Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Random Tater Pic of the Day #238

"The Fries aren't the side, They're the Entourage." From the paper under the Bottomless Steak Fries cup at Red Robin...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All-You-Can-Eat McDonald's Fries

One of the best things about Red Robin is their Bottomless Steak Fries. They aren't the best fries, they're good mind you, but the best thing about them is that they keep coming.

Now a place that does have some of the best fries is getting into the bottomless business. A McDonald's in Missouri set to open in July will have not only custom made burgers, but also the bonus of all-you-can-eat fries.

You can read about it here.

Thanks to The Bride and podcast partner Ray for hipping me to this feisty fried phenomenon.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Random Tater Pic of the Day #237

Another treat from north of the border... Poutine Fries from McDonald's... or more accurately, McPoutine.

Friday, April 22, 2016

French Fry Diary 699: Ruffles All Dressed

All Dressed? Seriously, what flavor is this? It appears at first glance to be barbecue, but that couldn't be because I doubt that BBQ Ruffles even exist. I've never seen them, they're a myth.

According to the hype on the package, All Dressed is the #1 flavor in Canada. Honestly when it comes to potato products, I thought that would be poutine, but apparently it's All Dressed. It's been described as vaguely like German potato salad or ketchup, vinegar, and BBQ all mixed together. Hmmm... I don't know... Listed in the ingredients is a mystery substance called 'All Dressed Seasoning,' surely the FDA has some rule about this kind of stuff.

I have to say, when I opened the bag, the aroma wasn't pleasant. They looked just Ruffles in shape at least, but it was the flavor I was hesitant about. I tasted the vinegar right away and a bit of smokiness, and something else I couldn't quite identify. They weren't bad but they weren't barbecue either.

And I still don't know what All Dressed means...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

French Fry Diary 698: Herr's Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ Potato Chips

As much as I hate to say this, mostly because I really used to enjoy Herr's chips, but in recent years, maybe just over the last decade, their potato chips have decreased in quality and taste. They are much thinner, and greasier. There was a time when I would have said they were the best, but no longer.

That said, Herr's can make kettle cooked potato chips. They have the thickness and the crunch their regular chips used to have, well, maybe just a little crunchier. All of the varieties of kettle I've tried from Herr's are quite good, I just wish the flavors were consistent across the board.

These mesquite BBQ chips are great but this is the only chip you can get that flavor on. Just like the tangy BBQ on the popped chips or the honey BBQ on the regular. How about a baby back rib baked chip? Or a honey BBQ lattice cut?

Anyway, these chips are awesome, a little hot, a little sweet, and just right for dipping with their kettle twists. Recommended.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

French Fry Diary 697: Eatrageous Sweet & Smokey BBQ

I had written about these before when I tried the Sea Salt variety of Eatrageous. I had suspected a little flavor might make them better, and with this bag of Sweet & Smokey BBQ I find that I was right.

My first impressions of this 'modern' chip remain dead on, and the BBQ flavor is just enough and just as advertised - sweet and smokey. A little flavor is all they needed. They still have that smooth almost shellac surface, and very crunchy. I do still wish they were bigger for optimal dipping, but I could just go buy some Bugles for that.

Monday, April 18, 2016

French Fry Diary 696: Lay's Korean Barbecue Potato Chips

So. Lay's Flavor Swap. What the hell, right?

It's one thing to look for new flavors, or to have contests to find new flavors, but why would a company plan to retire a potato chip flavor? That's the gist of this contest, one stays, and one goes.

Of the four pairings going to war - cheddar & sour cream vs. smoked Gouda & chive, flamin' hot vs. fiery roasted habanero, and sea salt & cracked pepper vs. olive oil & herbs - only honey barbecue vs. Korean barbecue concerns me. Now I'm biased but why take a major potato chip flavor like honey barbecue off the table? It's almost like a New Coke trick.

Now the voting is over, but the results have yet to be posted, so who knows what will happen? In a world where I can't find physical proof that BBQ Ruffles exist (they're that hard to find), why eliminate flavors?

