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French Fries - How do you like them?

In my opinion, I think that the best fry is straight out of the fryer, liberally applied with kosher salt. If you need to add anything else right away while it is still piping hot, then its not a premium fry. Of course, a little malt vinegar can go a long way with mediocre fries, and I wonder why more restaurants don't offer it. I can understand a few that are too proud/confused to recognise that their fries suck, but plenty places have blatantly horrible fries that need a little more kick than just Ketchup.

On another note, when I make the frozen kind at home, I occasionally like to throw a little Old Bay on them for a little kick.

Also, 5 Guys Burgers and Fries has probably the best chain fries around. I especially like their liberal portions which allows me to bring some home to freeze (they actually freeze pretty well).

Well, I love french fries, and would love to hear what others have to say on the topic ...

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  1. I like fleur de sel and chopped italian parsley, right after coming out of the oil. The parsley audibly sizzles........
    I serve them with shaved reggiano parmesan and a little garlic and lemon aioli.

    1. apple cider vinegar/salt,
      malt vinegar/salt

      Poutine is a guilty pleasure.

      1. In college, I liked them with salt, butter, vinegar, AND mayo. Yep, true. Now I like them with either just salt or salt and mayo or salt and vinegar.

        1. Fried to a deep golden brown and sprinkled lightly with salt.

          1. You know what I don't like? That crunchy coating that so many fast food type chain places put on their french fries now.

            3 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              Agreed. I would actually get a Whopper once a year or so, but BK fries are awful. Weird batter of some sort...

                1. re: Antonio Montana

                  No, it's potato starch (just dehydrated potato liquid).

            2. Salt, mayo and a little ketchup. Malt vinegar on steak fries.

              1. I like them with gomasio. Or ketchup. Or that so-called "barbecue sauce" from St-Hubert.

                1. Thin fries with a sprinkling of truffle oil. Now THERE's a way to dress up a simple spud.

                  1. Thick cut and meaty but also crunchy, liberally sprinkled w/salt. My favorite topping is mayo.

                    1. WHAT made me click on this title? I'm practically drooling.

                      I think I must have much more plebian taste in fries than you all.... I'm generally just pleased to have fries, as opposed to not having them. I love them crispy, with salt. Vinegar is okay a few times a decade.

                      I love the Belgian frites from Monk's in Philadelphia. They come with aioli. And Belgian ale. Lots of ale. Wait, no, you have to order the ale separately.


                      Oh, and ketchup -- not my thing. And it is certainly not a vegetable!

                      1. I'm a member of the "any fried potato is good" club. I'm not a huge fan of meaty steak fries, but will eat them if there's no others. I also don't love the weird fast food coating, although it does nothing to deter the occasional whopper crave.

                          1. Doused in Tony Cachere's Creole Seasoning...and this may be uber-unchowhoundish...but I like them a little soggy

                            1. sheer heresy i know. but i hate crisp fries. i like them soft and soggy. just salt. no catsup or anything else. anybody else?

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: boppiecat

                                My new best friend... I LOVE soggy fries, preferably skinny, soggy fries, but I do also like salt and ketchup or catsup :)

                                Seasoned curly fries I like with ranch dressing.

                                At Dodger Stadium, there's a stand that does incredible garlic fries (I think there's parsley on them too, but I can't say for sure), and these go well with ketchup too... I like ketchup on everything...

                                  1. re: Emme

                                    Garlic fries seem to be making their way around the ballparks (from what little reading I did, they seem to have originated at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco and have spread to other ballparks including LA and Seattle.) The ones in Seattle are pretty good, but might not be so great for social situations...

                                    1. re: Vexorg

                                      Those garlic fries have been at Dodger Stadium since I was a wee tot... I have trouble believing that they originated at Pac Bell...

                                      1. re: Vexorg

                                        On a tangent, I've decided that anyone who doesn't eat lots of garlic every day deserves to be offended by my VERY garlicky breath!

