It’s hard to find much wrong with a potato that has been hand cut and fried to a crisp golden brown. When it is done correctly, the result is always satisfying. If there is one thing I’ve learned from my tenure as a French fry writer, it is that I tend to prefer thicker cut fries that have not been overly seasoned.
Yesterday I headed to Shady’s Burgers & Brewhaha in Richardson. I discovered this place just after they opened a little over five years ago. I love the heartwarming story of how the place came to be.
When the community of Canyon Creek in Richardson decided it wanted a local bar and grill, it got one. Six residents banded together and called local restaurant guru and consultant Larry Lavine. Nine months later, they birthed Shady’s Burger Joint in the II Creeks development on Custer Parkway. If you don’t have GPS, you might miss the turn into the strip mall; it’s covered with mature live oak trees. Burgers are the real deal. The thin patties are served on puffy challah buns, which, at first, appear to be too much of a good thing. I cut the top bun in half and was satisfied, but it wasn’t necessary. The texture of the bread is lighter than it looks. All of the dressings, save the ketchup, are made in the kitchen. Onion rings and fried pickles are lightly battered and served with homemade chipotle ranch dip. The fresh-cut fries deserve the attention of French fry snobs.
Wow, little did I know I would be the French fry snob who returned to give the fries some love. Funny how life serves itself sometimes.
The fries at Shady’s are sublime. They are thick cut (quarter inch) Idaho potatoes, double fried in an oil blend, and tossed in the house blended spice mix called Money Maker. They sell a 20-ounce shaker of the stuff for $5.
I spoke with operating partner Michael Young. I tried my best to wrangle details from him. The only ingredient he confirmed was parsley. He had to because the fries are spotted with green flecks. The rest is top secret.
The seasoning was a tad overwhelming for my palate, but not by much. It’s a dangerous blend and one that is hard to quit once you’ve started eating them. As soon as you push the fries away, your agitated taste buds signal your brain for more.
Shady’s now has two locations. The second is in Lake Highlands. Young tells me a third is in the works. Where is anybody’s guess. However, I did get him to say “north.” I’m sure it will be in another neighborhood that needs the warm embrace of a Shady’s fry. Oh, and maybe a burger and a beer as well.