I consider myself to be a connoisseur of French fries. Considering that they are A) my favorite food other than sushi and B) wonderful, it is no surprise that I have eaten a wide variety of starchy oil soaked potato fingers in my time. But as a devoted patron of the tuber arts I must attest that not all fries are created equal. In fact, the quality of two separate types of French fry can differ so drastically as to merit an entire criterion that a hopeful fry must pass if it wants to deserve its title as my favorite food. So fast food joints and eateries nationwide, send me your tributes and I shall judge them according to their character! Let those who be found wanting be tossed aside into the garbage! Let those who deserve mention be lifted up for all the world to see as the Greatest Fry in the Whole Wide World! Let the Hungry Games begin!
1. McDonalds: To start of my list, I will discuss the basic, All-American fry from our friendly neighborhood Mega-Corporation, Micky D’s. If you are alive in 21st century, it is pretty much certain that you’ve eaten a McDonald’s French fry. If you haven’t, well then I welcome you to the future person-who-went-into-an-underground-bunker-during-the-Cuban-Missile-Crisis-to-escape-the-wrath-of-the-Radioactive-Mole-People-and-has-just-now-realized-that-the-world-didn’t-end-in-the-60’s. I hope you enjoy living in a world with Wi-Fi because you have a lot of catching up to do. For everyone else, you’ve probably had mixed feelings about McDonalds and its possibly-Soylent-Green “food”. On one hand, you’ve probably heard the horror stories about Pink Slime and disgruntled fast food workers spitting on every fifth patty, but on the other, good gracious Ronald McDonald, this Big Mac is delicious! But all other menu items aside, McDonald’s fries are actually really good. I mean, they are certainly not going to win best cooking any time soon but as for a yummy fast food item that is almost always very good, the old clown delivers. What McDonald’s understands about fast food is that people eat at McDonalds for a reason. They want greasy, salty, deliciously unhealthy food. Their fries are well salted, crispy and delicious. Final Score: 8/10
2. Wendy’s: I’m going to just go out on a limb here and say that the reptilian part of my brain has an inherent distrust towards fast food trying to be healthy. I know a lot of people care a lot about what they eat, but as I stated in the aforementioned McDonald’s section, I do not eat French fries to be healthy. I eat them for their deliciously sodium filled fried potato flavor so when a company decides to make their product “healthier” I get suspicious. Wendy’s is one such company. I suspect that Wendy’s went in this direction with their Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt to save on all the wasted potato skins they were just throwing away previously. I am wary of people who want to save potato skins. They are weird folk. Final Score: 5/10
3. Sonic: Just to be clear, I do not think it be a far-fetched estimate to declare that the average Brentwoodian eats at Sonic at least twice a week. We love us some Sonic here in the ‘Wood (which to clarify is what I assume cooler people than me call Brentwood). I love me some Sonic and I think their tater tots are boss. I know a tater tot isn’t technically a French fry but SHUT UP! SONIC TOTS ARE DELICIOUS YOU PHILISTINE! I CAN INCLUDE THEM IN MY LIST IF I WANT TO! Final Score: 11/10 because TOTS!
Now Five Guys is a bit fancier than the other, more plebeian fast food joints. If a McDonalds french fry is wearing a T-Shirt and Sweatpants, a Five Guys is wearing a spiffy suit and tie. They’re a burger joint for people who want actual burgers, so it is to be expected that they’ll go above and beyond to give us a proper fry to go with their proper burgers. I must say that I quite enjoy Five Guys Spicy Cajun Fries, especially when they’re piping hot and just out of the fryer. They are the metaphorical bomb! Basically a perfect fry in my opinion. But I do take certain issues with the Five Guys method. First of all, they just dump all your fries in the bag like some sort of barbarian heathens who are against neatness. They have a cup in there that in theory should hold your potato sticks, but in reality it is just a futile scooper drowned in a sea of spices and potato. In order to eat them you have to stick your whole arm in the bag and get your elbows covered in spice dust. Have you ever tried licking spice dust off your elbows? It doesn’t work. Secondly, they give you a bajillion fries. It is very generous but I don’t want every potato in Idaho, thank you very much. Because of these problems I dock a point off of an otherwise perfect fry because I am a spiteful and capricious person. Final Score: 9/10
5. Burger King: I don’t like them. Especially those crinkle cut Satistfries. They are incredibly lame. The normal ones are barely passable in my experience. They are usually limp and flaccid and need a lot of ketchup to be palpable. I also distrust their Mascot the Burger King. He creeps me out. Final Score: 3/10
6. Popeye’s: Every time my family goes on a trip, we’ll usually stop at a Popeye’s for one of our meals. Besides having some of the best fried chicken on the fast-food market (eat your heart out KFC), Popeyes has the best Cajun french fries of any fast-food joint. Perfectly battered and covered with the ultimate blend of spices, Popeye’s has their recipe down. Unlike Five Guys, Popeyes does not dump the whole container of spice on their helpless spud fingers and that is why I give them a perfect score. Good job Louisiana Kitchen! Final Score: 10/10
7. My Dad’s Homemade Fries: OK, I’ll admit that I am little biased, but I will attest to one universally acknowledged fact: my father is the best cook on planet Earth. You might cry “Harumph” and “Partiality, good madam!” in your silly fancy voice but I will simply chortle blithely at you. Like gravity of inertia, my father’s amazing cooking skills are a fundamental natural law of the universe. The French Fries that he makes are sublime, but I must dock off half a point because he doesn’t make them often enough. Final Score: 9.5/10
8. Connection Cafe: For those who don’t know, the Connection Cafe is the restaurant run out of the Weigh Down building manned by the magnificent Leaman family and a host of volunteers. Besides being THE destination for godly fellowship, the Connection Cafe also has some pretty spectacular food that is portioned perfectly for those finding hunger and fullness for the first time. My personal favorite is their spicy shoestring fries that are fantabulous and always piping fresh. Whether you want to listen to the life-changing lessons on the Weigh Down radio show or just grab some fellowship time with a saint, the Connection Cafe is the perfect destination, and it doesn’t hurt that they have great food to eat within God’s boundaries as well.
Final Score: 10/10
Fries are great, but even better is the ability to sense what God is leading you eat and how to sense when your body is satisfied. Thanks to the Weigh Down workshop and the teachings of Gwen Shamblin we can eat real food and know that we aren’t overdoing it because we are looking for God’s lead in everything. It is so much fun!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my post on french fries. Please post if you have a contender you’d like to rate, or you think I’ve wrongly misjudged an innocent tater. Fry On!
See how I lost 40lbs. at www.weighdown.com