Sunday, May 31, 2009

The French Fry Dog

Grateful Seoul, a travel blog about Korea, unearthed this intriguing photo…

Here is the description from the site: "Pictured above is, simply put, a heart attack on a stick. Look closely, what you are seeing is a hot dog that has been battered and then coated in French fries before taking a dip in the deep fryer. This lovely treat was on display at various stands throughout the Dongdaemun Market area in Seoul. No, I did not try one. It really doesn’t look that good in real life."

Mmmm... actually that does sound pretty good, despite being a heart attack-on-a-stick. I still wouldn’t mind trying it at least once.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

French Fry Diary 23: Skewers, Marlton NJ

Skewers is a Middle Eastern restaurant near Borders in Marlton NJ that serves Israeli home cooking, not the place you would expect the favorite fried food, but life is just full of surprises, isn’t it? They have no web presence or I would give them a plug, but apparently they have yet to enter this century. Their menu pushes the falafel, shawarma and hummus and entices you to “come and experience the great taste of the Mediterranean” with inappropriate capitalization.

The Bride, a much braver food explorer than I, discovered this place and then insisted I had to try their fries. A week later she finally brought some of the notorious Skewers fries home as take-out. It was then we learned that consistency was not high on their priority list.

Whereas The Bride marveled me with tales of crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside regular cuts, I was greeted by a whole ‘nother animal in the plain brown paper take-out bag. These were not the same fries as she had tried on her first trip to Skewers. It appears they use whatever fries are handy.

These were store-bought frozen crinkle cuts., deep fried with some mystery spice heavily sprinkled on them. They were soggy and only vaguely warm after the five-minute trip home, with no crispness whatsoever. The spice was orange with pepper flakes, and other than the color it was pretty inoffensive – until the aftertaste and heartburn hit about an hour later. They did look good, but trust me, they weren’t.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Is…

I found this at .the storyteller.the vainpot.the critical thinker., a cool blog by Carmen Leong Hao Yi, and I think it’s just beautiful...

”Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”

Chrissy – age 6

Isn’t that cool? Read the rest here.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Always Share Your French Fries…

From the Newark Post:

Mom beaten with aluminum bat after she fails to share French fries with son

By Carl Hamilton
Published: Thursday, May 21, 2009 1:26 PM CDT

A 16-year-old Port Deposit, Md. teen beat his mother with an aluminum bat during a tantrum triggered by her refusal to share her French fries, police said. The 52-year-old woman suffered injuries that put her in the hospital. Police charged her son, Dennis Floyd Hickman III, as an adult.

Read the rest of the article here.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

French Fry Diary 22: Sonic Drive-In

Sonic Drive-In is a unique dining experience that used to be everywhere in the 1950s and 1960s but has since receded into the depths of time – the drive-in. Sure there are still drive-ins around, but finding a good one is harder than it sounds. Sonic is easily at the top of that list.

Sonic has taken the drive-in experience to the heights of ‘fast’ food the same way McDonald’s pioneered the drive-thru concept. You pull up to a parking spot with an entire drive-thru menu next to your car, then you stay and eat. Place your order (when you want, there’s no rush here) and a carhop (for lack of a better word, but it is the correct term) will bring your food out to you. And it happens fast, really fast, and on an equally impressive level, your order is accurate. As someone who normally has special requests on his order, I can tell you this is an admirable talent. Special orders really don’t upset them. Some fast food places will say that, but Sonic means it. All A-plusses for service.

The food is much better than I thought it would be. As a Jersey resident, I had heard fabled stories of Sonic, which up until very recently none existed anywhere near me. Opportunity knocked with the discovery of one nearby Philadelphia Park on Street Road in Bensalem. The burgers are very good, the desserts amazing and the drink selection (they claim 168,000 possible flavor combinations, woo-hoo!) is unparalleled – but what I’m sure you really want to hear about is the favorite fried food.

The sad news is that Sonic fries are unimpressive. They come in shoestring variety, just a bit larger than McDonald’s and Burger King, thankfully not very greasy, but unfortunately not very hot either. Not awful, mind you, but neither are they spectacular. They are great for putting on your burger, and I wouldn’t turn them down, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for Sonic fries either.

