Monday, January 20, 2014

Rant: No More Shoestrings!

Many restaurants only carry one type of French fry so if you dislike that style of fry, you are out of luck. The type of French fry can vary by size, width and shape, often broken down into two rough categories: shoestring fries and thicker fries (from crinkle cuts to steak fries). I've enjoyed some excellent sandwiches at local restaurants, however, they were accompanied by fries which didn't please me, diminishing the overall dining experience to a degree.

It is not enough to serve a killer burger. The accompanying French fries need to be excellent as well or you lessen the quality of that meal. And no restaurant wants to do that.

I'm not a fan of shoestring fries, of those long, skinny fries which are mostly all crunch. Even worse is when those shoestrings lack the crunch and are merely limp. A single shoestring fry never seems sufficient so you commonly end up stacking a few together to eat. And doesn't that seem to defeat the purpose of making them so thin? A fry should be able to stand on its own, and not have to be consumed in a small group.

Because they are thin and narrow, shoestring fries can more easily be overwhelmed by cheese or some condiment. I recently had some shoestring fries covered in cheese sauce and the poor fries were deluged, surrendering to the great glob of cheesiness. All the potato flavor was lost and it was a very disappointing dish. There must be a better alternative.

And that exists in the form of the thicker French fry.

The thicker shape of the fry means that the exterior picks up that delightful crunch but the interior remains fluffy and light. I think that contrast makes for a better taste, rather than the sole crunch of the shoestring. You only need a single thicker fry, with no reason to stack them together. The thicker fry can also stand up much better to cheese, gravy, condiments or other sauces. Thicker fries also can be created in various shapes with different textures, such as crinkle cut fries or waffles fries. Shoestrings basically are either long and thin, or short and thin, and that's it. That makes them boring too.

Restaurants, ditch the shoestrings and opt for thicker French fries.

What are your thoughts on shoestring fries?


Frederick Wright said...

Everything you say against shoestring or matchstick fries is true, but the thing that annoys me the most is they get cold immediately. I love bringing friends who have never had real fries before to a place like Saus and watching their reactions!

WineWonkette said...

There is nothing worse than soggy or cold fries to ruin my burger experience. While I have had some tasty shoestrings, they are certainly my least favorite.