Friday, June 26, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #207

Today's image comes from this very blog a few years back. I can think of no better way to celebrate the day that #LoveWins here on French Fry Diary than with a plate of rainbow fries. It's also a pleasure to turn a negative image into a positive one. Congratulations everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #206

My much-missed friend Crystal sent me this pic from San Francisco. These Somebody Else's Fries come from The Yellow Submarine sandwich shop. Thank you, Crystal, miss you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #205

If you've seen the new Disney/Pixar release Inside Out, you know what lurks just inside the gates of Imagination Land… a forest of French fries!

For more of my thoughts on Inside Out, my review is here at my pop culture blog Welcome to Hell, and The Bride and I discuss the film in depth on the latest episode of The Make Mine Magic Podcast. Check it out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

French Fry Diary 675: Mission Statement

Every once in a while we should all take a moment to establish and remind ourselves what we are actually doing. I started this blog, French Fry Diary, found here and here, because of the premise of 'write what you know.' I know French fries, and I love French fries, so I write about French fries.

French Fry Diary is one man's journey into everything you wanted to know about French fries, and more - potato chips, recipes, onion rings, fast food, and good food - all aspects of the potato and fried food, and especially where the two meet. Whether it's a French fry restaurant review to pictures of fries from around the net, to odd facts to fries in pop culture, I try to feature it here.

French Fry Diary can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and fries are frequently a topic on my podcasts - The GAR! Podcast and The Make Mine Magic Podcast. Here's hoping you'll join me on my journey. Mmmm… fries…

Friday, June 19, 2015

Random Tater Pics of the Day #203 and 204

These Somebody Else's Fries again come from my big sister Bobbie on a recent trip to the Hard Rock Café in Orlando, Florida. This first pic is from The Kitchen, a restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel. From Bobbie, "The Kitchen's fries were shoestring, very crunchy and didn't need any salt at all, very good."

This second pic is from the Hard Rock Café proper. Bobbie said they "were regular fries, crispy on the outside, with a great seasoning. They were the best!"

Thursday, June 18, 2015

French Fry Diary 674: The So-Called KFC Rat

So it's happening again. Every once in a while, someone supposedly finds something in their fast food that is a deep fried something that shouldn't be there. Rarely is it true, usually it's a hoax, or an attempt to make money from a lawsuit. Check your Snopes to make sure. But always, always, these things go viral, and the powers that be, that don't like fast food, use it as a reason not to eat fast food.

Today, we have the rat from KFC. It's just a piece of chicken that may look like a rat, that's all. Just like clouds may look like Lady Gaga, I assure you, they are not Lady Gaga. KFC assures us this is not a rat, just as the man who got this chicken tender and posted it to Facebook will not come forward and let them (or anyone else) examine the 'rat.' It's just a tender with the shape of a rat. There's a reason that McNuggets are made in the same shapes all the time, and this is it.

This might also be the place to mention another ugly rumor. KFC is not KFC because they no longer serve chicken, but because of the Health Nazi stigma of the word 'fried.' They are still Kentucky Fried Chicken, as seen in the new commercials featuring Darrell Hammond as Colonel Sanders, and the less said about those commercials, the better...

So KFC is safe, they're not cooking rats. And furthermore, you should go to KFC today, and get some chicken tenders, and a side of fries too while you're at it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #202

Friend, fellow member of the South Jersey Writers Group, and occasional contributor to French Fry Diary, Mieke Zamora-Mackay sent this edition of Somebody Else's Fries to me from Ponzio's Diner. It's a burger called The Bundy, which comes topped with cheddar cheese, crispy onions and bacon, complemented with their honey BBQ sauce, and of course French fries on the side. Thanks, Mieke!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

French Fry Diary 673: Ichiban Buffet

Recently some old friends and The Bride and I got together at a new buffet where the old Old Country Buffet in Cherry Hill used to be - the Ichiban Buffet. In Japanese, 'ichiban' means 'number one' or 'first,' but I think in this case, I think they're just being hopeful, as this was less than satisfying.

I'm not a big fan of buffets to begin with. I dislike the idea of not knowing who has been touching my food, maybe multiple times, for who knows how long, perhaps getting it on their plate, then changing their mind and putting it back. It's just not sanitary, no matter how many employees and cooks are watching to make sure that kind of shenanigans doesn't happen.

This buffet was $16.00 per person, and they seemed to have a good variety, as well as (boo) Pepsi products. One big highlight was the 'donuts,' or more accurately the little chunks of fried and sugared dough, but I was disappointed at there being no soft ice cream, usually a buffet staple. I was a bit irritated by this seemingly professional place in all other effects having the ingredients of the trays written on signs below in Magic Marker. Tacky.

