't forget the great thin cut fries that come with the cheeseburger at the Bristol Lounge.

                                      1. I have really enjoyed the sweet potato fries at Cambridge Common.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette

                                          And they have a tater tot basket. Can't beat a tatertot basket for breakfast.

                                          1. re: gini

                                            I love tater tots, I might have to make the trip for those. I have to say, I never thought the Tremont 647 tots were all they were cracked up to be. Our cafeteria at work has pretty good basic ones in the morning (too bad I'm not in the main building anymore).

                                        2. O'sullivan's makes a great fry. Different but good.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Redhohoho

                                            Interesting. In the thread that I started yesterday about O'Sullivan's ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... ), most O'Sullivan's fans claim that they don't care for the fries. So when I went for the first time last night (see my review in that thread), I subbed o'rings for fries.

                                            1. re: Blumie

                                              That's b/c they don't know what they are talking about:) Just kidding! Like I said - they are differnt (their onion rings are good too). They aren't "normal" fries. They get these huge potatoes and cut them into pretty big slices. They fry them (I think) but not until crispy. They are great w/ vinegar on them. As I said - if you are looking for crispy they may not be for you. I haven't been in a long time so they could have gone down hill - not sure.

                                              1. re: Redhohoho

                                                No they are still the same. I like them for what they are but they're not the best "french fries" in town by any means.

                                                It seems to me they don't rinse them after slicing so they often tend to lump together resulting in terribly undercooked potatoes at times. When they are separated and fried the right amount of time, they're salty and delicious.

                                                1. re: Dax

                                                  I liked them well enough when I got them recently. However, I got them as cheese fries once which wasn't so good. It was these huge slabs of fries, stuck together, coated in shredded cheese--some were soft and some undercooked and tough. There aren't many fries I can't eat, but I could barely put a dent in those.

                                                  1. re: Dax

                                                    I never met a fry I didn't like. Honestly the BEST fries I have ever eaten are in Amsterdam. I recommend going:)

                                            2. Any one know where you can get "chips" like they do them in the Chip shops in England? Thick cut and not pre frozen, just barely crisp on the outside and slightly firm on the inside. The kind that go well with a dash of vinegar?

                                              As far as the french frites go, I am not a fan but Dante does a pretty good job of them.

                                              McDonald's fries? Is there actually any potatoe in there or is it just a salty grease stick?

                                              1. I do love SDLT's rosemary frites. In general, the French places offering steak frites do nice, skinny, twice-fried ones. I think the technique is to use a lower oil temperature to cook the potato through on the first pass, drain, then cook again at a higher oil temperature to brown and crisp. Good examples at Brasserie Jo, Beacon Hill Bistro, Petit Robert Bistro (I and II), Pierrot Bistrot, and Les Zygomates. Good frites at Caffe Umbra and Union, too.

                                                For another fried potato, I like the Portuguese style ones (chip shaped) at Casa Portugal, O Cantinho, and the Sunset Cafe.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                  I seem to recall that the fries that come with Central Kitchen's steak frites are pretty damn good.

                                                2. Matt Murphy's with their delicious homemade ketchup is a always a good bet.