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looking for the best fries...

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  • katg Jan 29, 2007 07:34 AM

i'm a french-fry lover and looking for the best ones out there. will travel near and far to try them.

i like 'em hot, crispy and flavorful. nothing's worse than a limp and soggy (and cold) french fry.

any recs?

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  1. Had some winning fries at 900 Grayson this weekend: crackly enough that they shattered when I tried to fork them.

    1. Florio on Fillmore St. in SF.

      1. Frjtz is dedicated to their fries and accompanying dips:
        http://www.frjtzfries.com/
        Their site doesn't list it, but there's also a location at Ghirardelli square.

        1 Reply
        1. re: orezscu

          They also have one coming in the Mission soon, I hear...

        2. I love the fries at Murphy's Pub on Kearny and Sutter. They're the rectangular steak fries that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

          1. Eccolo in Berkeley. So thin and crispy, almost like a potato chip. Very addictive. Served with fried herbs and house made aioli.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              Morton !!!

              The answer is Gregoire ... Berkeley & Oakland

              To the OP ... what type of fry are you looking for? Thin McDonald-style or thick steakhouse type?

              1. re: rworange

                i'm more of a thin french-fry eater but i do like the steakhouse fries as long as they still have that crispy element on the outside.

                1. re: katg

                  For thin fries, they are wonderful at both Absinthe and Alembic. Yum.

              2. re: Morton the Mousse

                See, I don't like the Eccolo fries at all -- they're exactly like a potato chip, and that's not what I'm looking for when I want fries.

                My favorite in the East Bay are the fries at A Cote on College in Oakland.

                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  Another vote for Eccolo. I had them for the first time a few weeks ago while lunching there with my Mom. We split the burger, a salad, and the fries. We were in heaven...

                2. The best fries I've ever had were at Cesar. More like shreds of fried potato and herbed. Come with aioli, but I think they're a little stingy with it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: fistalee

                    Note that the ribbon-like fried potatoes are only available at certain times of the year, and I don't know what the season for them might be.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I had some a few weeks ago.

                      Good but sort of like a cross between fries and potato chips.

                      I really like the fries at A Cote.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Thanks, I think the times I haven't been able to get them were in May and June.

                  2. The best fries I've had in the area have been at Jeanty at Jack's.

                    http://www.jeantyatjacks.com/

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: scarmoza

                      excellent fries at Jeanty at Jack's

                      Le Charm has good ones as well.

                      1. re: scarmoza

                        Agreed. Ask for bernaise sauce to go with them!

                      2. Alfreds Steakhouse on Merchant at Kearny has fantastic shoe string type fries. Crispy on the outside, tender, not mealy, on the inside. Nice and lengthy too, not short and stumpy. mmm-mmm. So good with a dry aged 28 day old steak-or anything else for that matter!! Wish I had some now.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mmerino

                          Actually, I agree with this. I hated my flavorless steak (I guess I need some sort of seasoning to really enjoy a steak- the only thing I can say is it was cooked to perfection, but I have never had less flavor in a 30 dollar steak). Alfred's fries are thinner than a McDonald's style, and many are longer, but they are still bigger than matchstick. They are just think enough that some will have fluffy insides (as opposed to being totally crisp, like matchstick fries can be). They give you a dish of warmed ketchup too. I think the fries are seasoned with seasoning salt (nothing was visible) but they had a slight savory flavor. What really made them great is one of Alfred's sauces for steak is mashed, roasted garlic with a little olive oil- it was awesome.

                          ADDENDUM

                          NOLA in Palo Alto has this style of french fry.

                        2. The (415) post reminded me that California Street Delicatessen and Café in the JCC has good French Fries and a killer pastrami sandwich.

                          1. I love the fries at Hayes St. Grill, 320 Hayes Street (between Gough and Franklin,) San Francisco

                            1. Had pretty good fries Fri. night at NOPA. Tasted a bit like In N' Out fries, though they were at least twice as wide. And like In N' Out, once they got cold they weren't any good. But hot at the table they were excellent....nice and crisp and good potato flavor. They were served with a harissa aioli. And the serving was more than enough for 2 people.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Big Larry

                                it's funny that you said they were like in n' out fries. i'm not really a fan of the in n' out french fry. i can't figure out why but they just don't taste good to me.

                                1. re: katg

                                  That is funny since they are the ONLY french fry I've ever had that actually tasted like a potato. Just an interesting observation.

