Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #192

Kinda looks like French fries at first glance, doesn't it?

Look carefully, this giant fixture by the pool at the Finding Nemo suites of the Art of Animation resort at Walt Disney World is not what it seems... oh well...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

French Fry Diary 660: Hamburger Mary's 2015

We had a blast the last time we went to Hamburger Mary's in Orlando FL, chilling with our friend and FFD contributor and guest-blogger Terry Willitts, it's true, but we wanted go back to get the full experience. After all, what good is a drag bar/restaurant if you don't see the drag show, right?

We made reservations early this time, and Terry's lady friend Hattie joined us, and we were all set up for dinner with show to follow. As usual when we get together with Terry, the conversation is good, we talk books, movies, television, and this night was no exception. Most notable of topics was Terry's thoughts on the movie Jaws. To my astonishment, he doesn't dig it. I think it's an almost perfect movie. We went from there.

The show started an hour after we arrived though, so dinner was a priority. I got my usual, burger and fries, and we also got the Loaded Potato Chips for the table. According to the menu, they are "freshly fried potato chips, topped with melted cheddar/jack cheese, crispy bacon, and served with a side of fresh sour cream." They were right on target, perfect bacon, hot melty cheese, and some damn fine homemade potato chips as well - that last not being an easy feat in itself.

As the night went on we noticed that our waiter, who was exceedingly nice and rocked our evening, was a dead ringer for Wil Wheaton. This made his every trip to our table a festival of stifled giggles. Wil was cool though and did right by us, and didn't once ask to fly the Enterprise. My burger was pretty good, as it was last time, chargrilled on a soft sesame seed bun. The fries were only okay, and only good while hot. These heavily battered taters are not my favorites. Next time I think we'll maybe try the onion rings.

Next we had the show, Leigh Shannon's Cabaret Dinner Show, featuring comedy, music and lip sync performances with a group of female impersonators and one real genetic female (you have to guess which one, which I was horrible at). Still I loved it, The Bride loved it, and I'm pretty sure Terry and Hattie loved it, a fun night out for all. Even the tipping was fun, but I have to keep it clean, so I can't really tell you about it.

For more details of the evening, which like last time ended with our check in a high heel, you can check out The GAR! Podcast and The Make Mine Magic Podcast right here and here. Enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2015

French Fry Powered Trains

I might be a week or so late for Earth Day but I still wanted to share this one.

What do the trains at Disneyland have to do with French fries, you might ask, well, I'll tell you. They don't run on diesel fuel like most trains, they use recycled cooking oil, used to cook French fries and other foods at the Disneyland resorts. See, French fries aren't that bad, they're even good for the environment.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #191

Sadly I missed out on this potato party, but thanks to friend and French Fry Diary contributor Robin Renee for hipping me to this!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

French Fry Diary 659: Cape Cod Waffle Cut Barbeque Ranch Potato Chips

When I first saw these at Rastelli's, I must admit I was pretty angry. The store had gone from a place I would go because they had Charles Chips to a place I likely wouldn't go otherwise. Oh, they still carry Charles, but only in the $14 tin cans.

I was vowing to never come back unless this changed when I saw the Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips in the Waffle Cut Barbeque Ranch variety. They were worth a try, even though of course there was no guarantee that Rastelli's would ever have them again.

I had tried the Sea Salt flavor a couple years ago and praised the dippability factor of these chips. They are still aces in that department, very thick and still better than Herr's Lattice Cut chips. The barbeque flavor is solid and smoky, so the chips are good whether you dip them or not.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

French Fry Diary 658: Logan's Roadhouse

We had a late night dinner option open on our first night in Celebration, Florida, and we had a few choices. We tried to pick something from Urbanspoon, FourSquare, and traveling up and down the Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. We could go back to Steak 'n Shake, maybe go to a real, open, Ponderosa Steakhouse, or try something new. We went with the third option and ended up at Logan's Roadhouse.

