Saturday, October 31, 2009

First Lady Loves French Fries

In a recent Washing Post article, our First Lady Michelle Obama was quoted as saying she loved French Fries. Well, now, really, who doesn't?

"Turn off the TV," (Michelle) Obama told students."Go outside if you can." To make her point, Obama trotted out examples of her own efforts to eat well and teach her daughters, Malia and Sasha, how to do the same. Fast food was a treat when she was growing up, as was dessert, she said. And so in her home, if the girls say they are not hungry, they eat their vegetables and are excused -- but are not allowed to ask for anything else.

She also encouraged the children to turn off the television and move about. Malia and Sasha are not permitted to watch TV on school days and are allowed only several hours on weekends: "Because the TV is off, my girls get up and they move. Even if they're pushing each other down, they're running."

Obama empathized with parents about the struggle to put healthful food on the table. "When you come home from a long day at work and the refrigerator is empty and you know you don't feel like cooking," she said to appreciative laughter, "the easiest and sometimes the cheapest thing to do is to get in a fast-food drive-through. We've all done it."

But she said the key is to strike a balance.

"Look, my favorite food in the whole wide world are french fries. I love them. Dearly. Deeply. I have a good relationships with french fries and I would eat them every single day if I could," she said. "But I know that if I'm eating the right things, and I tell my girls this, if you get the right foods for most of the time, then when it's time to have cake and french fries on those special occasions, then you balance it out."

To read the whole article, click here.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

French Fry Diary 58: Phillies Phever Grilled Cheese

Here in South Jersey we are in the midst of Phillies fever with the Philadelphia Phillies scheduled to play the first game of the World Series against the New York Yankees tonight. In celebration of our team making it, local fry favorite the Pop Shop in Collingswood has a new sandwich that will make any Phils fan drool.

The Phillies Phever Grilled Cheese is, according to the Pop Shop, "a four decker grilled cheese (because we're going to take the series in 4 games) on a split Philly soft pretzels (fresh from South Philly) with alternating layers of hand-carved Philly-style beef, Cheese Whiz (it's so Philly!), and crispy onions rings (symbolizing the World Series Rings our Phils will receive) and topped with hot horseradish sauce (commemorating our smokin' hot team). It's accompanied by Phillie Phries!"

Mmmm... Pop Shop fries...

The Pop Shop is busy this week for the Phils. Not only do they have a special "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" sundae (ice cream being the other thing they do best besides fries and grilled cheese) but they will also have the games playing all through the Series so you can eat while you cheer on the Phillies.

And as an added bonus, if you come by 9:45 to 11 Thursday morning, Fox 29 will be on hand filming live. Don’t forget to wear your Phillies red. They’ll also be giving out samples of the soon-to-be-famous Phillies Phever Grilled Cheese. And don’t forget the fries!

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French Fry Diary 57: Poore Brothers Desert Mesquite Bar-B-Que

My wife picked these up at Walgreens for me thinking I might like them. Like it says on the bag, these kettle-cooked potato chips are "intensely different." Honestly I’m not sure just how different they are, but they sure are tasty.

Poore Brothers Desert Mesquite Bar-B-Que chips boast 0 trans fats and 0 cholesterol, so that ought to make the Health Nazis happy, for a moment at least, before suggesting that carrot sticks would be better. Then again, can you kettle-cook carrot sticks and brush them with BBQ flavor? Nope, just ain’t the same.

The flavor is just hot enough to stay with you but not too hot so that you’ll still be drinking water an hour later – just the right amount of spice. Like most kettle chips I especially love the crunched up shapes of these chips. They make for unique dippers in whatever you might want to dip them in. Me, I like ice cream, your mileage may vary. Either way, recommended.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Addicted to Spuds

Not sure if this is the 'official' video for “Addicted to Spuds” by "Weird Al" Yankovic, and I kinda doubt it is, but it sure is by someone who’s addicted to spuds.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Windows Whopper

To celebrate the release of Windows 7 in Japan, Microsoft and Burger King have gotten together for this scary publicity stunt that is sure to have the Health Nazis in an uproar - the seven layered Whopper.

Behold the majesty (or whatever) and don't forget to get fries with that.

Mmmm... fries...

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oktoberfest Potatoes

Oktoberfest Potatoes

7 medium red skinned potatoes
1/2 pound bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup vinegar
2 T. cornstarch
1 cup water
1 t. Lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 cup sugar

In large pan, boil the potatoes with their skins on for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. cool and slice 1/4 inch thick into a 2 quart casserole dish. In medium skillet, fry the bacon until browned.

