Friday, January 15, 2016

Bareburger, Financial District, NY

Bareburger is a semi-national chain, mostly throughout NY. They offer great options for those with allergies/aversions such as gluten-free buns and vegan cheese. 

The dreaded BOX.

I ordered the regular French Fries as a Side, although they also offer Sweet Fries. They arrived hot, but in a closed box. The box itself looked compostable, but since NYC doesn't compost, I had no idea if it really was. The unfortunate thing about the box is that it steamed the fries and made them limp and mushy on the inside, soft with no bite on the outside. One word: Moist. And that is just an unfortunate word, especially in terms of French Fries. 

You could tell at one point they were pretty yummy, but then they were placed in the box....They were not moist to the point of being disgusting–the flavor was really good, but the texture threw me off.

A couple things I should point out. At $2.80 a side they are damn cheap. Also, Bareburger wins alls kinds of Cutest Food Packaging Awards (I wish I had taken a photo of their burger wrapping paper). 

So if you're looking for a bargain with cuteness added in, not a bad place to stop in.

One sad side note: They do reveal upfront on the menu that a Side of Fries is 480 calories :{   Waaaahhhhhhhh.


Price: As a Side $2.80.
There's also an option to buy as a "Snack," which I assume means a much larger portion, which comes with Special Sauce (AND? Hard to tell from the menu–I don't know if the Curry Ketchup IS the Special Sauce) Curry Ginger Ketchup for $4.85.

Portion Size: Large

Texture: Lots of soft mushiness :(  Which is unfortunate, because I bet they were amazing when they got out of the fryer, but the closed box resulted in floppy softness (apologies for that gross description, but it's true).

Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: Salt
Fried In: 100 Percent Non-GMO Canola Oil

Condiments: Salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard

Overall Quality of Regular French Fries: 6.0 out of 10. Grade could easily be upped if they ditched the darn box!

Las Halles, Financial District, NY

I've been wanting to go to Brasserie Les Halles ever since reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. The fries here, called appropriately "Award-Winning French Fries" on the menu, are indeed delectable. 

Yes, please.

The potatoes are hand cut or perhaps cut from a press, but definitely not frozen. The fries arrived screaming hot (as all fries should be!) along with my Billi-Bi Moules–Mussels cooked in Saffron, Cream, and Vermouth. Some fries were crispier or softer than others. You would think such a variety would be disconcerting, but in fact this was akin to a delicious grab-bag. 

Overall, the fries were deliciously crunchy on the outside, nice and cushy on the inside. High marks for awesomeness. I did need to salt them quite a bit though, but damn, that brought out their marvelousness.

Tip: Under the FRITES Menu, there's also Truffle Fries and Beef Cheek Poutine. Next time, Truffle Fries...

And: Someone posted Anthony Bourdain's recipe for these amazing fries here:


Price: Award-winning French Fries 7.00 as a side.
$21 with Mussels.

Portion Size: Large

Texture: Some crispier on outside than others. Some were soft, and yet still scrumptious. I don't know how.

Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: Salt
Fried In: Peanut Oil

Condiments: Salt, pepper, ketchup. I actually felt they needed salt, but my companion didn't seem to think so.

Overall Quality of Regular French Fries: 9.5 out of 10. I just think they could of used some salt.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tribune Tavern, Oakland, CA

Seeing as it's been over a year since I've updated this blog, I figured that I should finally write a review. To be completely honest, many-a-fry has been consumed since then, and there are tons of fry photos on my phone that I simply can't place. Ah, well.

So, today's review is for the Tribune Tavern in Oakland, CA. I think yesterday was an off-night for the kitchen since I've had fries here several times in the past year and they've been great. Last night, however, the french fries weren't so stellar.

(Please excuse terrible phone photo due to dim interior lighting.)

I usually order: Tavern Fries with Garlic Aioli for $6.00. 

However, Fry Partner and I ordered the "Fish & Chips: beer battered local Rock Cod, fries, house tartar."
Fish, undercooked (some of it was a weird orangey/salmon color on the inside. I consumed it anyway. I was hungry). Fries, strange taste that is unexplainable, I don't know if they were cooked in too-old oil or what, but even Fry Partner agreed there was something strange about them. 

Half of the fries were also a bit hard on the inside, others too mealy. They were under-seasoned. Slightest crisp on the outside, but definitely not enough. 

Did I mention that the tartar sauce was watery?

And yet I continued to eat.

And then I felt REALLY SICK AFTERWARDS. Like wanting to vomit sick. 

I swear this is the first time the food has tasted so nasty. I'm willing to give the fries another chance since they've been relatively yummy in the past. Last night's experience, however, was yukky.