                                        1. re: Vexorg

                                          I'm fairly certain that they did originate in San Francisco. The original sponsor/source was Christopher Ranch or Gilroy, CA.

                                          Sorry, I know it must hurt being a Dodgers fan to believe such a delicious wonder began it's humble roots in San Francisco.

                                          1. re: fini

                                            San Francisco Giant fans can have the title of the team that first sold garlic fries at baseball games. Los Angeles Dodger fans will have to settle for the 5 World Series titles versus ZERO World Series titles for the San Francisco Giants.

                                            Regardless of their origin, the Gordon Biersch fries at Dodger Stadium are very good. I can't wait to try the Gilroy Garlic Fries at AT&T in San Francisco. Do they offer dipping sauces at Gilroy Garlic Fries?

                                      2. re: boppiecat

                                        Soggy, salty and greasy, yes please

                                      3. ugh! I can't stand them soggy. They have to be crisp and golden brown, then sprinkled with lots of salt and vinegar. I always ask the waiter if he would asked the cook to make them extra crispy, then really shake all the oil off as soon as they come out of the fryer and then spread them in a single layer on a plate so they don't sweat and turn soggy.

                                        1. When I was in high school, anyone at my cafeteria table who bought an order of fries essentially resigned to sharing them with about a dozen other folks. I started to cover them in mayo and mustard and lots of black pepper. Took care of the sharing problem, and I still have cravings for that concoction now and again...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: spyturtle008

                                            funny, my SO used mustard thru HS for that very same purpose, and to this day likes mustard on his fries.

                                            I like salt, white vinegar, and dijon mayo for dipping.

                                          2. skinny skinny skinny and with some sinfully delicious combination of spices, salt, and pepper coated on them the moment they come out :D
                                            Ketchup or garlic mayo (burp!) is an acceptable second choice if the spice mixture isn't quite right.

                                            1. There was a place in Nashville that had great steak fries, and one of the dishes they were served with was a steak sandwich that came with a horseradish/sour cream sauce. I always used all of that sauce on the fries! Since then I've learned to ask for extra tartar sauce with my fish & chips (for the fries), extra chipotle mayonnaise with my Hamburger Hamlet Cajun burger (for the fries)...Ranch dressing, aioli, anything creamy and spicy, I love it with fries. I do NOT like ketchup with much of anything...

                                              As for the fries themselves, I agree with the writer above who believes there's no such thing as a bad fried potato. In my Air Force years up at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska, my favorite late-night snack was a big floppy grilled cheese sandwich and an order of soft, greasy fries from the snack bar across from the barracks, and I'd take it all back to my room and stuff those fries into the sandwich and oink oink oink...

                                              1. Almost any fry that isn't cold or too soggy.

                                                I like them all hot. In addition:

                                                crisp on the outside but still fluffy inside with salt OR salt & vinegar - sometimes ketchup, but it's hard to "ruin" a good fry with ketchup. They can be thin or thick, but if they're thick, they have to be cooked well through with a thick enough layer of crisp on the outside.

                                                I love my mom's home fries - cut up potatoes in rounds and fried with salt & occasionally a little ketchup.

                                                I like home fries with sea salt & some rosemary.

                                                Steak 'n Shake skinny fries - crispy and hot - mmmmmm.

                                                I even like McD's. In fact, this thread is giving me a hankering, and that's the only place open! haha

                                                I LOVE sweet potato fries, but I don't know if that counts on this thread.

                                                1. I think I should probably have added: anything BUT fries with the skin on. I firmly believe that the skin of the potato is not meant to be food, except in the case of skins so thin and fragile as to be all but nonexistent. An article about potatoes in Smithsonian Magazine years ago confirmed my dislike: the expert being consulted noted that whatever unwholesome elements a potato might be harboring will almost certainly be in the skin, and that if there's any part of the potato that is not good for you, the skin is it.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    And my Mom always told us that ALL the nutrition was in the skin; when we had baked potatoes we had to eat the skin too.

