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Frites: Thin or Thick?

This past weekend SO took me to a Frites place in SF that he frequently waxes poetic about... Supposedly a REAL deal Belgian place....

Well when the cone was placed before me, what I found were thick fries. Not steak fries, but they were thicker than Mc Donald's fries (I left the camera in the car so couldn't take a picture... ). I was expecting super crisp thin fries (Like or Thinner than McDonalds). Where my expectations wrong? Aren't real Beligan frites supposed to be skinny?


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  1. I've never met a thick fry that called itself a pomme frite.

    1. I'd say McD's size is good. no more than 1/2inch thick though, and even that is pushing it.

      1. Most recipes I have seen call for 1/4", but I have seen ones that call for 1/8" and 1/2". I like them to be 1/2" because you get a real nice crisp (and sometimes blistered) outside and a fluffy, partially hollow inside.

        1. Pommes Frites in NY does a fairly thick fry. And they're wonderful and really hold up to the stuff one puts on them. Certainly good plain as well.

          5 Replies
          1. re: LoDega

            Pommes Frites in NYC are thicker than the usual, and they are very good. Excellent variety of condiments too. I guess if they are good, then size doesn't matter.

            1. re: Infomaniac

              "I guess if they are good, then size doesn't matter."

              Words to live by? (shrug)

              1. re: LoDega

                my mind wasn't in the gutter when i typed that.

              2. re: Infomaniac

                Actually, I think the size really does matter because the thicker fry, the more potatoey (the ones we had at SF were like this) and less crisp it is... It's a totally different taste with the dipping sauce too...


            2. Real Belgian frites are not thin but they're not thick like British chips, either. They're sort of medium, maybe around 3/8". Crisp outside but soft in the center. Here's a good discussion:


              5 Replies
                1. re: LStaff

                  THANKS! That is pretty much what they looked like! And now since it is real deal... this is the restaurant we went to...



                  1. re: Dommy

                    I think Luka's fries are better than Frjtz's.

                    1. re: Dommy

                      No matter how many times I asked for frites "extra crisp" from Frjtz, (and from both locations)...they always came.. pale and flaccid!

                    2. re: LStaff

                      Yep! They should be tinner than McDonalds, but not matchstick.

                      Great site LStaff!


                  2. All the frites I've had are definitely thicker than McDonald's fries. Without having a ruler, or a frite, in front of me, I'd estimate the frites I've had to be slightly thicker than a Bic pen... maybe the thickness of the cap. (Almost everyone should have Bic infront of them and can imagine the size).

                    And size has nothing to do with how crispy they are. Because they fry the potatoes twice, fries this size get fully cooked on the inside and then nice and crispy on the outside. I've never had a soggy frite.

                    1. It depends on whether you get the French or the Belgian version. One's thicker than the other, though I don't remember which...

                      1. The fries with the Steak Frites at Café Beaujolais and at Bistro de la Gare (both in the Pasadena area) are super skinny. My personal favorite kind are perfectly cooked steak fries, big crisp-tender planks filled with fried-potato-flavored air. As for which kind are authentic, you got me: the only frites I ate in France, in a bistro near the Clignancourt flea market, were cut into disks, about dollar size. They were awfully good, too.

                        1. I like thin fries (the "McDonalds" size) that are nice and crispy. I hate the "shoestring" or anything really thin.

                          However I also like thick "chips" (they serve these greasy, half-crunchy half-soggy ones at the Portuguese restaurant we eat at).

                          I enjoy my fries with copius amounts of salt and pepper, preferably right after they are cooked.
                          I also enjoy my fries with mayonnaise (one place I ate recently had homemade tartar sauce that (i don't like on my fish) but was SO good I ate it on the fries (and people looked at me a bit strangely).
                          I'm not a big fan of ketchup or vinegar.

                          My companion likes "steak fries" the big thing ones that are half-raw inside, and a puddle of ketchup to dip them in.

                          Go figure - any way you like them, fried potatos are yummy.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sethboy

                            Yeah...to be dirt-ugly honest, a fried potato has to be pretty darned bad for me not to eat it, though a raw-inside steak fry is pushing it. You have to be awfully ignorant of the frying art to create such as those.

                          2. I definitely prefer thick, well at least medium-size thick. I think it has more flavor that way and are less crispy; I like softer fries. And if you want to go Mexican, crinkle-cut is the way! :)