Welcome to the seventh edition of French Fry-Day. In case you’ve missed the series, I’ll leave the links below. Each week, I pick a place that serves fries and put them through an unusual taste test. My method is hardly scientific: I order several order of fries to go. Since fries don’t travel well, I tear into them as soon as they are in my car. Then I drive them home to photograph. So far, all of the fries I’ve judged have come from fast casual joints. This week, I decided to do a fancy restaurant. I happened to be driving east on Beltline near the Tollway when I picked the Addison location of Neighborhood Services. Luckily my niece Katie was in the car with me. I sent her in just in case someone in the restaurant recognized me. I take my fry judging seriously, and I don’t want any special treatment. Katie was up for the caper.
Katie entered the empty restaurant about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. She asked the guys at the bar if she could place an order to take out. The friendly gents told her anything was possible. Then she said, “I want two orders of fries.” Immediately they questioned her sanity. “You want to order fries to go?” one asked incredulously. “You need to eat them here. Fries don’t travel well.” Katie stood firm and paid for the order. About 10 minutes later, she busted out the front door like a bank robber with the loot. “Those guys were so nice,” Katie said. “They were making fun of me for getting fries to go.”
We ripped the bag open and found a glorious pile of well-fried skinny fries covered with smooth flecks of sea salt and specks of parsley. The steam fogged the windows of my car. It was a perfect order filled with long, stiff soldiers; crunchy nubs; bites of skin; and a plentiful variety of pliable fried potatoes. One order disappeared before I put my car in reverse. Ten minutes later, I poured the other order out on a plate, and I had to bat Katie’s hands away from them. This batch had traveled well. They had only cooled during trip home. Each fry was still firm and none went limp from the steam. Two hours after taking photos, they were still at attention. I had to throw them out to avoid reheating them and ordering new pants.
Like I said earlier, these fries were ordered in a fancy restaurant. It takes some effort and a few extra dollars to score them. However, if you need a fix of superbly cooked skinny fried potatoes, these are some of the best I’ve found so far.
Past French Fry-Days: