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Are there any good pommes frites that are not from Pommes Frites?

NYCKim Mar 4, 2009 02:33 PM

Hey All

I searched high and low on this board trying to get a tip on where to go to grab some pommes frites on the way home. To my amazement there seems to be almost no mention of any place other than Pommes Frites on 2nd Ave. But 2nd Avenue is way out of my way.

Isn't there any other casual place that makes good Belgian-style fries with fixins in NYC? Gotta be! Right? I thought I remembered passing one in Times Square (*shudder*, but at least it's on the way home).



  1. c
    cimui Mar 4, 2009 02:54 PM

    the B Cafes (east and west on the UES and UWS, respectively) serve great frites, but they come only with mayo, ketchup and a mixture of the two, if I remember correctly. (don't have that variety of sauces)

    vol de nuit (w. village) also serves belgian-style frites, but i don't think they come with sauces, either.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cimui
      JungMann Mar 5, 2009 11:43 AM

      Does vol de nuit still have moules frites? I thought they closed the kitchen a few years ago.

      1. re: JungMann
        cimui Mar 5, 2009 03:04 PM

        Good question. You're probably right. It's been about two years since I last went. I've become old and crochety and lost my tolerance for the crowds.

        1. re: cimui
          JungMann Mar 6, 2009 06:05 AM

          When we were new to the neighborhood, Vol de Nuit was was THE hangout for our group of tranquility-loving philosophers and quiet-craving pre-meds. There was a time when the place was so empty we could spend hours debating the owner and staff about some pointless besotted topic like the meaning of life while polishing off huge quantities of frites. Then towards 2003 the place was discovered, there was never any quiet, the fry shop closed and the Giggly Girls moved in. Now when I pass by my old table, it's usually occupied by a 19-year old in a newsies cap, vest and keffiyeh smoking Gitanes, demonstrating his in-the-know to a bewildered girlfriend.

      2. re: cimui
        boccalupo Mar 8, 2009 11:01 AM

        I was just at Vol de Nuit yesterday. The frites are still great. I lived in Belgium for 3 years and can assure you that they are rarely made this well there. They keep also keep the skins on which is rarely if ever done in Belgium, but I think adds to the flavor.

        As for sauce, they come automatically with ketchup and regular mayo. For a bit extra you can get different sauces in addition. I like garlic mayo with mine.

        They came out fast (faster if you order from the bar) and went great with my Delirium Tremens.

        For better or worse, the crowd tends to be as "JungMann" describes it below.

        I believe they still serve moules, but I have never tried them.

      3. r
        RGR Mar 4, 2009 03:16 PM

        That frites spot in the Time Square area closed some time ago.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR
          NYCKim Mar 24, 2009 12:50 PM

          Gone that long? Wow. That shows you how much I got out of my way to avoid Times Square. Although I admittedly have a couple of exceptions, one of which would fill the frite bill if I was I the mood to have a sit down meal – not just a pick-up and go as I am seeking here.

          It is called BXL Café, at 124 W. 43rd just west of 6th Ave.
          It is quaint, funky, very European, and just a little hip. Diverse clientele, friendly staff, and one of the only places I’ve ever heard so many people speaking such much Belgian.
          Highly recommended. But, shhh. It’s small.

          BXL Cafe
          125 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

        2. l
          Lucia Mar 4, 2009 05:50 PM

          Cafe de Bruxelles. Petite Abeille also has good fries.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lucia
            MMRuth Mar 8, 2009 05:55 PM

            Yes, I love the frites at Cafe de Bruxelles. My husband and a friend once went through seven orders of them, plus dinner.

          2. DarthEater Mar 4, 2009 07:21 PM

            Whole foods on Bowery. Sorry I don't know where ''on the way home'' is for you.

            4 Replies
            1. re: DarthEater
              kobetobiko Mar 5, 2009 08:46 AM

              Isn't the fries station inside WF a branch of Pomme Frites?

              1. re: kobetobiko
                DarthEater Mar 8, 2009 07:29 AM

                I don't think so.

              2. re: DarthEater
                NYCKim Mar 24, 2009 12:31 PM

                Actually you are right on target, DarthEater. The Whole Food Bowery is my regular grocery store! So are you saying that they sell hot frites there? Or it is it something I have to make at home?

