Friday, June 29, 2012
Long John Silver's, I had suspected that they had changed their fries. The ones in the ads were natural cuts as opposed to the lightly battered crispy shoestrings they used to have. New fries? So I had to try them.
So I went over to the Long John Silver's and Taco Bell combo that's the only place to get LJS in my area. It was lunch time but not really all that crowded, but yet my wait time was about fifteen minutes. It seemed as if the crew was more concerned with drive thru than the customers at the counter. The drive thru was moving at quite a clip while about a half a dozen of us waited inside.
Long John Silver's did indeed have new fries, and bad ones, a definite step down in quality and uniqueness. They were natural cuts lightly peppered and barely warm. There's nothing wrong with natural cuts, but these were disappointing natural cuts, and a much smaller portion than previously.
This was not a pleasant visit to my local LJS. I'm not writing them off completely though. Thankfully I can still get chicken planks a la carte.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
I made these deep fried crinkle cut potato slices from fingerling potatoes I got at Whole Foods. And I seasoned them with a special Fries Seasoning I'll talk about in a future blog entry. I know, it kinda defeats the purpose of shopping healthy, but mmmm... they were good...
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
In celebration of National French Fries Day this coming July 13th, FooBooz wants to know where you can find the best French Fries in Philadelphia.
You can check out the article, the comments, and vote here.
And special thanks to Allison for hipping me to this!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Pop Shop for breakfast this past weekend and I was surprised to find one new item on the menu in particular - Pancake Fries!
They are described in the menu like this: "Our fresh made Bettys, cut into strips, deep fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with cinnamon cream cheese for dipping."
The Pancake Fries are wonderfully presented in a paper cone and fry holder, with the aforementioned cream cheese in one side dipping cup holder, and pancake syrup in the other.
Not only did they give the illusion of looking just like the Pop Shop's great Pop Fries, they were delicious. A crunchy pancake delight, just another of the so many reasons to go to the Pop Shop for breakfast!
Monday, June 25, 2012
As it turns out that Ian's Natural Foods in Massachusetts also makes gluten-free chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and something more in line with our obsession here, potatoey Alphatots. I'll have to track that last one down for a future blog entry.
The bag made a lot of promises. No wheat or gluten, no milk or casein (whatever casein was), no eggs, no nuts, and no soy. These "Gluten-Free Crispy Golden Battered Onion Rings" had a lot to live up to, and I hadn't even gotten them home yet.
Soon as I got home I couldn't wait to try them. First they are sliced thinner than standard onion rings, which is good, I like that. Second, their coating is neither wonderful Panko nor yucky beer batter, but corn flakes. That rocks. That makes for an extra crunch, always a good thing.
For the record, there are no microwave instructions, despite it saying 'microwave' under the cooking directions. On closer inspection, what it says is microwaving is inadvisable. In mad scientist mode I tried it anyway, so you won't have to. It was a disaster with soggy way too chewy onions. Baked is the way to go 100%.
Very quickly, test it out to get the right time as it's variable to the oven and thickness of the rings, you will have very tasty and crispy onion rings. Unlike most freezer rings, these might need a bit more seasoning however, I dipped mine in barbecue sauce. You can add what or dip with whatever you like. These are really terrific. Recommended. Can't wait to try Ian's fries.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Huffington Post did a survey of appetizers in chain restaurants looking for the best and worst in potato skins.
Yeah, that's right. The Huffington Post did this. Just when I think I'm wasting my time talking about French fries all the time, an almost legitimate news source proves me wrong by going even more trivial.
Now I'm not a real big potato skins fan, chiefly because the point is to scrape the potato part out (that's the part I like) and put other stuff in. Me, I'd rather have a baked potato, ya know?
Anyway, if you're interested in the Huff Post's findings and opinions, the full article is here. Enjoy.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ruffles, they make a great dipping chip. But then I saw this. Ruffles. Ultimate. Really? When I first saw those words on the shelf at my local Wawa, I was entranced. I had to know what Ruffles Ultimate was. And even better - Ruffles Ultimate with sweet and smokin' barbecue flavor, what a bonus.
So of course I snagged a bag. The packaging held some clue. Apparently Ultimate Ruffles are all about 'hardcore flavors' to crush a 'hardcore hunger.' Apparently the Ultimate style chips come in the regular Original and there's also a Kickin' Jalapeño Ranch flavor. I don't think I'll be trying those. These, however, promised on the bag that my hunger was about to get blown up by a spicy, sweet and smoky taste bomb. Boom. Well, then.
