Thursday, December 11, 2008
On a cold New York City afternoon, I pondered over the idea of how to warm myself, especially my belly. Maybe some hot french fries, or pommes frites as the Belgians say. So I made a stop at a tiny place in the East Village, the type of place you might pass by and never realize it existed. Except for the line of people waiting outside to get in. For what looks like a dingy hole-in-the-wall, this is one very popular place.
Pommes Frites is a small restaurant that sells only one thing, Belgian fries. As you enter the store, the long counter where you order is to your left. They also cook behind that counter so you can watch them prepare your fresh frites. At the back of the store are a few tables and seats, cramped together. We were lucky to get a spot at one of those tables so we could sit and enjoy our frites.
The frites come in three sizes, in paper cones: Small ($4.50), Large ($6.25) and Double ($7.75). Some condiments and garnishes are free, such as ketchup, yellow mustard and raw onion. They also sell over 25 different dipping sauces, including a dozen types of mayo, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, sweet chili and more. Each sauce costs $1 each or 3 for $2.50.
Their frites are fried twice and look somewhat similar, due to their size and thickness, to steak fries. They were quite delicious, making my belly warm and happy. They have a nice crispness to them with soft, fluffy potato inside. They were addictive and made you want to finish every last crumb in your paper cone. The horseradish mayo, BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese were popular dips for us. But you could easily enjoy the frite as is, without any sauce. I think the frites are reasonably priced for the quantity and quality you receive.
The East Village has lots of restaurants and food vendors, with plenty of diversity. Pommes Frites is a place there I would highly recommend. It is a great place to stop for a snack, especially on a chilly day. If you enjoy French fries, then you owe it to yourself to check it out.