                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      There may be good and bad in the skin (which, BTW, I like too). The good are the nutrients. The bad, according to 'Eating Between the Lines' by Kimberly Lord Stewart, is that potatoes are among the vegetables (OK, I know they are tubers) with the most pesticide residue to begin with -- and most of that resides in the skin.

                                                  2. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.

                                                    Eaten with either ketchup or ranch dressing.

                                                    No salt. Ever.

                                                    1. Crispy and golden brown, with mayo and ketchup.

                                                      1. mozz and brown gravy

                                                        1. I don't like the thick, frozen, unfluffy fries. Other than that, I'm happy with any fried potato, although I love medium thin, deeply browned fries drowing in gravy and cheese curds the best.


                                                          1. 1. vinegar - any kind will do, but prefer cider or malt... to the point of soggy is just fine.

                                                            2. cheese and gravy - yeah, poutine!!.... it's a Canadian thing.

                                                            3. secret junk confession: if at McDonald's (and this only happens on roadies when there are no other alternatives)... with bbq sauce. if you're gonna eat chemicals, why hold back?

                                                            1. Back in high school everyone poured gravy and lots of ketchup all over their fries, then added salt and pepper. I leave out the salt, but add extra pepper. I used to know people who also added mustard on top of that....

                                                              I've eaten McDonald's fries with Sweet and Sour sauce before -- better than ketchup! And poutine has to be the best way to eat fries.

                                                              1. I love fries. Probably one of my fav foods.

                                                                I don't discriminate but my first choice would be a crinkle cut,really crispy and golden on the outside, with lots of salt. I also like them dipped in a mayo/dijon mustard combo. Never ketchup, unless the fries aren't good. Loved cheese fries in college, but haven't indulged since.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                  That made me think of the waffle fries they have at a pizza place here. They pour a Rotel cheese mixture over them. In the disgusting junk food category, this is Mmmmmm!

                                                                  1. re: luv2bake

                                                                    If you want disgusting...Outback does a huge plate of pretty good homemade fries topped with (real) shredded cheddar cheese, melted, and then topped with chopped (real) bacon and served with ranch dressing. Its so gross and bad for you and SO good...I crave it about once every three months.

                                                                    1. re: amyvc

                                                                      I almost never go to Outback - about twice a year we get a craving for it. If it weren't for the Bloomin' Onion, those fries would be the appetizer of choice they sound so good. But, it's the Bloomin' Onion we go there for :-)

                                                                      1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                        You can get a half order of the cheese fries in most outbacks. definitely worth a try, even if you order a smaller dinner....you know, when you're in the mood for disgusting but good!

                                                                        1. re: amyvc

                                                                          Isn't that the whole reason for going to Outback to begin with :-)

                                                                2. Thick-cut, golden and crispy with salt and malt vinegar.

                                                                  If I'm feeling trailer-trash, I like them with Cheeze-wiz. But the fries HAVE to be crispy.

                                                                  1. crispy, skinny, salty with mayo/ketchup mixed together.

                                                                    crispy, steak-sized, salty with brown guinness gravy.

                                                                    crispy, wedges, salty with chives, shredded cheddar and sour cream.

                                                                    1. Crispy, salty and hot. Vinegar, mayo or ketchup, in that order of preference, but never together.

                                                                      1. Its a good thing I stumbled upon this thread with a plate of fries by my side.
                                                                        I like them extra crispy with a sprinkling of italian seasoning, garlic, salt and black pepper. I usually make my own sauce of Mayo,ranch, and ketchup. I also like dipping them in chimichurri sauce.

                                                                        1. Chili Fries: Crispy fries topped with a generous ladle of chili con carne, grated cheddar, and diced onions. With pickled yellow chiles on the side, and if my stomach's in good condition, a liberal sprinkling of Tabasco.

