Photo by Nancy Nichols.

Reviews

French Fry-Day: Rodeo Goat

Making fries here is serious business.

I don’t know if this was an unusually busy Monday afternoon at Rodeo Goat or if this place packs them in everyday, but on my recent visit I had to circle the parking lot several times to find a place to park. It was already 2:30 and the temperature was hovering around 100-degrees. Following my rigid French fry reviewing protocol, I’d phoned in an order for two fries. My niece Hannah had never eaten at Rodeo Goat, so I blew my expense account and ordered her a burger. Two weeks later, she is still talking about the Olivia Darling burger and the fries.

First, a brief shout out to the burgers at Rodeo Goat. The menu is full of innovative combinations. Hannah’s Olivia Darling is a juicy beef patty slathered with Kalamata olive tapenade, herb cheese spread, charred tomato aioli, arugula salad, and shaved cucumber.  I could eat an old shoe dressed in those ingredients.

Fries were equally sensational. Each order contained a wide variety of sizes ranging from short, dark brown crispy nubs to long, firm soldiers that stayed firm when held horizontally. It’s obvious the kitchen takes fry making seriously.

A quick call to Gerald Sylva Rodeo Goat’s F&B director confirmed my speculation. “We buy from specific farmers so that we can keep the same sugar content in the potatoes,” Sylva says. They use cured Idaho potatoes, which translates into a potato that has been kept in cool, high humidity before it is stored. The process allows the skin to thicken and bruises and cuts to heal. Each potato is hand-punched, tossed into an ice bath, washed four or five times, and blanched for four minutes at 375-degrees. They are cooled for at least a half a day; more likely a full day before they are fried in trans-fat free vegetable oil heated to 400-degrees. All it takes for them to reach perfection is a quick shake of kosher salt, pepper, and finely chopped parsley.

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