Price: $6.00 as a side. As part of the gross Fish & Chips, $17 (not worth it).

Portion Size: Medium as an accompaniment to the fish. If I remember correctly, the side is actually quite a large portion.

Texture:  Could definitely use more crispiness on the outside. Either mealy or hard on the inside. 

Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: None
Fried In: I believe some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: salt, pepper, homemade ketchup that's slightly spicy, mustard, the watery tarter sauce that comes with the Fish & Chips. Usually comes with Garlic Aioli, which I did not have access to.

Overall Quality of French Fries: 6 out of 10. I am being generous, because at least they weren't as disgusting as those ridged fries that are mealy throughout that you get at a hot dog stand. Plus, I've had much better fry experiences here, and I'm pretty sure my latest experience is not representative of their usual Fry-Making...Even though I suspect these fries are frozen and then thrown in the fryer, they are usually much tastier. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Victory Burger, Oakland, CA

This restaurant proclaims,"the sweet taste of VICTORY!" VICTORY of what?, you may ask. Victory of fries, I say. I've come here twice, both times getting my sandwich arepa-style (arepa is a gluten-free and vegan friendly Colombian/Venezuelan flatbread, which I'd never heard of before coming here), which proves extremely messy: the sandwich literally falls apart in your hands. But while the mess is annoying, the fries make up for it. For two-fiddy, you can acquire a nice medium-largish portion of delicious fries, super hot, slightly crisp, and soft and lovely inside. They are perhaps a bit softer than I would prefer, but for two bucks I'm not gonna complain. The ketchup is housemade, and though not going to make your pants fall off, it's not bad either. The fries are also slightly underseasoned, which is why salt on the table is always a plus.

Bonus: Outdoor seating, and a functioning restroom (I think I need to include the restroom bit in my reviews more often). And right next door to it's sister shop Actual Cafe if you want a coffee before and/or after, OR if you want to actually eat your food from Victory Burger inside the coffee shop! (You can place your order while at Actual.)


Price: $2.50 for a side, $5.00 for a basket

Portion Size: Medium-Largish for the side; I imagine that the basket must then be ginormous.

Texture:  A bit crispy on the outside, soft texture on the inside. Perhaps could have used a tad more of a crispy exterior, but not complaining due to the economical price.

Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: None
Fried In: I believe some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: salt, pepper, homemade ketchup, mustard, homemade hot sauce. Not well-seasoned but a sprinkle of salt helped out.

Overall Quality of Regular French Fries: 6.75 out of 10.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Five Faces Ice Cream Shop, Chicago, Illinois, yo

(Confession: I'm not gonna lie. I've seen the interiors of more than a handful of french fry purveyors since my last review. But the combo of being both busy and lazy kinda killed the fire under me to keep up with this blog. Here's hoping this marks a new start.)


I've heard this area of Chicago referred to as Near North Side, Gold Coast, and other confusing multiple-name whosie-whatsits. But what does it matter when it's very early in the wee hours of the morning, and you're looking for an amazing fish sandwich and fries, and like a miracle, the sign for this place twinkles in the moonlight and you realize, yes, your perfect day will actually roll over into a very perfect morningLet me make a very bold statement, ladies and gentlemen, and say that Five Faces Rules. As for the "Ice Cream" part of their name, they do have soft serve and shakes, but I didn't see any actual "ice cream" lying around. What they do have is EVERYTHING ELSE. Italian sausage, cheeseburgers, chili hot dogs, chicken tacos, gyros, pizza puffs, and everything else in-between. Besides a crazy assortment of, well, like I said, everything, it's the perfect place to observe the hussies who just crawled out of the several bars or clubs on the block wolfing down greasy food in drunken bliss (if watching stuff like that is your sort of thing).

Adorable fry sack. Sound filthy? It ain't.

Fries: In an adorable bag that says "FRENCH FRIES" on it (and the very same bag that's on my Items I Love list on Etsy). And yummy. Slightly crispy on the outside, nice and soft of the inside. Not seasoned enough, but with salt you can change the course of your fry-meal. In spite of this, the fries were delectable even without the salt.

And did I mention that the fish sammich was kick-ass? Five Faces, I love you.


Price: French Fries $2.13 (for goodness sake, a deal, I tell you!)

Portion Size: Medium
Texture:  Slightly crispy on the outside,  nice "give" on the inside.
Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: None
Fried In: I believe some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard. Not well-seasoned, but salt changed EVERYTHING.

Overall Quality of Regular French Fries: 6.5 out of 10 with salt added.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cafeteria, NYC

Ahh, NY, the city where for four straight years I survived on French Fries, Vente Frappucinos, Snickers Bars and the occasional burrito and bagel alone (sometimes supplemented with chocolate chip pancakes from Bliss in Williamsburg and often supplemented with Brioche with Sugar and Croissants from the Hungarian). Now that my nutritional menu has expanded (it now includes fresh produce), trying new restaurants is something I quite enjoy.

