Few foods are so popular that at any given time, tens of thousands of us are driving our cars with them littered under our seats and in center console crevices. Whether you like them plain and salty, doused in cheese and bacon, trendy with truffle oil, or like me dipped in a Frosty from Wendy's; I don't believe I've ever heard one person utter the words "I don't really like French fries".
This isn't every fry dish in the city, but a list of local and chain favorites to check out during your next greasy adventure.
If you don't know what Yuca is, don't be scared. It's a root of the Cassava plant. If you were to see it at the market you might think it's an odd looking potato. I grew up with it as a staple in my house, mostly boiled, but the best case scenario was when it was drenched in a garlic sauce. It makes the perfect fry since the consistency isn't far off from a potato, and it's even more hearty and filling. Over at Black Bean Deli they are served up in thick wedges, extra crispy, with a dipping sauce that is the perfect tangy compliment. Use a squeeze of lime, it's there for a reason!
Cheese fries are often a good idea, but in the Instagram first world, cheese is just no longer enough. Over at Zero Degrees, these fries (more soft than crispy) come not just smothered in a melted Velveeta type cheese but also with a heavy dusting of hot Cheeto flakes. It would have been better if the fries weren't on the soggy side, but as far as guilt-ridden snacks go, it wasn't bad.
One of my favorite low-key, drunk-free spots downtown is the Neighborhood Eatery, and if you look them up on Yelp you'll see they have a pretty solid track record for pleasing the public. While my go-to order is the Mills 50 bowl, their Bulgogi Fries are worth adding to your order to share. They come topped with onions, cheese, pepper sauce, garlic sauce and of course bulgogi. Note that this place is only open during the week for lunch hours from 11AM - 4PM. Photo cred to my foodventure friend @orlandoeats.
Sweet potato wedges at Harry & Larry's BBQ - Update restaurant closed
If you find yourself in Winter Garden walking down Plant Street smelling the sweet, rich, smell of BBQ in the air it may be hard to imagine sides that aren't cornbread or mac & cheese with your brisket. Believe me, the sweet potato wedges are just as much a solid side contender as it's southern brethren. A bit sweet, lightly salted, with a nice crunch, they absolutely hold their own. Not to mention they aren't bad dipped in a bit of tangy BBQ sauce.
The serving size for this mound of fries is definitely enough for the whole table to enjoy. What I liked most about the dish was the foundation was built on very crispy fries, reminiscent of Checkers to be honest. It is topped with Korean marinated beef (bulgogi), kimchi and spicy mayo (I passed on the mayo). Paired with some of their tacos, this was a great fry dish I would absolutely recommend.
There was a time when I truly hated Feta cheese, but slowly I've come to embrace the funk and enjoy it, especially during my visits to the Greek Corner in Ivanhoe Village. The fries even as a side order come in a generous portion and are a great addition to a classic Gryo Salad.
Kimichi loaded fries from Tako Cheena
My advice when ordering at Tako Cheena is "minus one taco and add the fries". It's like the equivalent of leave the gun, take the canoli. If you aren't familiar with kimchi and worried you may not like it, I'd say this is a great way to introduce your palette to it while surrounded by something familiar and delicious.
What is it about curly fries that we love so much? Over at Laspada's they serve them up crispy and fresh with melted cheese if you wish. Pass on the bag of chips and add them to your sub order. You can also order them as cheese fries for the extra artery clog.
Lobster fries from Paddlefish
From this angle you can't really tell, but at Paddlefish they do not skimp on their fry portion. This deep plate held an impressive mound of skin-on fries, lump blue crab and tangy Louie dressing.
I know Se7enbites is known for their decadent and perfectly baked goods and over-the-top breakfast towers, but don't sleep on their burgers guys. This beaut you see here has bacon, a fried green tomato and pimento cheese hanging out with this juicy patty. Chef Trina doesn't just throw any old fries on the plate, you get crinkle fries with parmesan, garlic, and herbs.
These are the fries you eat when you have no intention of getting close to your loved one for the rest of the day. Drenched is the appropriate word here when it comes to the usage of garlic aioli, Parmesan, herbs. It's almost too much, but the flavor cannot be denied. These are very shareable so don't try to tackle them alone, and bring after-fry mints.
With all the options on the menu over at Mamak I can never seem to pull myself away from ordering the Five Spice fries. One of the spices has to be cinnamon, or perhaps it's just brown sugar, but the salty, sweet, and seasoned mix is delicious. Don't pass them up! The portion is small, so I don't advise sharing unless you have a heart of gold.
Crinkle fries are beloved, giving us all the flashbacks from school lunch meals. They are also the only fry option you have at the Shake Shack. You can get them covered in cheese or opt for the secret menu option. Simply order a portion of cheese fries with a side of Shack Sauce. It's spicy, sweet, and sour made with mayo, ketchup, mustard, and other spices that can add a kick if you find plain cheese too basic.
One of the newest restaurants to open in Disney Springs is Terralina, an Italian spot with pastas, pizzas, and two unique fry options. Pictured below first are the Polenta fries. If you aren't familiar with polenta. it's basically coarsely ground cornmeal that is versatile and fries up nicely for a hearty crunch. They also have crispy eggplant fries served with lemon-caper aïoli.
I'm not a huge burger eater, but I do love indulging at the Stubborn Mule (and it's cousin RusTeak) from time to time when I get the hankering. The fries here are a great partner to their juicy burger, lightly dusted in fresh rosemary and parmesan cheese.
When you've worked as a server you have undoubtedly got the request for "extra crispy fries". I always laughed to myself as I hit the "see server" button knowing that when I told the line cook what it was for they would roll their eyes and ignore me. Nine times out of ten, it's just not happening guys! Such a request is unnecessary at The Strand because they have always been the right amount of crisp for me. So while they don't come smothered in cheese or truffle oil, they are perfect to me.
Do Donut Fries count? For today they will. These cinnamon sugar doughnut sticks pass as fries if you believe hard enough. Personally, I'm going to hit up a DD near a Wendy's and dip them in a frost for my next treat yo' self day.
Yes, I bought all these fries and ate them. **bows**
All images belong to LemonHearted Creative unless otherwise credited. Support local when you can, and be a decent human to others in your community.