I have to say, once opening the bag and trying them, these are indeed no ordinary potato chips. Heck, these are no ordinary Ruffles. The ridges are huge, bigger than any I've seen on any other ridged potato chip. They are more like Herr's pink foil Ripples but much bigger, and cut much differently than regular Ruffles. These chips would be and are amazing as dipping chips, especially with my favorite, ice cream as the cold contrasts with the heat of the chip.
Yes, be warned, these are very hot chips. No playing around here, these are hot, but it's a good heat. Have something cold and refreshing nearby to wash these babies down with. The seasoning is very heavy, almost making the chips a bright solid orange, and they are indeed both sweet and smoky.
These Ruffles are very close to ultimate. Bravo. Much like Herr's with their Lattice Cut Potato Chips, Ruffles has found a way to make a better dipping chip. Thumbs up.
Monday, June 18, 2012
These sweet potato fries are the same size as their regular fries, only flat, as if cut in half long-wise. Sort of like miniature steak fries and a little like Wendy's fries. I've already mentioned here about my distaste for BK's now not so new fries, but I have to say I wouldn't mind if they came in this sweet potato fry shape. That would be innovative, and probably more enticing and tasty.
They taste good. I was very impressed. I'm not a sweet potato fry guy most of the time, and I thought these were very good. Better than the regular BK fries, and it has to be said, best while hot. As they cooled they were sadly less appetizing. These sweet potato fries are a nice change of pace. I would get them again.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Hungry Girl email newsletter, featuring "Make 'n Fake Fries," we have this recipe which uses carrots instead of potatoes.
Grin ’n Carrot Fries
1/2 of recipe: 116 calories, 1g fat, 428mg sodium, 27g carbs, 8g fiber, 13g sugars, 2.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0
Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb. carrots (about 8 large carrots) 1/4 tsp. coarse salt, or more to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray. Cut carrots into French-fry-shaped spears, fairly equal in size. Lay them on the sheets, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip spears. Bake until tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, about 15 more minutes. (The thicker the fries, the longer the cook time.)
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Paul's Idaho Potatoes. The Flutter Fries I had waited so long for were just not good. And it wasn't because Ken and I had already had a terrific lunch at European Republic either, it was just an all around bad experience at Paul's.
To be fair, Paul Idaho Potatoes, or Paul's Idaho Fries, has a long history down the shore, specifically in Wildwood. They've been doing their fresh cut, natural cut boardwalk fries cooked in peanut oil down there for well over three decades. I've had them, once upon a time, before I started doing French Fry Diary, and they were pretty good.
I have to say however, their South Street Philadelphia location was a bit of a disappointment on all points. First, they didn't take credit cards, which really wasn't a problem, but we had to hunt down an ATM before we could partake. The man behind the counter at Paul's was not the most friendly or helpful sort it should be noted. We were left to find an ATM on our own in a neighborhood I would guess he knew better that we did. Have I mentioned South Street isn't as pleasant as it once was? Yeah, that's the kind of place where we found an ATM. On a side note, Paul's is actually pretty pricey for what they serve - they should accept credit cards. Five for Flutter Fries and four for lemonade just for example.
On the plus side, once we had cold hard cash in our hands, it was fun to watch Mr. Congeniality make the Flutter Fries. A whole (Russet, I think) potato is fed into something like an apple-coring device, and from there the potato is cut into one continuous flat spiral slice. From there, it's dumped into hot oil, I'm assuming peanut oil, for a few moments. Then Mr. Friendly puts them on a paper plate and with a shove pushes them over the counter to us.
After waiting so long to try these, the afternoon (not counting lunch at European Republic and chilling with my buddy Ken) was just one big disappointment. I don't think I'll be coming back to Paul's, even for the regular fries. That's how bad this experience was. Shame.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
After picking friend Ken up at the airport we had firm plans to go to Paul's for lunch. You remember Paul's Fresh Cut Idaho Fries on South Street, they tempted me a few months back with their flutter fries, also known down the shore as tornado fries, just without the stick.
So there we were on South Street, walking on our way to Paul's when we saw a sign over our heads with a picture of fries, frites even, in a paper cone. We had to stop, just had to. Well, I had to. I was mesmerized. Fries. Paper cone. I was inside before Ken knew I was gone. The place was called European Republic. They specialize in wraps, but notably they also have European style fresh cut frites with over twenty different toppings.
