French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites

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chuck_child
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2009/02/04 16:36:00 (permalink)

French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites

So, Im a vermont boy, who's moved to Michigan, and there are some foods I just crave from back home.  Strangely enough, french fries and burgers are the worst.  I can survive with the burgers, but the fries are driving me crazy.  There are two distinct types.  The first I can find no substitute for at all.  The second I found a substitute, but it's kinda sad.  I am praying someone out there knows of a place within two hours drive of detroit that produces something like the fries I am after.  . . . Otherwise I may have to take some time off from work and drive home!   Here they are.


1) Grew up on french fries and burgers from Beansies bus ( http://whats4lunch.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/beansies-bus-michigans-and-small-french-fry.jpg ), the same items from Al's french fries ( http://whats4lunch.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/als-french-fries-double-cheese-burger-hot-dog-pint-of-fries.jpg ).  Both places produce very similar fries, redish brown, not too crisp, but with a reasonably solid exterior, somewhat greasy, and something I miss horribly.  Both use lard to cook with.  Both hand cut their fries on premesis.  Both serve in half pints, pints, and quarts.   I miss them worse than my family. . .Because I can at least talk to my family by phone and email, with these, all I can do is stare at the screen and drool.

2) Nectars gravy-fries (http://www.wanderingeducators.com/files/u53/Gravy_Fries_-_Nectars.jpg) for these, the fries are not so much the issue, as the amazing combination with gravy.,   Even lower quality fries are fine, as long as the gravyt is good.  At nectars they are frozen fries, of a relatively beefy calibre, but the gravy. . . . The gravy is made fresh daily, and I have seen the dozen plus turkeys come out of the oven, late at night, for the gravy making extravaganza.   Obviously, a white, turkey gravy, rich and not too saulty.  Ladeled over a huge plate of fries, suitable for splitting with a friend, and fork required.   As I said earlier, I found a substitute that supresses the cravings some. . . . But it feels wrong to be eating at Rams Horn just to get such poor gravy fries.

Any help for a lost and craving vermont boy, here in the wilds of metro detroit?

Thanks!
#1

24 Replies Related Threads

    wheregreggeats.com
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/02/05 07:21:27 (permalink)
    Hi Chuck_Child ... Welcome to RF.

    I am not going to be much help to you ... I am surprised that nobody from up that neck of the woods has come to  your rescue.

    I, for one, always enjoy the chili cheese fries at Lafayette Coney.  Have you had them?


    #2
    NebGuy
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/02/05 08:59:28 (permalink)
    Just wait until the "ketchup on a hot dog police" take a look at those pictures. " />
    #3
    BR
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/02/05 18:57:33 (permalink)
    Yeah dude your're in BIG trouble. I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes about now. I'm gettin outa here!
    #4
    hugmedan
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/07 14:36:55 (permalink)
    Definetely, Glenwood Drive-In, in Hamden, CT. :) They are the only fries I can eat, and am happy to say they are deep fried, luscious, hot, crunchy, Gluten free french fries, and not fried in the same oil as the onion rings for those who can't have those new fangled, batter dipped, seasoned french fries. It feels good to eat a french fry again!
    #5
    marzsit
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/09 01:06:02 (permalink)
    in washington state, this is where i go when i get a craving for excellent fries:
     
     FRITZ european fry house
     
     it's in bremerton next to the ferry dock, worth the boat ride from seattle.
    #6
    ynotryme
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/09 02:27:09 (permalink)
    Why don't you just make then at home? I do it all the time. always come out great. if you are afraid of cutting them yourself, you can buy a potato press at any restaurant supply house. Personally, I use a scalloped edged potato slicer for a crinkle cut. I use crisco but now I'm going to try lard. Good gravy is harder to come by. out of all the premade, Boston Markets  is the best. Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
    In a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 325 degrees F. Be sure not to fill the oil beyond the maximum fill line.
    Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. Add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Use the basket to carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.
    When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
    post edited by ynotryme - 2009/08/09 02:36:19
    #7
    sk bob
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/13 20:58:42 (permalink)
    chuck-child is gone
    1 post since February
    too bad
    #8
    GTO064
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/15 08:20:22 (permalink)
    sk bob chuck-child is gone.
    1 post since February. too bad

     
    I guess he was so dissappointed that he couldn't find any good fries in Michigan.  The pictures of the fresh cut fries he shared sure looked good though.  Why are such fries so very hard to find?

    #9
    chuck_child
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/15 14:13:04 (permalink)
    I am glad to say, I have managed to find three places that are very close, if none perfect.   

    First, the national chain "five guys burgers and fries" has recently arrived in this area, and produce something that feels undercooked from my memory, and is seasoning-salted. . .But it's 95% of the way there, which is really nice.

    Second, Downtown Wyandotte has a spot called "Good Eats", which seems to believe that fresh and huge portions are mandates, and love to make sacrifices to the potato gods.   Their french fries are good, and when I can get them to use just salt, slight better than 5 guys.

    Finally, on a recent trip to Port Huron, on Thomas Edison parkway, almost under the blue water bridge, I stopped at a little fry stand, got them to fry longer than they usually would, use straight salt instead of seasoned, and gladly paid $6 for a three pound bucket of french fries.

    Just goes to show. . . dedication to looking, and sticktoitiveness paid off.
    #10
    Bigfoot
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/25 10:48:04 (permalink)
    Brussels, Belgium spoiled me forever for fries during the two years I lived there.  They are the masters of the art of fried food, and I've had nothing that comes close in a restaurant in the states.  Unfortunately, I also became addicted to dipping them in mayonnaise and get strange looks from servers when I ask for it.
    #11
    chewingthefat
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/25 17:38:48 (permalink)
    Bigfoot

    Brussels, Belgium spoiled me forever for fries during the two years I lived there.  They are the masters of the art of fried food, and I've had nothing that comes close in a restaurant in the states.  Unfortunately, I also became addicted to dipping them in mayonnaise and get strange looks from servers when I ask for it.