                                2. re: Big Larry

                                  In and Out fries are SUPER potatoey, but have to be consumed within minutes max- they have a really steep decay curve. This is why I only get fries at I/O if I am eating then- they won't even survive a short drive home. It is a running joke with my friends- basically eat most of the fries before you start on the burger.

                                  1. re: P. Punko

                                    yeah i think that's my beef with them - they can be super potatoey and they just don't taste decent when they're not hot.

                                3. I'd like to throw out a vote for Luna Park on Valencia. Crisp, thin, and they throw fleur du sel on them, which gives each fry a blast of mellow melt-in-your-mouth saltiness.

                                  1. Another vote for Cesar...

                                    1. A Cote's are my favorite. I also like the Belgian fries at Luka's in Oakland. They come with 3 different dipping sauces.

                                      1. Lunch at The Fish Market in Santa Clara yesterday. Ordered the Dungeness crab ciabatta (very good), cole slaw, and fries. I don't eat French fries very often, but man, I picked the right day to indulge! Fresh, hot, flavorful, deep golden, crisp outside, fluffy inside fries! All three of us were impressed. Nice-sized order too-- not too huge, not too skimpy. Two orders for three people was just right.

                                        I never ordered fries at The Fish Market before, so I don't know if this is their usual production or if it was a happy fluke (ha ha).

                                        1. Here are a few of my favorites off the top of my head: Jeanty at Jack's (or Bistro Jeanty), Absinthe (or Arlequin), Hayes St. Grill, Cafe Rouge.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mrs bacon

                                            sounds like absinthe, hayes st. grill are favorites of others as well - i'll add these to my list!

                                            maybe i'll come back with a comprehensive french fry report!

                                            1. re: mrs bacon

                                              I second Cafe Rouge, although they actually used to be even better.

                                              1. re: The Dive

                                                Yeah, when they used 25% beef fat in the fry mix. Too many fussy Berkeley types complained.

                                            2. The style that I enjoy the most (out of all the fries that I love) is the fresh cut slightly thicker kind with the skin still on the ends. When done right, these can be super fluffy in the middle and crispy/crunchy at the corners of the cut, but also allow for the occasional soft one. These can be the most potatoey sometimes.

                                              1. Anyone been to Bud's Giant Burger in Vallejo recently? Fried in beef fat, the fries were awesome, but it's been 2 years since my last indulgence.
                                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/21561

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                  I used to eat them all the time growing up. Thick and potatoey, they were great with a Bud's burger!

                                                  1. re: DezzerSF

                                                    As you'll see in the old post I linked, after I had the fries, I understood why there was a crowd at the door at 10:30am waiting for Bud's doors to open!

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                      Funny I experienced the same surprise as SizzlingJoe a year ago at the Springs Rd location. It used to be just as good as the other, but I'll only visit the Sonoma Blvd one from now on!

                                                2. I've got nothing against cesar and a cote and gregoire and eccolo (far from it!), but I'd like to put in Barney's for once-a-week style fries. I like the steak cut, great crisp, great warm steam inside. Perhaps a little lacking on the potato taste, but quality/quantity ratio is hard to beat.

                                                  1. Dairy Belle (chain) in Hayward has GREAT chive fries. The fries has chive bits and somehow the fries itself has that awesome quality that is far better than any other chains. Maybe they put some secret coatings. The dipping sour cream adds great flavor. They have other flavors there but I would not recommend it. Must be eaten on the spot or hurried home to prevent sogginess.

                                                    If you happen to be in the area and you love fries, be sure to check it out. It is definitely unique. I never seen it anywhere else.

                                                    http://chefmoz.org/United_States/CA/H...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Han

                                                      Aha! So in Hayward, it comes with some sour cream for dipping? I ordered them in the Belmont location and while they were good fast food fries, I didn't get that excited. That might make a difference. Here's my post with a photo -
                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361085

                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                        I thought I reply this already. The sour cream adds a big boost of flavor and somehow a perfect match to the chive flavor. It won't be the same without it. It's like having a cup of coffee without the cream in a way.

                                                        The photo is probably accurate. In Hayward branch, I could see small tiny specks of chives on the surface of the fries.

                                                      2. re: Han

                                                        YUM. these sound yummy. sour cream makes everything better right?

                                                      3. I had the fries yesterday at Market Bar in the Ferry Building, and they are now on my list. Nice and thin (but not too thin), and perfectly cooked.