Rhode Island’s Best Fries
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Julia Child once called the humble French fry her favorite potato preparation. Crispy on the outside, steamed and fluffy on the inside, they are perfection…but they’re not so easy to make. Good restaurant fries are cut from fresh potatoes and have to be fried twice, and they are always seasoned with salt when they are still hot. Frozen just won’t do! When the jones for expertly-made fries hits us, here are a few of the places we seek out.
1. Red Stripe, Providence
There’s a lot of things that go into making good fries…type of potato used, oil for frying, seasoning the fries right when they come out of the oil (so the seasoning sticks), and Red Stripe gets them all right. These fries are the most consistent fries around and really isn’t that part of it? Being able to return again and again to enjoy the same experience? These fries are always crispy, never greasy and always well seasoned with salt and pepper. The menu features several ways to enjoy these beauties…with grilled steak on steak frites; with freshly caught mussels on moules frites. But our favorite is just as is with the house aioli. 465 Angell St. 437-6950, www.redstriperestaurants.com
2. The Dorrance, Providence
The Dorrance has burst on the Providence dining scene with a killer combo of food and drinks as good as any we’ve tried in the city. Talented young chef Ben Sukle’s food is crave-worthy, and mixologist Jesse Hedberg’s cocktails are as complex and layered as any plate of food. The frites served with this steak frites are the shoestring variety…and the extraordinarily delicious variety. Crisp and well seasoned, these fries have what it takes to be great: consistently sized fries (so they all cook in the same time) that are never greasy and served piping hot (not easy with shoestrings). These fries have been exactly the same every time we’ve tried them—also an impressive feat. Dare we say these fries are a fabulous as the surroundings they are served in. 60 Dorrance St. 521-6000.
3. Pour Judgement, Newport
4. The Beef Barn, North Smithfield
A local “top chef” tweeted his joy at finding the Beef Barn this summer. And that’s the way it is for most people who discover this hidden gem of beefy goodness. At first we were drawn to the big red silo and the huge cow on the sign. And the name? Come on, it’s perfect. But we return for the fries…and the roast beef. This place is totally old-school, in the best possible sense, with wood tables and seats, plastic plates and cups. It’s low on amenities but high on flavor. The fries are classic also. With minimal fuss, they produce delicious little baskets of fried goodness that have kept us coming back for more than 20 years. Oh yeah, the roast beef sandwich with barbeque sauce is pretty good too. 4 Greenville Rd. 762-9880, www.thebeefbarn.com
5. The Waterman Grille, Providence
One of the toughest types of fries to cook is the steak fry.
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