Tuesday, December 14, 2010

French Fry Diary 188: Roy Rogers

To quote Tommy Kiefer and Cinderella, the local glam metal band of that sadly lost era, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," and that's kinda how I feel about Roy Rogers restaurants and their fries.

They used to be everywhere, and I enjoyed them a lot, but then a few decades back, they all disappeared, except for on the turnpikes and on the way to Baltimore and Washington DC. Founded by the singing cowboy actor of the same name, Roy Rogers used to be the number three fast food place behind McDonalds and Burger King, a slot now held by the fry-switching folks at Wendy's.

I have fond memories of Roy Rogers, believe it or not. I played Dungeons & Dragons there. I read my comics there after picking them up on payday. I took dates there, yeah, I know, I was a cheap bastard. It was where I went with friends after the funeral of another dear friend. And the local Berlin Roy Rogers was once a Gino's where I got one of my first jobs. Roy's was a mainstay of my youth.

Roy's also has a special place in my heart if for only one non-favorite fried food reason - they serve their hamburgers plain. Being a catastrophically picky eater I like my burgers plain, 'regular grill' as some fast food places call it, just the burger and the bun as I have to stress whenever I go through a drive-thru or even go inside. As anyone who has asked for a special order at a fast food place will tell you - I might as well be robbing them at gunpoint, they don't want to hear it.

McDonalds is a major offender for getting orders wrong, White Castle is almost impossible, and despite what their ads say about 'having it your way,' Burger King has a shoddy record as well. And Checkers, just don't even bother, it ain't happening. Roy Rogers is the plain hamburger godsend in an apparently incompetent world.

Roy Rogers Restaurants have some of my favorite fast food French fries. They are golden brown regular cuts, crispy on the outside, and soft and hot on the inside. They're good for sandwiching, dipping and especially for running through a drive-thru for a quickie snack. Don't forget to get some of the bbq sauce from Roy's Fixin's Bar for dipping, some of the best.

These fries reheat well at home either in the microwave or the conventional oven, same for the burgers, I might add. They're terrific sandwiched in your burger and Roy Rogers bbq sauce is the best for dipping. And best of all, in true western tradition, the fries come in a holster. Now really, how cool is that?

In recent years, Roy Rogers has also gotten into the curly fry business with standard natural cut curly fries covered with that also standard spicy orange seasoning. Nothing special here, but I don't care as long I can still get their regular fries.

Come back to South Jersey, Roy Rogers, and I don't mean to the turnpike, back to somewhere we can actually get to when we want to, and with a drive-thru too. We miss you, come back!

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