Sonic also has Tator Tots (spelling in context from the receipt). While an interesting and unique choice as many fast food and franchise restaurants don’t carry them, Sonic’s tater tots (my spelling, and I’m sure the correct one) are only adequate, even with cheese added. Honestly, frozen tater tots from your grocery are better than these baked in your own oven. Not of interest to me of course, being a purist, but both the Fries and the Tots can come in a cheese or chili cheese variety. Beat that, McD’s and BK.

But we can’t shut Sonic out completely in the side dish category as they also have more than a few other selections. Among them apple slices and bananas (to make the Health Nazis happy), mozzarella sticks, corn dogs, popcorn chicken, and even French toast sticks as their breakfast is available 24-7. Topping the list of alternative sides are the Sonic onion rings. Similar to Fatburger’s o-rings (and that’s good thing), these are hot and very tasty. Unlike Sonic’s fries, I would go out of my way for their onion rings. Yep, they’re that good.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Clown Vs. The King

Just had to share these two images.

These are from Sherry Ficklin’s terrific blog The Circular File, and in particular her entry The Clown versus the King where she amusingly compared McDonald’s and Burger King.

Check it out here.

It certainly does bring out the creepiness inherent in both icons...

Heath Ledger as the Joker or as Ronald McDonald... that's pretty scary.

The King... that dude is just the creepiest...


Monday, May 25, 2009

French Fries Vending Machine

Fresh and hot (well, at least I hope so) French fries from a vending machine!

I don’t know what they’re saying, but I bet it’s “Mmmm... fries...”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

French Fry Diary 21: The Most Dangerous Fries on Earth?

In-N-Out Burger is a California-based fast food chain that is reputedly one of the best, but it being on the West Coast and me being on the east, I have no way of knowing that. Hopefully someday I’ll find out.

One of the things that sets it apart from other chains is its simplistic menu, but don’t be fooled by that. Those in the know are hip to In-N-Out’s ‘secret menu,’ a way of ordering anything they want that’s not officially on the menu.

One of these ‘secret menu’ distinctions is the “Animal Style Fries” which come with melted cheese, spread (Thousand Island dressing with a mayonnaise base), and grilled onions on top. This concoction has been singled out as dangerous by This Is Why You’re Fat and by Strange Herring as one of the Top 10 Meals That Are Certain to Kill You. That’s quite an achievement for an order of fries.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

French Fry Diary 20: Wawa

For those of you outside of the local Delaware Valley area, Wawa is sort of like 7-Eleven, a convenience store that is literally everywhere here, approximately one every mile or so in every direction, open 24-7 and has just about everything one could possibly need at three in the morning or just before a big snowstorm. Yeah, that’s right, it’s French toast central – milk, eggs and bread.

They also specialize in quick on-the-run food, including coffee that some say beats Starbucks by a mile, a wide variety of deli items, hot dogs, hot pretzels, and yes, even pancakes. And speaking of breakfast foods, they even have hash browns.

The Wawa Hash Brown is similar to the McDonald’s Hash Brown in that it is (supposedly) diced potatoes fried in a patty form. As you can see it’s much smaller and squarer than the Mickey D version, although these too are kept under heat lamps to keep them hot. Who knows how long they’ve been under these lamps however. The one I had was kind of tasteless at first, which was weird because I was tasting that tastelessness for quite some time afterward. I don’t know what’s in these things (I’m not sure it’s a potato product even) but I won’t be having another.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Baked Potato Slices

Here’s another one from Beth Layman at Just-Potatoes:

Baked Potato Slices

My husband has become a gourmet cook and this recipe is a part of his favorite meal. It is easy to assemble and delicious with its simple ingredients.

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

2 medium russet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon salt


Cut potatoes into 1/4-in. slices.
Place in a large bowl; drizzle with oil.
Sprinkle with seasoning blend and salt; toss to coat.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts
One serving:3/4 cup
Calories: 228,Fat:7 g,Saturated Fat:1 g,Cholesterol: 0 mg,Sodium:308 mg,Carbohydrate: 38 g,Fiber:3 g,Protein:4 g


Monday, May 18, 2009

Cheesy Chili Lime Gold Potato Wedges

Cheesy Chili Lime Gold Potato Wedges

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 hours,

2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt, to taste
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1/4 cup finely grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, optional
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, optional
Salsa and sour cream for dipping, optional

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil or spray liberally with vegetable oil.

Place lime rind, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder in a large zip-top bag. Squish around in the bag until combined.