                                                                          Garlic, parsley or chimichurri are good, also.

                                                                          1. hot sauce and ketchup mixed

                                                                            1. Ketchup, and only Heinz at that.

                                                                              1. In the words of my boyfriend..."God! I wish these were good for ya!" :-)
                                                                                Nothing beats McDonalds fries.

                                                                                Occassionally, I like to bake fries at home - but coat them with Boss Sauce first. Mmmm...

                                                                                1. Just last night I had awesome fries at a restaurant that is unfortunately closing due to some idiot who isn't renewing their lease. They were coated in hot and sweet paprika and served with a lime chili aioli. YUM!

                                                                                  1. malt vinegar and salt. Curry sauce is always a good addition or a nice coating of Bisto gravy...

                                                                                    1. For the best fries, just salt and pepper. For thick fries ("steak" fries), malt vinegar, too. But there's something really wonderful about good steak frites -- a not too prime cut of steak (like hangar) with the juices getting all over the thin frites, and a forkful with a little steak, a little fries, and a little dijon mustard .... Heaven.

                                                                                      1. Mayo or remoulade for me please....and very crispy!!

                                                                                        1. French fries with Vanilla Ice Cream!!

                                                                                          Also Pomme Frites in New York City makes these amazing dipping sauces. My favorite is the roasted garlic and the mango chutney sauces they have.


                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: GurglingStomach

                                                                                            I used to always dunk my french fries in my vanilla milkshake as a kid at the burger joint... haven't done that ina very long time but your post reminded me of it.

                                                                                            Now... a perfect occasional indulgence... thin fries (McDonald's makes the perfect size IMO but the "flavor engineering" thing freaks me out) with mayo. And a nicely charred rare steak. :-)

                                                                                          2. I like slightly thick, or medium thickness fries. They should be crispy and golden on the outside, and fluffy and light on the inside.

                                                                                            I like them with Heinz ketchup on the side. I might also have a dab of barbeque sauce or mayo on the side . There are some great things people mentioned that I'll have to try. I bet the truffle oil is yummy!

                                                                                            1. Gurgling Stomach! I love that handle, that's always what I'm feeling!

                                                                                              Fries, if skinny, I like soggy and limp. If steak cut or thicker, I like very crispy. Liberal amounts of salt right out of the fryer.
                                                                                              Love, love, love seasoned fries- reminds me of being in junior high.

                                                                                              McDs fries with sweet 'n sour only.

                                                                                              condiments: Heinze ketchup, garlic mayo, wasabi mayo, honey mustard (skinny only), doused with seasoned salt and malt vinegar then dipped in hot nacho cheese (sounds gross, but it's good), buffalo wing sauce and ranch, truffle sabayon, fines herbes, fine shredded cheddar melted over then a healthy dose of tabasco....

                                                                                              I could go on and on and on...

                                                                                              1. crispy garlic herb fries dipped in ranch...yummmmmm!

                                                                                                1. Thick Cut Steak Fries or Waffle Fries, PIPING HOT, lightly salted right out of the fryer. Crispy golden brown on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. All you need is lots of ketchup!!!!

                                                                                                  Nothing is worse than cold, soggy fries that are overseasoned with tons of salt and pepper like the ones you find a lot in crappy chains....ex. applebees

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                    sometimes I think i have fries with my ketchup.

                                                                                                  2. Don't dig steak fries, they are often mealy inside. Thin-cut, skin on, twice fried are my favorite. Especially the long, skinny ones. A mini-chain near me, Nifty-Fity's, makes them the best. Always made on site from fresh potatoes. .

                                                                                                    1. I prefer crinkle cut fries, or fries the size of McDonald's, don't like any coating on them, don't like steak fries too much and they should be fried in some kind of animal fat! Salt, maybe some ketchup or mayo or even malt vinegar, but if they are real hot just a little salt will do. They should also be crispy not mushy. Fresh made McDonald fries are still some of the best by a chain, so are White Castle's and IN-n-Out's.

