Saturday, July 30, 2016

French Fry Diary 712: North Bowl

Last month after the Writers Coffeehouse sponsored by the Philadelphia Liars Club (and if you're a writer in the area, and haven't been to this monthly event, shame on you) friend and fellow writer Amy Holiday invited The Bride and me, and the other writers from the SJWG who attended, out to dinner. Because of my predilection for potato-ey things, she picked a place known for its tater tots - North Bowl.

Yes, it's a bowling alley, but it's a cool retro bowling alley, and they have house made gourmet tater tots. It doesn't get better than that. Located in the gentrified Northern Liberties/Fishtown section of Philadelphia, it might be a little difficult to find, and parking is at a premium, but it was worth the trip. The d├ęcor is cool retro, you might not realize at first you're in a bowling alley, and of course, there's the tater tots.

To cover our bases for the review, we all ordered different types of these housemade gourmet tater tots. I kicked it old school with the original; while others got the garlic tots with garlic, herbs, and shaved Parmesan; and the crabby tots with old bay and cheese sauce. The tots appeared to be just standard tots, frozen and possibly deep fried, but they didn't taste that way - they were pretty good.

The Bride, and The Dark Crystal in from San Francisco (we miss you, girl!), went off the tater trail and got the cheeseburger mac and cheese, declaring it quite tasty as well. We were all too full to try the funnel cake fries for dessert, maybe next time. If nothing else, it's yet another reason to come back to the area.

The afternoon was a good time with friends, fried foods, and good conversation. I am really going to miss these folks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

French Fry Diary 711: Good Thins

I saw these while fighting with the pharmacy automatic refill system at Walgreens (don't do it, it rarely worked, at least for me). This new potato/wheat snack from Nabisco is called Good Thins (or stylistically GOOD THiNS).

They're baked, and have no artificial flavors or colors, no cholesterol, no partially hydrogenated oils, and no high fructose corn syrup. I didn't even know that last one was a thing with potato snacks.

I got the original flavor, because as regular readers know, I'm so darned adventurous. These Good Thins, which have 60% less fat than regular potato chips by the way, also come in sweet potato, spinach & garlic, rice, chickpea, with more to come.

Sealed in a foil bag inside a box, these silver dollar sized discs have a Cheez-It texture but a Pringles taste. More cracker than chip, they do have a bit of that you-can't-just-have-one addictive potato chip quality. Quite better than I expected, these are really quite good.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Potato Emojis

McCain announced last week that they would be expanding the trademark smiley face potato bites into emoji form. They will initially be available in Outback restaurants in Brazil before launching worldwide.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

French Fry Diary 710: National French Fries Day Aftermath

This past Wednesday was National French Fries Day, and as you might expect it was a pretty big day around here. Such a big day, it took a few days to recover, lol. There were a few things I wanted to talk about though that I missed in the last blog entry.

The big news, if you don't already know, is that I was featured in USA Today in a article by Larry Bleiberg about, you guessed it, French fries. You can read "10 Must-Try French Fries Across the USA" right here. Special thanks to Larry, for putting up with my fry obsession in emails and phone conversations putting this together, it was awesome fun!

In Canada McDonald's celebrated National French Fries Day in a special way with #FryLove. There was a Twitter campaign and even t-shirts that are now sadly sold out. I'm sorry I wasn't hip to it before it happened.

And finally, to celebrate the day, The Bride and I had some fries at b. good, and they were fantastic. I hope your fries were just as good. Happy belated National French Fries Day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

National French Fries Day 2016

So how are you celebrating National French Fries Day today?

Besides just eating some fries, or even better, making your own fries (here's one cool way) and eating them, there are a number of ways you could celebrate today.

If you go to Chickie's & Pete's today, their amazing Crabfries are only one dollar, what a bargain! Also if you enter the Crabfries Eating Contest at their South Philly location, you can not only help out a great charity, but you could also win Crabfries for life!

If you are headed to the Collingswood location of The Pop Shop, kids eat free (one free kid entree with one paid adult entree) and grownups get a dollar off any full order of their fabulous Pop Fries. 

As I mentioned last week, members of Fry Society get free fries at New York Fries. However you celebrate, enjoy.

And don't forget to share your fries with your friends. That's the best way to celebrate. If you want to post pics to social media about your fries and your fry adventures today, please do, and use the hashtags #NationalFrenchFryDay and #FrenchFryDiary. Mmmm… fries…

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

French Fry Diary 709: Lay's Barbecue Potato Chips

This is regarding the newer and improved Barbecue Flavored Potato Chips, you know, the ones that are "bursting with more BBQ flavor." And I also have to say up front, in the spirit of full disclosure, that Lay's sent me a coupon in the mail to get these new chips for free.

In the past, I have always found Lay's chips to be too thin and a little bit greasy. Add to that, that I don't recall anything about their BBQ chips, especially when that's my fave chip flavor - that just doesn't bode well before I even open the package. Speaking of which, the only difference between these and the old ones I can see at first is the banner across the top of the bag saying it has more BBQ flavor.

Upon opening the bag there was a nice smokey aroma and the chips, while still thin, were heavily and evenly covered with the barbecue seasoning. The taste was heavy with tomato and molasses and a good afterburn kick. If they were thicker, they might be good for dipping in ice cream or a milkshake, something cold as a contrast, but alas they're too thin.

The new Lay's Barbecue Potato Chips aren't bad, and unlike the previous kind, quite memorable. I'd pick them up again.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Cow Appreciation Day 2016

It's that time of year again at Chick-fil-A, Cow Appreciation Day! This year it falls on Tuesday, July 12th - tomorrow! So get yourself some sort of cow mask, costume, whatever, wear anything cow-like (you can find ideas here) and get on over to Chick-fil-A for some free chicken! And while you're there, don't forget to get some of those great Waffle Potato Fries!

Friday, July 08, 2016

Join the Fry Society!

Just in time for French Fry Day, if you join The Fry Society before July 12th, 2016, you'll get free fries at New York Fries. Details can be found here. Mmmm… fries are always better when they're free...

Thursday, July 07, 2016

French Fry Diary 708: The British Chip Shop 2016

As part of my South Jersey Farewell Tour, I had to hit the British Chip Shop one last time. We went on a weeknight but they were still fairly busy, which is always nice to see they're doing well.

The last time I was here was with the South Jersey Writers for a social gathering, and if I'm being honest, the food was great but the customer service was a bit lacking. It could be why I hadn't come back in seven months. Let's hope things are better on this final trip.

To start, we got the curried cheese fries as usual, and as usual they were awesome. And as the dish was wiped clean of curry, cheese, and fries... we quite enjoyed them as usual. Hot, gooey, and delicious, and they came right out, great service. Other than them being out of the chicken Marsala, the ordering went well. I got what I always get, the chicken and chips.

The chips were as always great, but the chicken coating could have been a bit more crispy. But that's not really a problem, as the portions are large, I always bring half home and reheat it - so I can crisp it to my satisfaction. So out of one I got at least two meals. As much as I fought the urge however I did not order the deep fried Mars bar - the tastiest food on Earth and the mortal enemy of diabetes.

All in all a pretty decent meal for my last at the British Chip Shop, good times, good friends, good food.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Friday, July 01, 2016

Random Tater Pic of the Day #243

Here's a pic of the Sea Salt Potato Chips housemade at Jake's Wayback Burgers. We got them after a long day of moving/packing/cleaning/purging. Thanks, Jeff!