But of course, I wasn't there for the signage, or the donuts, or even the ice cream, I was there for, among other things, the French fries. They were only warm, probably baked frozen seasoned fries, seasoned to the point of being as dark golden brown as the sweet and sour chicken, whose sauce was great on the fries. The mashed potatoes only okay, and I didn't see any onion rings.

There was one puzzle I couldn't figure out. Why won't they trust us with knives? We can cut our own meat at the serving station, dish our own hard ice cream, but they won't trust us with knives at our seats unless we flag someone down and ask for one? Weird. I probably won't be coming back, the company was excellent though.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #201

Today's Somebody Else's Fries comes from my big sister Bobbie who took this photo at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. somewhere in the South. She described them as "skinny, crisp and tast(ing) like restaurant fries." Thanks, Bobbie!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #200

Friend Marni posted this on the Facebook, because The Bride is a redhead, and I love fries. Thanks, Marni!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Friday, June 05, 2015

French Fry Diary 672: Not All Fries Taste the Same

A friend's husband just this morning on the Facebook purported the opinion that "all French fries, in his expert opinion, taste the same. Greasy. And it's only dips that make them stand out."

 I didn't respond at first, I waited, because I knew others would correct him of his misunderstanding. And they did. I was going to as well, but then I thought, why waste it on the Facebook, I'd just make an entry of it right here. There just might be others in need of an education on the favorite fried food.

First off, anyone who has had McDonald's fries, and Wendy's fries, and duck fat truffle fries, can tell you that they do not all taste the same. There's a reason you pay two bucks for Mickey D's and twelve dollars for duck fat fries. It's not the dipping sauce, it's the taste of the fry. 

Also, there are dozens and dozens of potato varieties, none of which taste the same or cook the same. Most American fries are made from Russets, but try a fry made from a different potato, and you'll get a different taste.

As far as the greasy comment goes, yes, some fries do taste greasy, mostly because they are cooked badly (or just plain wrongfully) in grease. Some folks, some cooks and chefs even, don't know how to make French fries. They shouldn't taste greasy. As anyone who appreciates good food knows, 'greasy' is not a positive word. How about baked or grilled fries? They certainly do not taste greasy. Nor do those cooked in one of those new air deep fryers.

The last part of the quote is absolutely true however. The dipping sauce will make the fry (which as I've explained is already different in its own right) stand out. Whether you're dipping your fries in ketchup, honey, milkshake, curry, barbeque sauce, cheese, mayo, teriyaki, mustard, or an almost infinite number of others, it makes a difference. But not all fries taste the same. Lesson over.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

French Fry Diary 671: Yorkshire County Fish Shop 2015

Ever since I visited this place a few years back I have wanted to return. Considered a quick service on the Disney Dining Plan, this tiny little counter tucked away in the United Kingdom section of EPCOT's World Showcase is indeed a little treasure. And their outside dining area is the perfect place to see Illuminations, or just chill and listen the Brit Invasion bands across the way.

So I got my chips and sat down, as seating was at a premium I sat at a table with a couple from Wales. They immediately wanted to know why I was taking pictures of my chips with my phone. I explained about the blog, and we had a nice conversation about accents, and chips, and fries. The gentleman called up French Fry Diary on his phone and was reading some of the entries. It's true, he had notes for me.

These chips at Yorkshire, or Cookes of Dublin or Raglan Road for that matter, aren't authentic. They are just what Americans think British chips are. I'm the victim of a tourism conspiracy. Real chips come from chip trucks or holes in the walls. And as far as fish for fish and chips, real fish is cod or haddock. As I was getting schooled, an older Scottish couple joined us at the table. This is what is so great about Walt Disney World - you can make friends quickly.

The conversation turned to accents and language again, and the two couples teased me by speaking real Welsh and Scottish, proving that neither is anything like what Americans would call English. The new couple agreed about the chips, not authentic at all - quite good, mind you, but inauthentic. Next we talked about American food - what is American food anyway? It's all stolen from other countries. We have good bacon, of that everyone was in agreement, but let's face it, bacon is Canadian.

I had a wonderful afternoon eating chips and chatting with new friends. This was great. So if you want to talk authentic chips, the Yorkshire County Fish Shop is the place to be.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #198

Today's image comes from the garden of my friend Robin, potatoes, planted by her housemate. The good stuff is underground, just like music.