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Apr 1, 2008 02:09 PM

Duff's Inferior Fries

Any wing place worth its salt should not be using frozen fries! Went to Duff's on Bayview and they are now using thin cut, soggy frozen fries. Even the Anchor Bar and Grill in Buffalo has switched to frozen. If I wanted inferior fries I'd stay at home. There's no excuse for frozen fries other than to save a few pennies.

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  1. Why are frozen fries usually bad? Worse than most frozen vegs. There must be something wrong in the process.

    1. You are totally right on the money, Finnegan.

      1. Right on! I've been ranting about this for months to Mrs. U and she is getting tired of the rant. I can forgive fast food joints (McDonalds, et al) for using frozen everything. Their entire business model is built on speed and frozen everything fits for them. But if I am going to sit down at a restaurant, I don't think it is too much trouble to expect them to cut some potatoes and toss them in a deep fryer. If that is too much trouble, than I'm sure McDonalds has a spare uniform waiting for them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ubervache

          I'm with you all on the fresh cut chip thing, but as a chef myself, I understand the reason that a wing house may offer frozen; convenience. Perhaps the volume of business they do warrants the change?

          Chips require cutting and blanching prior to frying and serving. Add peeling for a skinless chip. Quite a bit of work goes into chips. Anyway...fresh chips are spectacular, but the work involved may have prompted the switch to frozen in the wing houses you speak of.


          1. re: Chef Marko

            I understand the frustration and can also understand all the prep that goes into fresh cut fries too.
            I can live with a frozen fry as long as it's a good one. Soggy thin fries are just plain bad. Get some decent cut fries and cook them properly.


        2. Who wants fries when you are there for the wings.

          Fries are just filler anyway.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MindGrinder

            Whaaa? Of course they're a filler, but they are so tasty. Frankly I refuse to eat in any restaurant that serves frozen anything (other than ice cream). Serving frozen food shows both a lack of passion for the food and a lack of consideration for the customer. Duff's is officially off my list until they start making fresh fries.

          2. The issue isn't "fresh vs frozen". The issue is that they should be good. Frozen foods can be, but often aren't.

            Since fries must be blanched to be any good, it seems reasonable that one could freeze blanched potatoes and have the final product taste good. But it usually doesn't happen. If the customers don't care, or are used to, and accept - or even desire - certain characteristic tastes of most processed food, there's little reason to do it the hard way.

            I used to go to Harvey's for the fabulous fries. They switched to frozen and I stopped going there. Whenever a place that served good fries started serving yuk fries, I've tended to ask what changed. The most frequent reason was a switch from fresh to frozen. The next most frequent reason has been a switch to Canola oil. And fresh fries don't necessarily taste good. The fresh cut fries at Katz's deli are awful.

            I don't think it's mainly about saving money. It's about washing, perhaps peeling, chipping, blanching, cooling, and cooking vs dumping frozen fries into the oil. If I couldn't serve fresh fries, I wouldn't bother. But it is possible to make really good potato dishes from unseasoned and unpreserved frozen shredded potatoes. Go figure.

            8 Replies
            1. re: embee

              Hi Embee: By blanching, do you mean a quick dip in the deep fryer...then storing the fries in a fridge until deep frying again for the table. This is what I saw in small kitchens years ago....fries were great! Do you know the thinking behind the blanching step?

              1. re: T Long

                In a manner of speaking, yes. Raw potatoes are first cooked at a lower temperature until the potatoes are cooked (not browned). Then they are flash fried at a higher temperature for service. Places that make them with care will make sure they don't steam the potatoes by piling them too much and I prefer to blot out some of the oil.

              2. re: embee

                it really is about saving money embee.

                washing, peeling, cutting, blanching etc. requires hiring and paying a person to do the task...thus, costing more money.

                1. re: rayrayray

                  Maybe there's a business opportunity there. Have a place that does nothing but serve the industry premade fresh cut fries every day. No freezing, no storing and no prep. Buy, open, fry, serve.


                  1. re: Davwud

                    It's certainly "feasible" to package pre-blanched potatoes on some sort of fryer conveyer belt then put them in vacuum sealed packages for refrigeration. But I digress... every place I've worked has always made their fries fresh... and these are not high-falutin' places either. Pubs, etc.

                    1. re: Blueicus

                      I think there is a certain expectation of the quality of the fries depending on the establishment. Fish and chip shops and most decent pubs should have fresh cut fries.

                      A wing joint though? No one is going for the fries. I went to Anchor Bar recently and do recall the fries being bad but by the end of the meal I didn't care because the wings were great. With the amount of business they do on a daily basis, they would probably have to hire an entire kitchen devoted to cutting potatoes.

                      1. re: badbhoy

                        Anchor Bar serves inferior frozen fries...but I think you can order potato wedges, which are basically fresh, thick cut fries.

                2. re: embee

                  frozen fires are usually almost always blanched (and have been since they first started appearing on the market 50+yrs ago)

                  most people just hate on frozen because it isn't 'fresh' or 'by hand' and are turned off.

                  that said, i prefer hand cut with the skin on fries that are fried twice... also they are salted with small amount of the cooking oil/fat and tossed in a bowl (just how they do it in Belgium)