I at first I thought this was the only one, but quickly realized this was a chain, not that there's anything wrong with that. It was certainly the happening place to be the Friday night we went, parking lot packed, neon lights everywhere. Just like the old Lone Star Steakhouse, which has sadly moved from our South Jersey/Philadelphia area, there were peanut shells all over the floor. A bucket of peanuts was at our table, and we were subconsciously encouraged to throw our shells on the floor. Allergies be damned!

The menu and atmosphere was pretty typical for the Lone Star, LongHorn, Outback, Texas type restaurants, which was fine with me. We got the tower of onion rings, which is actually a call back to Red Robin or Chickie & Pete's but still terrific. The Southern Onion Tower, as they called it, was a tower of onion rings on an upright stick with two sauces, southern dipping and ranch. These were big, thick rings with a crunchy bread crumb coating. They were delicious and we ate them all.

Of course, that would have been better with utensils and especially napkins. We had to finally ask for them. Our waiter was not the most attentive we have ever had. It was quite a long wait for refills on our drinks and water. When we finally got them, he was not endearing himself to us. The Bride said 'thank you,' and he replied with a huffy and dismissive 'mmm hmm.' It was almost a verbal finger snap.

I ordered the chopped steak, medium, but it was more rare than anything. If that was medium, I should have asked for well done. The fries were natural cut shoestrings, very crunchy and good. The fries I liked a lot. I would have liked more of those, but because of the huge portions, we took most of our meal back to the hotel.

Our room was equipped with a microwave, so we had leftovers for lunch the next day. The nuked chopped steak was perfect, but the fries did not take so well. That said, I am sure they would have been better reheated in a conventional oven. All in all we liked the food very much, but the customer service not so much.

Monday, April 06, 2015

French Fry Diary 657: Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen

On our way to Florida for a much-deserved vacation, we arrived at Philadelphia International Airport early, and had enough time for a quick breakfast. Choices are limited, although places one wouldn’t expect to be open for breakfast were. Case in point - Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.

They actually had a nice selection of breakfast foods, most of them in a sandwich, wrap, or omelet, so I ordered a la carte. I had a choice between plank-like hash browns (like McDonald's, but as with the ones on the Disney Cruise, vastly inferior) and breakfast potato chunks. Because they looked good, I went with the chunks, and bacon, because, well, bacon.

These were heat lamp potatoes in the worst way. When I say 'heat lamp,' I mean like they were under a heat lamp for a while. Yuck. They had red peppers, which was a plus, but were also only warm, looked old, felt dry, tasted stale. They were just not good at all. The image may look good but I assure they were not.

Of course they also gave me a huge serving of bacon, which was perfect and awesome. It's been a long time since I've had bacon this good. That's four stars for the bacon, but none for the potatoes. Also on the good side, they had Orange Crush, which is always great, even for breakfast.

For the record, in its traditional menu, which is only lunch and dinner, they don't seem to have the favorite fried food. Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Featured Blogger at PhillyGrub

Many of you already know, but I'd thought I'd give a shout out here, after all, I'm not shy. I was recently the Featured Blogger at Philly Grub. You can read the interview here.

This was a real honor and aw shucks moment, and thank Marilyn a lot for the exposure, and please everyone check out her Philly Grub blog and Twitter. Philly Grub rocks.

And while I'm in promotion mode, you all do know that French Fry Diary is also on Pinterest, and has its own Facebook group, right? Also occasionally I'll be talking French fries on my two podcasts - The GAR! Podcast and The Make Mine Magic Podcast - check them out.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Honey Butter French Fries

McDonald's in South Korea has relented to a craze going on in that country recently. Last year Calbee made huge sales with their honey butter potato chips.

These chips had the taste of sweet bee honey with rich French gourmet butter, which caused sellouts and one bag per customer policies at many stores.

And now, McDonald's has come out with Honey Butter French fries. Seems like a natural choice. You can read about it here.

How do you feel about Honey Butter French fries? Something you'd try, like, or ignore?