Sunday, August 14, 2011

French Fry Diary 259: The Capital Grille, Cherry Hill NJ

My good friend Ken came up from Kentucky to spend some time with us here in the wretched state of his birth, New Jersey. My job, while he's here, is to ruin his diet. Also, because he'll let me. The problem sometimes with doing French Fry Diary is that many of my friends and family are on diets, and they won't/can't come out to play with me when it comes to reviewing fries. So, sometimes, I save the big ones for when Ken visits. Such was the case with the Capital Grille at the Cherry Hill Mall. We decided to go there for a late winter lunch and see what we could see.

The Capital Grille is a very ritzy place, various ceramic animal heads and a few birds of prey around a classic wood decor and an onsite wine reserve and butcher shop. Regarding that last bit, our server Christopher, who was very friendly and informative, says TCG specializes in dried aged beef. And extra points for Christopher - he didn't discriminate against us in t-shirts and jeans as opposed to everyone else there in office suit attire. We felt very out of place, but he made us feel at home.

I ordered, go ahead and guess what I ordered, folks, yes, a burger. Even in a classy restaurant, this catastrophically picky eater and fast food junkie still goes for the burger. This was a wonderfully rich chopped sirloin burger, but still a burger. Bread came and included a crispy flatbread that tasted a bit sweet. The burger was superb (dried aged beef, remember?), one of the best burgers I've had in a while, but that's not what you're here for, you want to hear about the favorite fried food, right?

The French fries were regular cut natural cuts called Parmesan Truffle Fries. Now truffle is one of the Holy Grail ingredients when it comes to fries, both truffle oil and truffle salt. The third in the triumvirate is of course duck fat. These fries were cooked in a garlic truffle oil with Parmesan and shaved parsley. They were very crispy, possibly deep-fried - very very good, but underneath it all they weren't that special. On the other hand, Ken said they were best fries he'd ever had, and that the spices made them. I thought they were great but if anything the truffle oil might have overpowered them a bit.

So despite the difference of opinion on the fries, my trip to the Capital Grille, and my first encounter with truffle oil, was a terrific lunch with a great friend. Good food, good conversation, good times.

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Corinna said...

Glad you enjoyed your burger. I work close to the Capital Grille, but still haven't eaten there. I wouldn't imagine they're really known for their fries, though ;)

Glenn Walker said...

They should be known for their fries though, just as much as they are for their steak and wine, as they are quite good.

By the way, I dig your blog, great stuff!