(Image courtesy Bourbon Steak)
French fries never go out of style.
But lately, fries have made a resurgence of sorts, appearing on the menus of high dollar steakhouses, quirky neighborhood spots and upscale fast food joints, not to mention gracing the cover of Gourmet.
Some may think that the big daddy of all fries is found under the golden arches. While we’d like to poo-poo that idea, the truth is Micky D’s set the standard for hot, skinny, salty fries.
We’d rather have a hot batch of spuds from one of these five – make that six – Phoenix area restaurants.
Didn’t really want to put a chain at the top of the heap, but the fries speak for themselves and nobody does a better fry than Bourbon Steak. Oh, and they’re free – a gratis nibble before the main meal.
So, without further ado, here are five fries that are worth the caloric splurge.
(drum roll, please…)
1.Bourbon Steak. Without a doubt, the best French fries in the Valley are the trio of duck fat fried sticks from Michael Mina’s sleek steakhouse at the Scottsdale Fairmont.
Three silver cups filled with crispy spuds – one speckled with garlic and herbs, another glazed with truffle oil and a third dusted with spicy smoked paprika. The accompanying sauces – oniony ketchup, creamy truffle aioli, and smoky barbecue sauce – are just icing on the cake.
Maybe the presentation has something to do with it, but more than likely, it’s the duck fat.
2. Cafe Bink. But only because the chef cooks them not once, not twice, but THREE times. A gentle par boil first, followed by two rendezvous with the fryer. The result? Crisp on the outside, airy and tender on the inside.
3. Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge does two kinds of frites. One type is crispy matchsticks but we’re more taken with the russet and sweet potato fry medley. The truffled, spicy ketchup is a bonus.
4. Maizie’s Cafe & Bistro. This cozy uptown neighborhood bar serves French fries that, (are you sitting down?), actually taste like potatoes. Amazing, but true.
5. The Tuck Shop. Just because they’re not called French fries, doesn’t mean they’re not. Patatas bravas are fat sticks of herb-crusted taters served with garlicky aioli and a bowl of smoked paprika spiked tomato sauce – a Spanish twist worth seeking out.
Honorable mention: Wrap-N-Frappe. No, seriously, they have fantastic sweet potato fries, but it’s the honey dipping sauce that landed them on the honorable mention roll.