My friend recommended Cafeteria in Chelsea. First of all, this place is open TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN. 50,000 bonus points right there. Second of all, their food is AWESOME. And the waitstaff is super friendly (and also beautiful--it's funny how you can't help thinking every NYC waiter is also an actor). And they have co-ed bathrooms (just a kind reminder: please wipe the seat if you are of the standing persuasion).

Obviously, I'm going to concentrate on the fries. First, the Truffle Parmesan Fries. Yes, for $6 dollars and a medium portion, maybe not the cheapest fries on earth. But HOLY HELL these fries are good. They are lightly crisp on the outside, with soft and delicate innards. First you bite into the crunchy, cheesy Parmesan topping, then your teeth hit the pillow of the fry, and all of a sudden a heavenly blast of truffle oil coats your tongue. The seasoning overall is perfect with a good salt factor. It's served with ketchup, which these fries honestly don't need, although it's nice to have as an option. I'm giving it a 9.5, only because I almost think the Parmesan gives the fries a slight unfair advantage (maybe that's lame to say, but this is the first time I'm reviewing fries with any kind of cheese on top, and to be perfectly honest, I don't know how to fairly compare these to all the other fries I've tasted).

(Bad phone pic, although I'm thankful for it. Tx Nic!)

Now onto the Sweet Potato Fries. A side of these is 5 bucks served with Garlic Aioli if ordered as a Side, but they came with my friend's burger and so didn't come with the Aioli. Regardless of this, these yummy guys were simply INCREDIBLE. Like the Truffle Fries, they have a nice gentle crisp on the outside and a soft center. But here's the crazy thing. These fries are seasoned with what I could only discern as salt. So you bite into the fry, and you taste the saltiness. And you're thinking, "Aren't these supposed to be sweet?" And then you wait a second and out of nowhere…Pow. The sweetness bops you in the head. I'm not quite sure how the hell they prepare these fries, but whatever Cafeteria is doing, it's moronically good. I still don't understand how they make them so that the sweetness hits your tongue later than you think it will. It's simply magical! It's like freaking up there with unicorns and pots of gold.


Truffle Parmesan Fries
Portion Size: Medium
Texture: Slight crisp on outside, good delicate softness on inside
Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (slightly greasy). Let's be honest here. Who was paying attention to this when the fries were so good?
Seasoning:  Well seasoned with salt, parmesans, and truffle oil.
Fried in: Some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: Ketchup. Choose your own: ketchup, mustard, pepper, salt

Overall Quality of French Fries: 9.5 out of 10


Sweet Potato Fries
Portion Size: Medium
Texture: Slight crisp on outside, good delicate softness on inside

Greasiness Level: Let's be honest here. Who was paying attention to this when the fries were so good?
Seasoning: Well seasoned with salt. And Magic.
Fried in: Some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: Ketchup. Usually comes with Garlic Aioli, but I didn't get a chance to try the Aioli. Choose your own: ketchup, mustard, pepper, salt

Overall Quality of French Fries: 9.5 out of 10

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Chapel, San Francisco, CA

(Note: This review is WAYYY OVERDUE.) The Chapel in the Mission. Perhaps you've been here to see shows. But have you ever been here to taste the FRIES? Fellow fry companion and I went here to see Sparks, which, in and of itself, is awesome anyway. But while waiting, said fellow fry companion decided to get an order of fries, which to both of our surprises (or however you phrase that) were simply some of the most incredible french fries I have ever tasted in my life.

I swear to god that's Ron!

For 5 dollars you get an enormous heaping plate of fries tossed with garlic and parsley, enough to serve 5 people (no, we didn't finish them all. Although I wanted to put some in my pocket for later).

What fries look like in a dark club.

Hot and toasty, thinly cut, gently crisped on the outside, tender on the inside, these fries are my new favorite. They are extremely well seasoned and don't need a thing (although ketchup would have been nice to break it up a bit. After all, there were only 2 of us eating a gallon-plate of fries).

The Chapel needs to advertise their fries a bit more prominently. Because they've been hiding from me way too long.


Price: $5.00
Portion Size: Enough to feed 5 adults, or 4 if you're really hungry. Would probably feed 1 cat, 1 dog, and a parrot, or 2 hungry children.

Texture: Slightly crispy on outside, hot and tender (!) on the inside. Perfect.

Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: Excellent, with garlic and parsley
Fried In: Some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: Didn't come with any, but I'm sure you could ask the busy bartender

Overall Quality of French Fries: 10 out of 10