Saturday, August 01, 2009

French Fry Diary 34: Cookes of Dublin

One question I have been asked time and time again since I started this blog is “What are the best / your favorite French fries?” This is the entry that answers that question – at least so far.

Cooke’s of Dublin at Walt Disney World, or to be more precise, it’s that Disney West Side / Disney Marketplace / Downtown Disney / Pleasure Island (or what’s left of it) multi-mega-plex shopping center. This is the fast food side of the Irish Pub operation called Raglan Road.

You can get fish and chips, chicken skewers and chips, or a ‘lurry-load of chips.’ A truckload I suppose, but I always thought trucks over there were called lorries rather than lurries. It should be noted that the Irish-accented staff had no idea either. Oh those Irish, they can’t even speak the Queen’s English. ;-)

The chips, as fries are called on the emerald isle, were long and thick, without skins, sometimes surprisingly long. They were also cooked to order, no waiting under heat lamps, fresh from the fryer. While they were deep-fried, the chips have a very cool (and I don’t mean temperature) baked French fry texture, not greasy at all. On the inside they have a wonderful baked potato taste, obviously brought on by the thickness of these chips. They were sooo good, we made two trips to Cookes on this visit.

There is also a lot to be said for the authentic Irish atmosphere. The music, the accents, the food and everything else combine to make you forget you’re in the middle of the Disney sphere of influence. Even the condiments add to the atmosphere as vinegar is provided for the chip traditionalists.

Other bonuses include ‘doh-bars’ for dessert... the insidious deep-fried candy bars we in the north have heard so much about. I like my danger foods but even I didn’t dare this one. Maybe next time. And of course, being in the south, you get to sample Mr. Pibbs instead of Dr. Pepper. Viva la difference.

And there you have it, the best French fries in the world (so far, and I’m still searching) are the distinctly Irish chips from Cookes of Dublin. Give ‘em a try when you visit Orlando, Florida or Disney World.

*reviewed from my 2005 trip to Walt Disney World.

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