    The Belgians fry in Duck fat.
    #12
    Bigfoot
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/25 18:10:10 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    Bigfoot

    Brussels, Belgium spoiled me forever for fries during the two years I lived there.  They are the masters of the art of fried food, and I've had nothing that comes close in a restaurant in the states.  Unfortunately, I also became addicted to dipping them in mayonnaise and get strange looks from servers when I ask for it.


    The Belgians fry in Duck fat.


    They used to fry in lard, but now use vegetable oil.  They're still the best.  Of course, they twice-fry, as mentioned by ynottryme.
    #13
    SassyGritsAL
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/27 14:16:54 (permalink)
    Where are you able to buy duck fat to fry with? I don't know of anyplace that might sell it. Lard is available though.
    #14
    Bigapetite
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/27 14:29:30 (permalink)
    There are literally 10's of thousands of places making fries, some better than others. Most have but one location or are local favorites but growing up in New York I think looking at readily available product, there is no substitute for Nathan's for taste or texture.

    My personal favorite has always been a crinkle cut large or randomly cut potato.

    Imho thin cut fries like shoestrings don't have the ability to have a real French Fry texture as they are either limp or like rocks
    #15
    paceflchick
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/28 13:13:53 (permalink)
    Sweet potato fries with a thick apple butter..TJ porch Navarre Florida Hwy 98  delightful
    #16
    Mark in VT
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/08/28 13:40:55 (permalink)
    Man, Al's Fry's are just off the charts good, Think I may need to go there for lunch this afternoon!

    #17
    ScreenBear
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/09/02 21:07:07 (permalink)
    The sign says Al's French Frys, magnificently misspelled. They're located at 1251 Williston Rd., S. Burlington, Vt. The hot dog is a skinless pork/beef Mackenzie, probably 10-to-a-pound, cooked perfectly on a flat grill and served in a New England bun.

      The fries (or is it frys?) are perfection. I'd count them among my favorites, right up there with 5 Guys as well as Bubba's in Lyndhurst, N.J.

       The Bear
    #18
    harriet1954
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/09/04 18:00:40 (permalink)
    I concur with ScreenBear about the fries at Bubba's. They're fried in peanut oil. They were just wonderful and I still remember how good they were. Sorry for the blurry shot of 'em.

    #19
    Mark in VT
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/09/04 18:53:18 (permalink)
    You must add the malt vinegar to the frys to make them over the top good!
    #20
    ScreenBear
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/09/04 20:44:58 (permalink)
    If confronted with truly great French fries and in the mood to be truly serious about them, then a souffle of ketchup and one of malt vinegar are in order, for alternate, gustatorial dipping.

      If a continental whimsy happens to strike, then a third souffle, of mayonnaise (mais oui!), is in order.

       Le Bear
    #21
    tonyphoto
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/11/08 23:54:55 (permalink)
    I can't believe there is no mention of the wonderful fries at Steak N Shake outlets.  I stumbled across them in Tampa, FL on vacation and regret big time that they are not available on the West Coast where I live.  They are skinny fries, like taking a McDonalds fry and cutting it into fourths lengthwise.  The texture and flavor are great. Not sure what oil they use, but whatever it is sure does the job.
     
    I tried fries cooked in duck fat at Hot Dougs in Chicago and did not find them that special.
     
    Two other places that make the super skinny fries in California are BJ Brewery (one in Tustin, not sure where the others are) and a great hamburger restaurant chain called Islands.  Problem is, they both also make onion "strings" which are lightly battered super skinny onion rings (you pick up a cluster of them like you would a batch of rubber bands out of a box and stuff 'em in your mouth.)  YUM. I am not allowed in these places because of this.  I gain five pounds just by walking by and have gained at least two pounds just by talking about them.
     
    Best fries I ever had (If any of these above mentioned are 8's or even 9's, this one was a 20) were at a small sandwich shop in Anaheim, California called Armstrongs.  They shut down about 30 years ago and I tried for a long time to find someone who had worked there to get their secret.  I wish I had started looking earlier, because there is a good chance that some of my students had been on their staff and I might have been able to learn it from them.  They were normal size fries, but really long (must have been huge potatoes) and had a crisp outside and tender, not dry or powdery, inside.  They tended to stick to each other a little and I have been told they may have been dipped in something before frying.  I searched for a Chile Colorado flavor/recipe/restaurant to match one I had enjoyed (more like lived on) as a student in Tucson, AZ for almost 40 years before my son accidently sent me some New Mexico chile powder that yielded the match.  Maybe someday the same thing will happen with french fries.
    #22
    mjambro
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2009/11/13 15:58:54 (permalink)
    While I'm in agreement that Steak & Shake have an above average fry for a frozen product, they have little resemblance to the quality of a good fresh cooked fry.  There is no question that ALs consistently serves the gold standard, but Five Guys usually deserve an A minus where there quality does vary somewhat.   Fortunately, we still have several smaller places in RI that still serve fresh cuts.  Even average fresh cuts always surpass the best frozen fries.
    #23
    phatphil
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2010/02/07 20:24:51 (permalink)
    MY FAVORITE FRIES ARE AT HOTDOGOPOLIS IN BOCA RATON FLORIDA
    #24
    db1105
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    Re:French Fry Search - Home Town Favorites 2010/04/04 12:05:24 (permalink)
    Thrashers in Rehobeth Beach Delaware are the best IMHO.
    #25
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