The Korean Barbecue flavored potato chips aren't bad, thin, with not much heat, except for a light sting in the aftertaste. Too thin to dip properly, and with sort of a meat chip vibe, not that that's a bad thing, these aren't bad, they're actually quite good - but I wouldn't trade them for Honey Barbecue, ever.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

French Fry Diary 695: Landscape of Flavors, Dinner

After being beaten into near immobility after a half-day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I was done for the day. Many hours later I emerged from my self-imposed exile and crawled to Landscape of Flavors for dinner, hoping it would be better than breakfast there.

I went traditional, mostly because burgers I had seen earlier looked really good. The burger was fresh, hot, and juicy, and I was surprised by getting more bacon as a topping than I had as a side the previous morning. Hallelujah, the bacon shortage must be over!
Most surprising however was the whole wheat bun that I usually don't care for, it was fresh, soft, and delicious.

Accompanying the burger were deep-fried natural cut shoestrings, hot and crunchy outside, hot and soft inside. For what they were, these darn good fries. They were even good when they cooled off.

Having stayed at Art of Animation twice, I have not been a fan of Landscape of Flavors, but this meal may have changed my mind.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

French Fry Diary 694: White Castle Frozen Fries

The day before I found these, I had been watching an episode of Jon Hein's "Fast Food Mania" talking about Valentine's Day at White Castle, and lamenting that there was no longer any White Castles nearby any more. Toms River is quite the road trip for a sudden slider craving. Now these frozen fries, along with the grocery freezer version of the brilliantly microwave-steamed sliders, might just be able to approximate the White Castle experience at home.

I had thought in my passing acquaintance with White Castle fries that they were simply standard frozen crinkle cut fries, but examination of the contents of the bag made it clear these crinkle cuts are smaller. Not quite pixie crinkles, but larger than shoestrings, and
just as long. I'm not sure I remember the real thing being like this, but I'll pay more attention next time.

They came from the oven quite tasty. Crisp and hot and tasty, yes, but not all that much like real White Castle fries. Not that they couldn't be, of course. Follow the cooking directions, but keep a sharp eye on them while in the oven. You can have these just like in the restaurant, or however you like them. These are good fries, well worth it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Random Tater Pic of the Day #233

This contestant on Game Show Network's "Idiotest!" noted that she did not eat the ends of French fries because her fingers had touched them. So what did show host Ben Glieb do? He offered her some fries, of course. Do you have a peculiar way of eating fries? Let me know.

Monday, April 04, 2016

French Fry Diary 693: O'Lordan's Irish Pub

On a recent trip to see the in-laws, and especially see the nephew rock the house as part of his school's chorus, we stopped for a late night dinner at O'Lordan's Irish Pub. It being a pub and it being Friday night meant it was very loud, but we were seated behind the stage where the atmosphere was much quieter - and apparently less traveled by the waitstaff.

As the company was good we didn't mind the long wait time, much. I got my regular, a burger and fries, but what I really wanted to try was the Onion Cone. It's described as "Spanish onions in a seasoned batter and fried golden brown." However in my current altered diabetic state, those types of deep fried delicacies are certain death by carb, and calorie, and cholesterol. Maybe next time.

The burger, ordered medium well, was on the charcoal side of very well done, but still tasty on the inside, as long as one could get through the blackened exterior. On the plus side, it was on a sesame seed bun, which I usually prefer.

The fries that came as a side were waffle fries similar in cut and first glance to Chick-fil-A, but that's where the resemblance ended. If one took those great Chick-fil-A Waffle Fries, battered them, deep-fried them until they were crunchy on the outside and greasy on the inside, then over seasoned them... yeah, you got it. They were that bad.

That said, potatoey products purchased by other members of our party (how's that for alliteration?) were quite good, including the Bangers & Mash and the Potato Skins, the latter of which were made from huge Russet baking potatoes. The Irish Whiskey chicken Tenders also looked very good, maybe for next time. And I'm not adverse to coming back, they could have been having a bad night - not as bad however as the singer who was soundly butchering David Bowie and Tom Petty on the other side of the wall...