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Favorite fries?

DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 03:27 PM

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?


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  1. v
    vanna f.k.a. babette RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 03:49 PM

    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
      Joshua B RE: vanna f.k.a. babette Aug 8, 2006 03:55 PM

      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. beetlebug RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 04:40 PM

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

      3 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug
        Rubee RE: beetlebug Aug 8, 2006 07:07 PM

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

        1. re: Rubee
          Northender RE: Rubee Aug 8, 2006 09:28 PM

          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
            phatchris RE: Northender Aug 8, 2006 10:25 PM

            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. n
        newhound RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 05:26 PM

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: newhound
          Prav RE: newhound Aug 8, 2006 05:52 PM

          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. s
          swans RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 06:29 PM

          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. w
            wisconsingal RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 06:38 PM

            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
              bella_sarda RE: wisconsingal Aug 8, 2006 06:56 PM

              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
                MichaelB RE: bella_sarda Aug 8, 2006 09:07 PM

                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. gini RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 06:45 PM

              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. pamalamb RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 06:56 PM

                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
                  gini RE: pamalamb Aug 8, 2006 07:01 PM

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

                  1. re: gini
                    pamalamb RE: gini Aug 9, 2006 01:37 AM

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

                2. itaunas RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 07:02 PM

                  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. re: itaunas
                    Snowflake RE: itaunas Aug 9, 2006 06:57 PM

                    The Druid gets my vote.

                  2. iheartveggies RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 07:29 PM

                    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
                      DoubleMan RE: iheartveggies Aug 8, 2006 07:35 PM

                      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. d
                      Dreamworks RE: DoubleMan Aug 8, 2006 10:57 PM

                      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. lipoff RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 12:15 AM

                        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
                          Dax RE: lipoff Aug 9, 2006 02:08 PM

                          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
                            hargau RE: Dax Aug 9, 2006 02:12 PM

                            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
                              Dreamworks RE: hargau Aug 9, 2006 03:16 PM

                              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
                              Bostonbob3 RE: Dax Aug 9, 2006 03:33 PM

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

                          2. f
                            fabeneag RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 02:59 PM

                            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. b
                              Bostonbob3 RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 03:02 PM

                              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. g
                                gbednarz RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 06:52 PM

                                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
                                  Devourer RE: gbednarz Aug 9, 2006 08:55 PM

                                  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
                                    gbednarz RE: Devourer Aug 10, 2006 02:38 PM

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

                                2. steinpilz RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 07:16 PM

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

                                  1. kittychow RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 07:27 PM

                                    Love the handcut fries at Joe Sent Me in Cambridge.

                                    1. b
                                      Blumie RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 07:45 PM

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

                                      1. v
                                        vanna f.k.a. babette RE: DoubleMan Aug 9, 2006 08:17 PM

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

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: vanna f.k.a. babette
                                          gini RE: vanna f.k.a. babette Aug 10, 2006 12:13 PM

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

                                          1. re: gini
                                            Joanie RE: gini Aug 10, 2006 12:30 PM

                                            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. r
                                          Redhohoho RE: DoubleMan Aug 10, 2006 12:22 PM

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

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Redhohoho
                                            Blumie RE: Redhohoho Aug 10, 2006 01:24 PM

                                            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
                                              Redhohoho RE: Blumie Aug 10, 2006 03:25 PM

                                              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
                                                Dax RE: Redhohoho Aug 10, 2006 05:07 PM

                                                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
                                                  langley RE: Dax Aug 10, 2006 08:44 PM

                                                  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
                                                    Redhohoho RE: Dax Aug 11, 2006 12:58 PM

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

                                            2. t
                                              TraderVic RE: DoubleMan Aug 10, 2006 02:57 PM

                                              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. MC Slim JB RE: DoubleMan Aug 10, 2006 03:36 PM

                                                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
                                                  Blumie RE: MC Slim JB Aug 10, 2006 07:07 PM

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

                                                2. p
                                                  psc109 RE: DoubleMan Aug 10, 2006 04:14 PM

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

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