Sunday, August 30, 2009

French Fry Diary 38: Bottomless Birthday Fries

Just a quick one today, folks, but one with lots of pictures. Last night I celebrated my birthday with friends at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, the home of the infamous "Bottomless Fries."

This isn't really a review, so I'll be brief. We had three servings, one in lieu of cake while being sung "Happy Birthday," of the sometimes hot and tasty, sometimes not, Red Robin steak fries. And they do mean bottomless. They will keep coming.

What made the night, other than good friends, good conversation and good fries, was the magic 8 ball coaster on the table -shown here- that kept prompting us (and by us, I mean me) to get more fries.

Good times. :-)

Bookmark and Share

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Fry Phone

If you have a serious thing for french fries, then you’ll love this phone. It flips open to reveal a hidden key pad that allows you to dial and talk into the french fries. The red plastic phone comes at an extremely affordable price too. You can pick it up for all of $20 from Urban Outfitters. Honestly, Urban Outfitters has got to be my new favorite store, purely due to having anything from french fry phones on up to extremely well made retro radios.

Buy it here.

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, August 15, 2009

French Fry Diary 37: Remembering Julia Child

There has been a resurgence in popularity for late great TV chef Julia Child with the release of Julie & Julia, which as far as I’m concerned is terrific, because she was, in a word, terrific.

Lots of old interviews and remembrances have been popping up all over the place. The one I have heard most is how much Julia enjoyed Dan Ackroyd’s impersonation of her on the early “Saturday Night Live.”

The second one I have been hearing has been about her love of French fries. As mentioned previously, she may have even been responsible for the word ‘julienne,’ but this quote caught my interest.

When discussing exotic French foods during an interview held while walking the streets of Paris, Julia pointed to a McDonalds and said, “They have the best French fries!”

Bookmark and Share

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rockin’ French Fries

A blast from the not-too-distant past with Ronald McDonald and his McDonaldland friends, featuring the Fry Guys, and introducing the ‘Fry Girls.’

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Half Hour Meals

French Fry Diary 36: National Julienne Fries Day

August 12, 2009 is National Julienne Fries Day. Julienne refers to the cut of most vegetables, but usually potatoes, into a fry-like shape.

The term was brought to the forefront of American pop culture by Ron Popeil’s commercials for the Veg-O-Matic, "It slices! It dices! It makes Julienne fries!" Urban legend indicates the word is derived from Julia Child, apropros with the film Julie & Julia currently in theatres.

To further celebrate the day, here’s a special Julienne recipe from Cookthink:

Baked Sweet Potato Julienned Fries

2 sweet potatoes, light olive oil or canola oil, as needed, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 pinch red pepper, 1 pinch cinnamon, sea salt, champagne vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 450°.

2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into long thin shoestrings. Toss them into a bowl and drizzle with light olive oil, stirring lightly to coat.

3. Season potatoes with cumin, thyme, black pepper, red pepper and cinnamon.

4. Throw them on a baking sheet. Spread evenly in one layer, if possible.

5. Bake in the upper portion of your oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, until they are tender and sizzling and crispy around the edges.

6. Sprinkle generously with sea salt as soon as you take them out of the oven. Serve with a sprinkle of Champagne vinegar (at the table), if desired.

Happy National Julienne Fries Day!

Bookmark and Share

Monday, August 10, 2009

Late Night Movie

From 1989, one of the first attempts at creating edible microwave French fries. At least it was a cool commercial, even if the fries didn’t match up for a few years.

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Free Medium Fries

Have you tried the new Angus Third Pounder at McDonalds yet? If you haven’t and are so inclined, for the month of August, there are free fries in it for you. Click here for the printable coupon.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fries on Twitter

In a delirious brainstorm after reading far too much Texts from Last Night (which I absolutely love, but not as much as French fries), I decided to record the state of the fries community on Twitter. Here’s just a sampling...

isabelmusic gonna try my home made fries again...maybe a bit thicker this time, I don't know...

wkdkmom Mmmm..Five Guys burger and fries. If I had a Rita's gelati, it would be the perfect meal. :)

starprincesss Guess what I found at the gas station? Ketchup flavored fries! Naaasty!

nuriati Seaweed shaker fries.. Fav seh!!!

captainpj "You going to eat all of that?" he asked, while staring at my fries om-nom-nominously...

