Who would’ve thought there would be such a heated debate when it comes to French fries? They are so simple, yet so controversial. Do you put your ketchup on the side, or cover your fries in it? Crispy or soggy? Shoestring or crinkle cut? McDonald’s or Wendy’s? Or Burger King? Does a tater tot count as a French fry? What about waffle fries? Or curly fries?
If your head is spinning from all these spuds, that’s a good thing. While fries are typically just a sidekick to the main entree, people really care about these fried potatoes. And right here in Columbus, we’re seeing people take the fast food staple to a new level. Dipping your fries into ketchup or a Frosty is so last year; now we have fries topped with mussels or even kimchi! It’s time for you to see what the future of fries holds, and we’re here to point you in the right direction.
Irish Fries | Byrne’s Pub, 1248 W Third Ave.
The bond between drinking and nachos is strong, and Byrne’s Pub is all too aware of that. But instead of the traditional tortilla chip base, Byrne’s swaps in waffle fries. The waffle fries are crispy and seasoned and come doused in Cheez Whiz. Then the fries are topped with jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, bacon, and avocado to fully round out the nod to nachos. We recommend getting this just for yourself, but good luck fighting off all your friends who keep stealing bites.
Poutine Fries | Pecan Penny’s, 113 E Main St.
Look, we said the fries were delicious, not healthy. At Pecan Penny’s, the poutine fries are the pinnacle of indulgence. This Canadian-inspired dish comes with a bed of seasoned waffle fries smothered in brown gravy, cheddar cheese, green onions, and a fried egg. This order is massive, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a fry that isn’t completely covered in gravy and cheese. There’s also the option to add brisket or pulled pork to the dish, and hey, if you’re spending the extra calories, you might as well go all the way.
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Truffle Fries | Arch City Tavern, 862 N High St.
While Arch City’s burgers are incredible, the parmesan truffle fries are giving them a run for their money. These fries are fresh cut, meaning they have a crispy exterior with a soft interior, making them perfect for dunking and scooping up sauces. The fries are also topped with truffle oil and parmesan cheese, giving them a savory and salty flavor. Just make sure you get an extra order of the garlic aioli because it is highly addictive.
Mussels & Fries | Grandview Cafe, 1455 W Third Ave.
If you are a fan of fish and chips, you’ll love Grandview Cafe’s take on it. Instead of fish with steak fries, you’ll be chowing down on steamed PEI mussels with shoestring fries. But don’t think that’s all you’re getting in this dish. The mussels and fries get a boost in flavor from additional ingredients like ground chorizo, garlic, blistered tomatoes, white wine, and butter.
Pop Fries | Xi Xia Western Chinese Cuisine, 1140 Kenny Centre Mall
When one thinks of places serving up delicious fried potatoes, Western Chinese food doesn’t typically come to mind. But at Xi Xia Western Chinese Cuisine, you can find amazing fries with an Asian twist. These pop fries come topped with kimchi and are served with house sweet and sour sauce. Is it a bit of a carb-overload to get both the house-made noodles and the fries? Perhaps, but it’s well worth it.
Cheese Fries| Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace, 248 S High St.
And while all the spots on this list are taking fries on a new path, Dirty Frank’s keeps it classic with their cheese fries. Sure, the dish is simple: freshly fried fries completely covered in cheese sauce. But that’s what makes it so great. There’s no extra frills here, just well-cooked and well- seasoned fries and enough cheese sauce to drown in. Best of all? These fries are only $2.75.