Banks of fryers at the ready for the lunch rush, Five Guys.
We admit it – we love fries, almost more than life itself. But we have very high fry standards, and cannot be easily satisfied. First off, steak fries, cottage fries, and waffle fries don’t qualify, though we’ve seen almost-acceptable versions of all those perversions. We don’t like those shred fries, either, of the type served with the blue cheese burger at Spotted Pig and with the whole fish at Mary’s Fish Camp – though both places are otherwise excellent.
The classic shoestring fries are gobbed with garlic and sprinkled with fresh parsley at Beacon.
Neither do we like fries dusted with starch to make them browner or crisper, under conditions of inadequate frying, though things like garlic and parsley put atop the fries can be estimable enhancements, but only in the right hands. And sweet potato fries are fries in name only. While the Belgians invented the fry, the art form has been carried around the world, and now you never know what nationality will come up with a perfect batch.
Here then are Our 10 Best French Fries, and a slew of runners-up that will do in a pinch. The potato has never had a higher calling; great fries are not only a foodstuff, but a religion.
Following are the Runners-up to Our 10 Best.
Barbecued pork ribs make the perfect match for a mess of excellent fries at McWhorter Barbecue.
Beacon, 25 West 56th Street, 212-332-0500, Sim-Sim*. 312 Ditmas Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-484-1031; Cosette, 163 East 33rd Street, 212-889-5489; Zaitzeff, 72 Nassau Street, 212-571-7272; Landmarc, 179 West Broadway, 212-343-3883; Dive Bar, 732 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-749-4358; Les Halles, 15 John Street, 212-285-8585; BLT Burger, 470 Sixth Avenue, 212-243-8226; Kati Allo, 29-06 172nd Street, Queens, 718-939-1616; Buenos Aires, 513 East 6th Street, 212-228-2775; Taam Tov, 41 West 47th Street, 212-768-8001; Shalom**, 64-47 108th Street, Queens, 718-275-2220; Boi Na Brasa***, 70 Adams Street, Newark, New Jersey, 973-589-6984; Maggie Brown, 455 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-643-7001; McWhorter Barbecue, 104 McWhorter Street, Newark, New Jersey, 973-344-2633
* Mixed with lamb organs in “jiz biz”
** With crushed garlic and parsley
*** With crushed garlic
Next: Numbers 6 through 10
Though we don’t like the burgers much, the fries at Five Guys are splendid, and profuse.
Numbers 6 through 10
10. Philoxenia*, 32-07 34th Avenue, Queens, 718-626-2000
9. Sheep Station, 149 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-857-4337
8. Spartan Souvlaki, 6820 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-748-5838
7. Flex Mussels, 174 East 82nd Street, 212-717-7772
6. Five Guys, multiple locations
* Topped with oregano and parmesan
Next: Our Top 5 french fries
Irregular, twice-fried Belgian frites at Pommes Frites are one of the culinary wonders of the East Village.
Out Top 5
5. Metro Marche, 625 Eighth Avenue, 212-239-1010
4. KeBeer Bar & Grill*, 1003 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-934-9005
3. Minetta Tavern, 113 Macdougal Street, 212-475-3850
2. Pommes Frites, 123 Second Avenue, 212-674-1234
1. The Harrison**, 355 Greenwich Street, 212-274-9310
* Heaped with fresh dill and crushed garlic
** Fried in duck fat
Let us know if we didn’t mention a french fry that you’re particularly fond of.
At Pommes Frites, you’re never too young to enjoy a great fry.