Scrub gold potatoes and dry. Cut in half lengthwise. Continue cutting halves lengthwise into wedges about 1/2-inch thick. Add gold potato wedges to the oil in the zip-top bag, seal, and toss to coat.

Place gold potatoes on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is golden. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serve gold potato wedges with optional sides of salsa and sour cream for dipping.

Yield: 4 servings
Stuck in a rut when it comes to your side dishes? Check out this group!

The above recipe brought to my attention at the just-potatoes group.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Donut Fries

Courtesy of This is why you're fat, these are donut fries.

Yep, deep fried dough cut in the shape of French fries and served with raspberry jelly and Bavarian cream dipping sauce. But then, what else would you dip them in, right?

They are the creation of the quirky cool folks at Psycho Donuts in Campbell, CA. Check out their website and blog for all of their cool stuff.


Monday, May 11, 2009

French Fry Diary 19: The Continental, Atlantic City

Mother’s Day this year the Bride and I took her parents to a surprise dinner in Atlantic City. The restaurant we chose was The Continental at the Pier Shops in Caesars Casino, built in the building that once held the Ocean One mall, with a sort of Rat Pack Vegas style motif, and a view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I love the retro d├ęcor, it’s a really nice atmosphere despite it being in an upscale food court for all intents and purposes.

The food is served family style with more than generous portions. Some of the hits this evening were the cheesesteak eggrolls, French onion soup dumplings, arugula salad, the Kobe sliders and the grilled Thai chicken skewers. The real treats however, and the reason this is in French Fry Diary, were the Szechuan shoestring fries.

These are similar to the shredded potatoes that are sometimes used for breakfast potatoes but not quite. These are potatoes cut in the fashion of Szechuan noodles. Not sure how they pull this off but these babies are super-thin and super-long, and probably just flash-fried and served. Damn tasty, impossible to eat with a fork or even in a polite manner. Just grab a handful and stuff them in your mouth.

The serving size at the Continental is more than generous; it’s enormous. We are talking one plate could easily serve four, five or six people and still have fries left over. They are served with a spicy Chinese mustard that can be drizzled over them or served on the side. None for me please, I’m a purist, but I’m told it’s quite good. I’m also told these crispy tater critters are also an excellent salad topping. All A’s for this unique variation on the favorite fried food.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

And Now a Message from the President... of KFC

Never Underestimate the Power of Free

Never underestimate the power of free, or perhaps that should read: Never underestimate the power of Oprah.

Yesterday's promotion by Oprah Winfrey and KFC hit a roadblock when the fast food franchise ran out of chicken. In some locations long lines, protests and near riots occurred. Details can be found here.

Now maybe we know why Oprah has never endorsed a fast food restaurant before...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thanks Oprah!

Philanthropist and TV goddess Oprah Winfrey has given us all a gift recently. No, it’s not a brand new car under our studio seats, but free chicken.

From May 5th through May 19th (excluding Mother's Day, May 10th) Oprah is giving America two free pieces of KFC’s new Kentucky Grilled Chicken. The whole scoop is here. And get your coupon here, before midnight tonight.

And don’t forget those delicious KFC potato wedges as one (or both) of your sides. Mmmm... fries...


Cooking with Dave: Fried Potatoes

Dave Can Cook takes a shot at frying potatoes, making some nice thick potato wedges in a Dutch oven. Great looking Tracy fries, Dave!


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pickled French Fries

Executive Chef Don Santos has a very cool blog, called "A Half Cup of Life, A Teaspoon of Insanity," that has the catchphrase "Don't make what people want - Make people want what you make." That's a rockin' attitude for a chef in my opinion.

Make sure you check out his blog, but especially his recipe for Pickled French Fries, found here. A combination of interesting tactics - malt vinegar, duck fat, cranberry ketchup - all working together for a fine final product. Mmmm... fries...


Saturday, May 02, 2009

French Fries - The Movie

"French Fries" is the story about a guy, his truck and a bunch of used vegetable oil. This funny and inspiring piece follows Charris Ford, "The Granola Ayatollah of Canola" as he makes the rounds in his veggie fuel powered rig. This film is very timely and unlike many environmental films, really makes you laugh. With Daryl Hannah, Dennis Weaver and internationally renowned physician, Doctor Andrew Wiel.

For more information, click here.