                1. re: NYCKim
                  DarthEater Mar 24, 2009 09:57 PM

                  Nope, there is a pomme frites counter. Fresh hot fries, they fry it by the order with a lengthy selection of dipping sauces. Plus theres plenty of seating upstairs unlike Pommes Frites. But of course, you can eat it at home as well. :)

              3. LeahBaila Mar 5, 2009 03:40 AM

                The frites at Markt are great. 21st & 6th


                1. s
                  slcorlis Mar 5, 2009 01:10 PM

                  We love the gribiche sauce at Resto, on E. 29th (there are probably 7-8 other sauces as well - smoked paprika and lemon was pretty good last time). The doneness of the frites themselves varies considerably, though, so it can't hurt to ask for them well done.

                  1. j
                    jwelsh8 Mar 5, 2009 01:48 PM

                    I quite like B. Cafe on 75th between 2nd and 3rd.

                    1. e
                      eeee Mar 6, 2009 07:28 AM

                      Cafe de Bruxelles, in my opinion, has the very best Belgian frites in the city. If you have a meal there, the frites are replenished throughout the meal! Fantastic place for moule frites.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eeee
                        synergy Mar 25, 2009 11:16 AM

                        No!...really, they'll keep refilling the frites for no additional cost???? (asked in an excited voice)

                      2. m
                        marlie202 Mar 7, 2009 05:51 AM

                        Ray's--Belgium Fries on Avenue A off 7th Street--with many sauces--I like the mayo

                        1. b
                          Blumie Mar 7, 2009 09:15 AM

                          Just a point of clarification that most posters in this thread seem to get, but perhaps not all: pommes frites = french fries. There is no distinction. In Belgium and in much of Europe, they are served with mayo. In the US they are served with ketchup. And of course many specialy shops serve them with a choice of a variety of dips. But in my mind a great fry is a great fry, whether it markets itself as a french fry or a pomme frite!

                          All of that said, I agree that Markt (which happens to be Belgian and which serves its frites with mayo -- ketchup only upon request -- and a wonderful choice of Belgian beers) makes great fries. I also had lunch at Les Halles on Park Avenue South (between 28th and 29th) yesterday and thought their fries were excellent.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Blumie
                            foodwhisperer Mar 8, 2009 02:44 PM

                            Yep Blumie. Pommes Frites means fried potatoes or french fries. In Amsterdam the mayo is yellow and is the best. Markt has good pommes frites, Petit Abeille also belgian for awhile didnt have good pommes frites but now they do again,, They switched back to Russet potatoes which have more sugar and are darker,,they also used to give them a vinegar bath before frying. Pastis has excellent fries,,,But I dont think anyone comes close to Nathan's.

                            1. re: Blumie
                              cimui Mar 8, 2009 05:51 PM

                              you're right to a point, blumie. but i'd add the following:

                              1. belgian style frites are very crisp because they are twice fried (or baked once, fried once, depending on the recipe). american style fries are sometimes much softer (i.e. crinkle cut fries at shake shack).

                              2. belgian frites are also usually served with mayonnaise or mayonnaise-based sauces.

                              3. finally, i don't know if this is a definitional trait, but i associate belgian frites with a thinner cut. you know you are not going to be getting steak fries.

                              1. re: cimui
                                foodwhisperer Mar 8, 2009 07:57 PM

                                Cimui you are right in your description. I was told that Le Petit Abeille used to soak their Belgian fries in vinegar first. They use thinner cuts and russets,, Russets give a sweeter taste and are darker. Nathans par boils their fries before frying, they also use Russets. they get a crisp outside and soft inside. Many places use frozen french fries i think these fry differently than fresh cut. I love the fries in Amsterdam , and that yellow mayo is awesome

                                1. re: cimui
                                  NYCKim Mar 24, 2009 01:23 PM

                                  That is exactly what I had in mind, Cimui. I know that the linguistic translation is "fried potato", but what I desire is not what they sell in Burger King. It is just as you described.... But "To-Go"

                              2. r
                                roze Mar 24, 2009 06:58 PM

                                New German place on 1st avenue between &th & 8th has some great Pomme Frites as well as excellent brats and bread.

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