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Dec 13, 2010 07:19 AM

Best fries around?

In search of great fries. Have a few places I already enjoy (Highland Kitchen, Druid). Where else?

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  1. I would suggest: Garden at the Cellar, Lord Hobo, Radius.

    Lord Hobo
    92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

    1. I'm a twice-fried Belgian-style frites kind of fry-gobbler. I like Brasserie Jo, Sel de la Terre, and Pops, among others.

      The fries with chicken salt at KO Catering & Pies are good, unusual, and worth a look. My Aussie pal is ecstatic that they do fried potato wedges served with sour cream and Thai chili sauce. (I like those, but didn't swoon over them: it's a nostalgia thing, I think.)

      As an unrelated aside, I'll also speak up for Portuguese-style fried potatoes, as done at places like Casa Portugal and the Sunset Cafe in East Cambridge (not to be confused with Allston's Sunset Grill & Tap).

      Sel de la Terre
      774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

      Brasserie Jo
      120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

      3 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        MC Slim JB Sunset Cafe is gone to reopen as an Oliveira's Brazilian (the East Boston Branch, not the Everett one). Not certain where else to get a head-on Camarao (shrimp) a Africana and I liked their unusual pudim molotov (JJ's does a more conventional sliced version), but they lost their focus many years ago. Glad to see the Portuguese fries get a plug as I would take tasty potato-tasting fries over twice-fried thin fries when the latter have texture but not enough flavor. You have to combine technique and flavor. BTW Portugalia does their own matchstick potatoes, which make a big difference in Bacalhau a Braz (not to all tastes because of the egg).

        751 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149

        1. re: itaunas

          Thanks for the update, itaunas! Surprised about Sunset: that place has been around forever, aways seemed to do steady business. Retiring owners, perhaps?

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            MC Slim JB I remember when it was called Sol Posto (I think) and its been the same owners (Castanheira). Heck they have had one waiter for 15 years who learned to speak English there on the job. They also owned a restaurant in New Bedford, but as far as I know that closed a long while ago. Business has been very slow for a long time -- they never managed to fill the restaurant weeknights (or even Fridays), but even the bar has been empty. A big reason the restaurant filled on weekends (esp Sundays) was for many years it was the go-to place for Brazilian and Cape Verdean parties (weddings, rehearsal dinners, baptisims), but now there are other options. They had some manager troubles probably around 5 years ago and since then have tried a number of ideas to bring more folks (buffets, pagode samba, etc). The only thing which has kept it open so long is they own the building and still, with things being so slow, you have to wonder how they could maintain their huge menu (I did get some over-marinated pork once 2-3 years back).

            They were affected by Portuguese families moving to the suburbs (and much new Portuguese/Cape Verdean immigration going to other places like Brockton, Everett), increase in membership in nearby social clubs (I think I can count 7+ portuguese clubs within 2 miles). And I don't think either their location or service quality enabled them to bring in new customers as the neighborhood was gentrified. Its pretty amazing how much foot traffic there is in Inman these days, but almost nothing on that side of Roosevelt Towers.

            I would still go for their version of acorda a alentejana (garlic soup thickened with bread), the camarao a africana (head on shrimp served with a real brown sauce, wine tomato sauce, maybe some reduced stock -- closer to a french sauce africaine than the tomatoes and pepper served by other restaurants), their steak was probably the best portugese steak around at the time, and their carne a alentejana was good when the meat wasn't overmarinated. The also wouldn't serve the carne alentejana when they didn't have cubed potatoes and wouldn't do the african shrimp when head-on shrimp weren't available. Definitely some misses on the menu and many service missteps. I always preferred Casa Portugal's fries so your other rec still stands for this thread.

      2. Seconds on Brasserie Jo. Cafe Brazil has amazing fries.

        Cafe Brazil
        421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        Brasserie Jo
        120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

        1. In Cambridge:

          River Gods and Lord Hobo for thin crispy fries. River Gods serves them with a roasted garlic aoli.

          Four Burgers also has good thin (with skin) crispy fries. I like that you can order half sweet potato and half regular fires.

          Trina's Starlite Lounge for thicker, creamier fries.

          River Gods
          125 River St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Four Burgers
          704 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Trina's Starlite Lounge
          3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

          Lord Hobo
          92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

          1. I really like the fries at Gaslight, for the twice-fried style. They also have great fries at Red Stripe, in Providence, if you're ever in that area.

            Flat Patties fries are great, and you can just grab those.

            I'm not a fan of their burgers, but I do like Five Guys fries, for fresh-cut, potato oil, not very crispy style fries.

            Flat Patties
            81 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            Red Stripe
            465 Angell St, Providence, RI 02906

            3 Replies
              1. re: winedude

                Second Five Guys fries. Though did you mean peanut oil? (not potato?)

                I also really like Costello's fries (with their amazing burger.) Pretty much the same deal at the JJ Foley's in the south end (same kitchen.)

                1. re: twentyoystahs

                  I had the opportunity to have fries at Terra Nostra in Fall River one evening (french fries on their self titled steak, not the portuguese fries which come with the portuguese steak) and then the next day early at Five Guys in Dartmouth. Although the Five Guys were fried better, Terra Nostra's had much more potato flavor. I have had a similar experience with gastropub fries: perfectly double-fried, but lacking in taste.

                  Terra Nostra Restaurant
                  262 Rodman St, Fall River, MA 02721