The frites were real frites. Fresh cut, thick cut, deep fried and golden brown, they were wonderfully hot and crispy on the outside and hot, soft, and potato-ey on the inside. These fantastic frites were served in paper cones and were, as I said, very crispy. I was in heaven with these nearly perfect Belgian frites. Ken said the wrap was pretty good too. I can't wait to go back! Highest recommendation.
It should be noted that their website only lists a Chestnut Street location, but there still is the restaurant on Sixth and South. Definitely get there, either place, and try these terrific frites.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I recently re-visited Luigi's Pizza Fresca in Marlton. I had been there once before for the blog. Other than a just okay cheesesteak (I have been spoiled for life by Outta Philly), I got an order of onion rings to split between our party. These are two of the grocer's freezer deep fried rings we were served. A disappointment.
Monday, June 11, 2012
A Battered Tartan since I first heard about it. First, it's quite small, a quaint storefront off the beaten track on Mill Street which is right off Main Street in Moorestown. Four tables and a counter, thats it, but it was enough. Not what I expected at all, the British Chip Shop in Haddonfield, this is not, but it is authentic and heartfelt.
As we ordered the man behind the counter wrote our order down and brought out some fresh cut potatoes, drying them. This told me right there and then he knew what he was doing when it came to the favorite fried food. We watched as he made our order from scratch, battering the cod, wrapping the cheesesteak spring rolls, dropping the chips, etc., all in plain view. Oooh, the magic of cooked to order.
While we sat, The Bride and I perused the menu, so many options and possibilities for a next trip, and we knew there would be a next trip. I got an orange Irn Bru (very sweet) and The Bride got a Diet Coke despite the fair selection of UK soft drinks. There were also Flake bars and Mars bars on the counter as well.
their website either.
So much to eat, we took some home, and were even told how to reheat it for later. An excellent and enjoyable experience and meal. Also very very reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
Friday, June 08, 2012
It's barbecue season so it seems like a good time to show you this - Bobby Flay's recipe for his Grilled French Fries, as well as a variety of condiments to go with. Enjoy!
I have to wonder however why he does serve these at his Burger Palace...
Thursday, June 07, 2012
here. Okay, let's do this, today I am reviewing (let me take a breath) "Dirty" All Natural Potato Chips Mesquite BBQ We Kettle Cook In A Premium Peanut Oil Blend For A Crunchier, Tastier Potato Chip! Whew.
I've done the regular dirty chips before and I was very unimpressed. I recall comparing them to communion wafers because of their lack of flavor and seasoning. These, being Mesquite BBQ, I'd hoped would be different. That's why I picked them up the last time I was at the Cool Dog Cafe for a to go order.
On the bonus side, they have no transfats, no artificial colors or flavors, no MSG, no preservatives, and are kosher and gluten free. Unlike their regular brothers these do have flavor, a nice hot barbecue taste. As a matter of fact they have a lot of seasoning. They also have a nice kettle cook, with wavy shapes good for dipping. Recommended.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Alexia Onion Rings are my favorite grocer's freezer rings.
Now I've talked about Alexia's beer battered rings, but these are the real deal - 'Crispy Golden Onions with Sea Salt' and the Panko bread crumb covering. Alexia does it best. No cholesterol and no transfats either, so how can you lose?
There are deep frying instructions, in small print, probably because they are not great done that way. Of course if you like extra crispy and crunchy, go for it. It's not my preference, especially when baking them is healthier, and tastier. Unlike a lot of frozen grocer side snacks I talk about here, Alexia's directions are perfect as far as timing and temperature.
I sometimes open the bag, add various seasonings, then coat them Shake N Bake style in their own bag. But that's just me. I love these rings and dip them in barbeque sauce, or you can even make your own dipping sauce from the recipe on the side of the bag.
Alexia Onion Rings rock, period, recommended.
Monday, June 04, 2012
Fearless to a fault, she got a Band-Aid on her pointer finger and went back to peeling. Again the potato forced the peeler to bite her, this time on the middle finger. After another Band-Aid and some tender loving care from her husband Brian, Taryn recovered nicely.
The offending veggie was subdued after the second attack. No one is really sure what happened to the killer potato after that however. Rumor has it the potato was put on eBay, but that's just rumor. Evidence does seem to suggest that it was in fact *gasp* devoured for its crimes.
Thanks to Taryn and Brian for the image, and for risking their lives in the pursuit of a potatoey good meal.