YoRitaSouthSide criadillas de carnero tonight. if you don't know about lamb fries... now ya know!

Clumsy21 i want an in n out combo with the fries mmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!! and the double double ugh!!!! I LOVE IN N OUT

benjiharding @Jmarc803 Five Guys is fries ever.

manlyeats MANLYCOMIC of the day: "batter dipped, deep fried french fries" titled fryfry-fry-fry-fried-fries --

Just a ‘taste’... we’ll do this again. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m here. And I can see I’m going to have to do a bit of research on shaker fries and lamb fries, among other things...

Mmmm... fries...

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

French Fry Diary 35: The Just Fries Phenomenon

One thing I noticed on this trip to Walt Disney World was that there were a few places in WDW, notably Disney MGM Studios and the Magic Kingdom where McDonalds fries were available as a snack. Just the fries. Well, also beverages of course, but none of the other standard Mickey D’s fare. No Big Macs, no McNuggets, no triple thick shakes, not even a McGriddle – just those delicious golden fries.

It’s almost as if someone figured out what the winning menu item was and decided to cash in. Now you can go up to a McDonalds kiosk and order fries, and not feel like a fiend because you didn’t order a sandwich too. Great marketing, Disney and McDonalds! And by the way, the ‘golden’ fries near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride – clever!

*reviewed from my 2005 trip to Walt Disney World.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, August 03, 2009

Baked Hash Browns

Baked Hash Browns

Another recipe from Quick Cooking...

"Mother always served this creamy, satisfying potato dish to company, and now I do, too," writes Julie Driskel of Magnolia, Arkansas. "It tastes especially good with steak or roast beef."

TIME: Prep: 5 min. Bake: 55 min.

8 frozen hash brown patties
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Place patties in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Pour cream over patties.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and cheese is melted.
Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts
One serving:(1 each)
Calories: 213 Fat:15 g Saturated Fat:10 g Cholesterol: 56 mg Sodium:416 mg Carbohydrate: 15 g Fiber:2 g Protein:5 g

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, August 01, 2009

French Fry Diary 34: Cookes of Dublin

One question I have been asked time and time again since I started this blog is “What are the best / your favorite French fries?” This is the entry that answers that question – at least so far.

Cooke’s of Dublin at Walt Disney World, or to be more precise, it’s that Disney West Side / Disney Marketplace / Downtown Disney / Pleasure Island (or what’s left of it) multi-mega-plex shopping center. This is the fast food side of the Irish Pub operation called Raglan Road.

You can get fish and chips, chicken skewers and chips, or a ‘lurry-load of chips.’ A truckload I suppose, but I always thought trucks over there were called lorries rather than lurries. It should be noted that the Irish-accented staff had no idea either. Oh those Irish, they can’t even speak the Queen’s English. ;-)

The chips, as fries are called on the emerald isle, were long and thick, without skins, sometimes surprisingly long. They were also cooked to order, no waiting under heat lamps, fresh from the fryer. While they were deep-fried, the chips have a very cool (and I don’t mean temperature) baked French fry texture, not greasy at all. On the inside they have a wonderful baked potato taste, obviously brought on by the thickness of these chips. They were sooo good, we made two trips to Cookes on this visit.

There is also a lot to be said for the authentic Irish atmosphere. The music, the accents, the food and everything else combine to make you forget you’re in the middle of the Disney sphere of influence. Even the condiments add to the atmosphere as vinegar is provided for the chip traditionalists.

Other bonuses include ‘doh-bars’ for dessert... the insidious deep-fried candy bars we in the north have heard so much about. I like my danger foods but even I didn’t dare this one. Maybe next time. And of course, being in the south, you get to sample Mr. Pibbs instead of Dr. Pepper. Viva la difference.

And there you have it, the best French fries in the world (so far, and I’m still searching) are the distinctly Irish chips from Cookes of Dublin. Give ‘em a try when you visit Orlando, Florida or Disney World.

*reviewed from my 2005 trip to Walt Disney World.

Bookmark and Share