Drain on paper towels. Remove most of the drippings from the skillet. Sauté the onion in the remaining bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the vinegar, cornstarch, dissolved in water, seasoned salt, bacon and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened,3 or 4 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the potatoes and toss. Bake, covered, in a 350 oven for 25 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8

...another great recipe from Potato-Recipe.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Move Over, Republicans

Apparently it's not just the Republicans and the right wing conservatives that have a problem with President Obama. Now those nasty Health Nazis are taking aim at the President for his fondness for Five Guys and burgers and fries...

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

French Fry Diary 56: The KFC Double Down

Had I not seen this on the news I would sworn this was a prank or something concocted by This Is Why You're Fat, but it's real, heart-stoppingly real.

This one is for you, Health Nazis, something that makes French fries seem not so bad after all...

The new Double Down sandwich from KFC, also known unofficially in some circles as the cardiologist's nightmare, consists of two chicken patties in lieu of a roll with two slices of cheese and two strips of bacon between them. No, I'm not kidding. Honestly, my first reaction after realizing this was for real was the thought that having a roll might have lightened the blow to the easily shocked.

As tasty and as artery-hardening as this sounds, this thing just isn't for me. But if you are going to try this monstrosity, don't forget the fries. Mmmm... fries...

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Fry Advice from a Master Chef

Odette Fada, Executive Chef of San Demenico NY has this to say:

"Every once in a while when I have beef tartar, I will go and buy French fries at McDonald's, but only then. They are the perfect pair to the beef tartar I make at home. They are nice and crispy and fried well and I like it because I don't have to make a mess in my kitchen trying to fry them myself."

The above quote is from Esquire Magazine's article "Why Fast Food Is Bad." As one might assume, the majority of the folks interviewed fall into the Health Nazi category... no appreciation for the favorite fried food... shame.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

French Fry Diary 55: Maisy’s, Baltimore

While attending the Baltimore Comic Con, we thought we would also do some fry hunting as long as we were also looking for a place to eat dinner.

My initial choice was a place called Tir Na Nog, as it had been recommended by a regular reader of this blog. When we mentioned it to someone at the hotel front desk, we were turned away because they were overpriced and had much too small portions. She instead suggested a similar Irish pub-like place around the corner called Mick O’Shea’s. Once we checked out the menu we found they alas had no fries.

On our walk back to the hotel we decided to try a place called Maisy’s, a cozy little bar/pub/restaurant that did, in fact, have fries. We were sold.

First came the onion rings, which magically were served in a French fry cone. They were only okay, breaded but greasy, but I have to give them points for presentation, just not for the food itself. The start of the meal however was ruined by a smoker just outside the open window by our table. Maryland outlawed smoking in restaurants and bars, but apparently not just outside open windows.

I was wildly original, being the catastrophically picky eater I am, and ordered the burger and fries. The burger was Angus beef and very good, juicy, so juicy it squirted my shirt – but it was so worth it. Very delicious. The fries were natural cut shoestrings sprinkled with parsley flakes – a little soggy (maybe from the burger) but quite tasty. Good friends, good conversation and good food, a great night out in Baltimore.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Smiths Jackets Commercial

More wackiness from the folks at Smiths Crisps. Apparently ‘jackets’ are thicker crisps with the skin still on. Intriguing.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

French Fry Diary 54: Comic Con Fries

I attended the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend and was surprised to see folks walking around on the con floor with cups of French fries.

Somehow a potentially greasy food is not something I would think would be sold at a convention dedicated to collectible pieces of paper of great value – especially considering what grease would do to them.

Nevertheless the snack bar was selling French fries. They were natural regular cuts and very greasy looking. Not surprisingly, I passed on these fries, for obvious reasons.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Smiths Crisps Commercial

Oh those wacky Brits.

Here’s a TV commercial from the 1980s for Smiths Crisps. For those of you late to the party – in the UK, crisps are potato chips and chips are French fries. Enjoy.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

French Fry Diary 53: Boardwalk Barker Mr. Potato Head

Yes, another Disney entry, but it’s a quick one, and a silly one at that.

At the moment one of the most popular attractions at Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida is Toy Story Midway Mania. It’s good old fashioned shooting gallery fun with a 3-D twist and combined into a five to ten minute ride. The wait to get in is crazy, sometimes up to an hour, and during the wait you wind through a maze of gigantic toys from childhoods past including Scrabble, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. While you’re there, check out the twisted scoring for Scrabble on the ceiling.

And what does this have to do with French fries I hear you asking? Lots. Sort of. Other than the giant variety of giant toys, your entertainment for this waiting line is the one and only Mr. Potato Head. Voiced by Don Rickles, just as he is in Toy Story 1 and 2, and presumably 3 as well, he is fully animatronically alive with stunning projection animated eyes.