                                                                                                      1. medium width to thin, cripsy on the outside, soft on the inside. also ends if the skin is still kind of on. My fave dipping sauce? some good dijon mustard...

                                                                                                        1. I like to bake the potatoes, cool them, peel them, and cut them into 8ths or so, then fry them in peanut oil. Crazy crunchy on the outside, soft and melty on the inside.

                                                                                                          Sea salt, to start and then the skies the limit.

                                                                                                          1. fish and chips out of newspaper with malt vinegar.

                                                                                                            also good, parmesan cheese and herbs add them straight out the fryer.

                                                                                                            1. If they are plain, then I like them soggy.
                                                                                                              In Seattle at Palamino's they serve a gorgonzola waffle cut fries dish that is wonderful.
                                                                                                              Finally, here in Long Beach there are some excellent garlic fries at Open Sesame.

                                                                                                              1. Thin, crispy, so hot they hurt a bit to pick up, plenty of salt, the occasional bite with ketchup.

                                                                                                                Or, bathed in gravy, in which case thin doesn't matter though extra crispy is a help so they'll stand up longer to the gravy. Not that they need to hold out for very long...they'll be gone in a flash.

                                                                                                                McDonald's does do an absolutely lovely job with the fries.

                                                                                                                1. Any way. Had some tonight in fact

                                                                                                                  1. The first couple minutes of fresh poutine. The love affair is over at minute three.

                                                                                                                    Otherwise, thin and crispy with lots of salt and some mayo for dipping.

                                                                                                                    1. A restaurant that no longer exists made "pachos", natchos using waffle cut fries instead of tortilla chips, with all the cheese, sour cream and guac. Hate to admit it, I still miss them.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: rubyrocket

                                                                                                                        Someone just described this to me recently but said they were called "Irish Nachos".

                                                                                                                        1. re: rubyrocket

                                                                                                                          Mocasalsa has super fries! Instead of using chips, they top the fries with chunks of beef, sour cream, guacamole (sp?), onions, beans, and cheese. So yummy, your heart will feel the pain (and your waistline too)!

                                                                                                                          Is this the same as your "pachos"?

                                                                                                                        2. I haven't had fries this way in a loooong time, but I used to like them with lime juice, Tobasco, and of course salt. Yum.

                                                                                                                          1. most of he time crispy with salt and mayo--sometimes with ketchup and mustard and a touch of hot sauce

                                                                                                                            1. I am not a big french fry eater, but had some the other day that were splendid. They were thick and crispy and the perfect side to my oyster po boy. The best part was that some of the spicy remoulade from the sandwich dripped off and made a perfect dipping sauce for the fries.
                                                                                                                              I love cheat days!

                                                                                                                              1. crispy with salt, pepper, and bbq sauce.

                                                                                                                                1. Honey on hot salty fries is amazing.

                                                                                                                                  1. I like fries described any of the ways above, but thought I'd add another variation that I haven't seen yet. There is a bistro that delivers to my office that has a Moroccon bent to it, and they have a lamb burger with harissa sauce that I crave every so often, it comes with skinny fries that must have started out perfectly crispy, but lose out to sogginess in the delivery container steam bath. I dip the fries in the harissa sauce (more of a paste really) and it's so delicious...smokey and spicy. But any way will do, I love malt vinegar (I have a bottle of Sarson's Malt Vinegar sitting on my desk right now), mayo, hot sauce, hot mustard, yellow mustard, even ketchup. And Fuddrucker's has artery-busting chili cheese fries that I have to have if I pass one, thankfully that's not too often.

                                                                                                                                    1. Ranch or ketchup. Sometimes, honey mustard salad dressing. :)

                                                                                                                                      1. I take mine with a mix of ketchup and malt vinegar.