A few Sundays ago it was national french fry day. I decided that whenever there was the time in my life and a fun National food day, I would go ahead and search out the best of that food. So I went on a search for what I thought was going to be The best French Fries in Ohio
I am here to tell you there is something wrong with french fries in America or at least Ohio. This journey is me searching for The Best French Fries in Ohio and what is wrong with that.
The First Best French Fry
Since tasting the first best French Fries that I can remember at a McDonalds in St. Paul Minnesota, At the time we had to make an exclusive drive to get, I was a lover of the little sticks of potato dropped in fat and made deliciously edible.
In college, I wrote a paper about Mcdonalds going to Russia with their first fast food outlet. It was the end of the cold war, and The Berlin Wall had fallen, and American French fries via McDonald’s were taking the world by storm. I think it is safe to say McDonald’s has the best French fries. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar. They have changed over the years, the oil they fry them in and how long they hold them under the warming lamps have all changed. I am also sure there are some corporate secrets on how they have changed that I am not privy to, but if McDonald’s does anything correctly, it is french fries.
I won’t argue these are opinions
We can argue all you want about the corporation and the healthiness of food, but that is not what I am here for I am here to talk about the best french fries in Ohio. I set my criteria for what I was looking for in a french fry. Feel free to place your own criteria and drive nearly 400 miles searching for good french fries!
The Criteria for my Trip
The following were the criteria I followed. The French Fries had to be on at least two Best of lists. The establishment had to be in Ohio I had to want to go there. Simple or so it seemed.
I am not a review site, so I wrestled with myself in naming names of restaurants in this post. Because some of what I have to say is not very nice. If you care to go to my Instagram and follow me, you will be able to figure who is who quickly. So if a name comes up, and it will I am not beating my self up about it.
Why I think I know Good Fries
My credentials, I have been eating french fries for nearly 50 years. I love French fries and have worked in food service for 35 years. I worked at a place that before some cheap profiteers took it over made the best french fries in the world. For my years a distributor of frozen french fries. I have eaten and taste-tested more french fries than I care to admit.
At the aforementioned best french fry restaurant Ed Debevics, I sat in a meeting watching a bunch of dudes that had no idea what an excellent french fry was, discuss changing the best fries in the world to some concoction that cost a few pennies to buy. The fries we tasted were made out of air, rice, and chemicals. The cheese sauce caused it to disintegrate, and they were cool with that. I feel I know my fries!
To Review or Not Review that was a Question.
I thought about writing a review of each fry, but that’s, not me. I mean it could be I have written reviews before, but instead, this is an open letter to all people who make french fries. Particularly Those encountered on my search for The Best French Fries in Ohio.
Dear French Fry Makers of America,
Except for you McDonalds, You get a pass because your fries still rock. On a side note, how about you start paying all your employees a living wage. Thanks, Now the rest of you.
I get it, it takes a lot to hand-cut your fries even with a fry cutter. Then you must soak em in a big bowl for oh like 2-4 hours. Next, you have to bring your oil, Peanut oil or duck fat or beef tallow(its what Mcdonalds used to use) now it’s vegetable oil. Once you fry them in about 300-degree oil until soft. You have to cook them again in 400-degree oil, and all those oils that are good for fries but not good for other food products can cost you the money you may want to put in your pocket. The fry business can get complicated with all these factors.
I understand some of you don’t want to do all of that. The truth is if you don’t do that you will never be the absolute best french fry maker. Even if you do do that you still may not be the best because honestly, people screw up a good french fry all the time. Here is my advice if you make a great french fry let it stand on its own. Keep the parmesan cheese and the truffle oil and the garlic and the Rosemary off the fries.
Do not serve it with aioli or homemade ketchup with spices that don’t belong in something called ketchup. There is but one ketchup! Heinz Ketchup, and it should be served in a bottle somewhere on the table so you can apply as you wish.
Let me back up to the Rosemary for a second… Chefs have you tasted a branch of that stuff!! A little Rosemary goes a very long way. When you are paying money for duck fat to cook your fries in why in the hell would you ruin that excellent flavor with a handful of twigs that taste like something found on the ground underneath a pine tree?
French Fries are best served with salt. Do not ever forget … a perfectly fine french fry is elevated with just a bit of salt. STOP THERE!!
Now let us talk about boxed or frozen fries. Somehow many of these types of fries got on the list.
Notes. If you have frozen fries from Sysco or GFS on your menu at the very least set your friers to the temperature that the box says you should cook them at and then train your employees to cook at that temp for the time in the instructions. Please note cheap box fries usually do not mean good box fries.
Also of note, you can toss a handful of parmesan or some garlic and parsley on it, but if the french fry is not higher quality, it is just a lousy fry with some junk on top.
Now here is a shout out to the winners of my Fry adventure. Kewpee in Lima, Ohio. By taste alone, Kewpee is the winner. They were awesome, though. Honorable mention goes to Senate in Cincinnati they would not have won on just their fries, made with duck fat, see Rosemary and Truffle oil issues. But they took their fries to another level when they turned them into Poutine. Poutine The delicious French fry, cheese curd and gravy combo that hails from our Northerly neighbors In Quebec Canada. Senate instead of gravy added a braised short rib meat and cheese sauce along with curds combo that was breathtakingly delicious.
In closing French Fry Makers of America, my guess is you are paying people to put you on lists or peoples criteria for a good fry is far less than I had anticipated. Either way, get your act together, start looking at your french fries and tasting them and for the love of God stop with the Rosemary!!
Sincerely, Tripping Vittles.
Get What You Need to Make French Fries Here!
If you would like to skip fries at restaurants all together here are some items you can get to make fries at home. The recipe for fries is in the above letter … Deep fryer, Beef Tallow, Duck Fat, Fry Cutter, ketchup. Buy the glass jar it just tastes better!!