Mr. P (or is that R?) tells jokes and sings and keeps the time flowing throughout the experience in his guise as a Boardwalk carnival barker. It makes what could be an unbearable wait almost a joy. Quite a show, and just for the record, one hell of a ride too.

Someday, Mr. Potato Head is going to make some fantastically entertaining French fries. Mmmm... fries...

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fast Food Chain

Snedge45 offers up this brilliant (to me at least) parody “Fast Food Chain” to Tay Zonday’s internet classic "Chocolate Rain."

Hmmm... they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. I wonder if the same goes for parody?

And I further wonder if a number seven comes with fries?

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Monday, October 05, 2009

French Fry Diary 52: Whispering Canyon Café, Wilderness Lodge, WDW

Atmosphere atmosphere atmosphere, with a touch of Disney magic thrown in for good measure – that’s what the Whispering Canyon Café is all about. Nestled in the majestic Wilderness Lodge resort in Walt Disney World, this restaurant is a wonderful western frontier themed experience for the whole family.

Our waitress was Goldie, alias Allison from Naperville IL, and our entertainment for the evening. A six-year Disney veteran, she was a delight in character and out. From throwing straws and napkins at us to explaining the menu to keeping the endless supply of milkshakes in various flavors coming, she was great and made the evening nothing but fun.

All that said, the food was great. The steak was the best I’ve had in quite some time. There was sweet corn on the cob and sweet corn bread as well. What’s that? Did I forget about the favorite fried food? Nope, not a chance. The natural regular cut French fries were hot and delicious. Nothing special really, but made extra special by the magical atmosphere.

Helping in the fries department was the bbq sauce that came with the ribs. It was reminiscent of the fantastic bbq sauce you used to be able to find at the now defunct Rib-It restaurant chain. It was the best I’ve had in a while and excellent for fry dipping. Now any regular readers of this blog know I’m not a ketchup guy, but – whether you want it or not, you must ask for ketchup here. Trust me.

This evening at the Whispering Canyon Café was great, the kind of dining experience Disney is known for. Fun fun fun. This place is definitely on the agenda for our next visit to Walt Disney World. Highly recommended.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

French Fry Diary 51: Yorkshire County Fish and Chips, World Showcase

This is a small fish and chips stand right next to the Rose and the Crown, the English pub/restaurant in the United Kingdom section of World Showcase at Epcot in Walt Disney World.

If you think that’s a mouthful, finding out the name of this place is even worse. It’s a bit of a word puzzle in itself. Officially, it’s the Yorkshire Fish Shop featuring Harry Ramsden’s. The sign over the shop says almost that, the sign over the window says Famous Fish & Chips. The building is attached to the Rose and the Crown. The wax paper says Harry Ramsden’s and the tray the chips lie in says Walt Disney World. The receipt says U.K. Fish & Chips Kiosk. Your guess is as good as mine.

The chips themselves are definitely British chips, almost but not quite as good as those at Cookes of Dublin. The chips are extra thick regular cuts, served quickly, hot and fresh. They’re not perfect, but damned good, a bit crisp, not a bit greasy, hot inside and out. The service is great, with an English accent, of course.

As I said, this place is right next to the Rose and the Crown. Sixteen years ago on my first trip to Disney World we had dinner there. I remember those chips being quite good, but they came with something resembling boiled steak. We came to the conclusion the food was UK authentic, as all UK food is supposedly bland. I checked the menu for the place while I was there – no boiled steak. Maybe we’ll try the place again, next time.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

French Fry Diary 50: Cookes of Dublin 2009

When we were planning our latest trip to Disney World, we had to make a stop at Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney to get a serving of (so far) the world’s best French fries. I had been there more than a few times before, reviewing it once from my 2005 trip. This return journey was two-fold – getting some more of those fries/chips, and trying those fabulous doh-bars for dessert.

The fries/chips were as good as ever. I’m a traditionalist, so I got the chicken and chips, again – fourth time in a row, although the chicken was not on a stick this time. The Bride was brave and got something different, and dangerous – a battered and deep-fried burger which she pronounced as very good. As I said, she’s braver than me. This time we also tried the ‘doh-bars’ – deep-fried Snickers bars on sticks. OMG. Food of the gods.

Cookes of Dublin remains a must stop destination on any Disney trip, and it’s still the champion of fries/chips.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

World Vegetarian Day 2009

Today, October 1st, is World Vegetarian Day.

What better time to remind everyone that potatoes, the magical food from which French fries are made, is, in fact, a vegetable.

Mmmm... fries...

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