French Fries: Not Just For Ketchup Anymore

My older brother moved to Holland a few years ago for a girl. Though they aren't together anymore, she did visit us in Houston when they were still going out. Wanting to test the stereotype that the Dutch love to put mayo all over their fries, I took her to Whataburger. "Agog" is the only adjective that could describe the look on the cashier's face when my Dutch dining companion ordered a cinnamon roll, large fries and an extra-large side of mayo. They filled one of those to-go containers used for their cream gravy with mayo, and she went to town on it.

French fries, though basically bereft of any nutritional value, are a ubiquitous side dish both at home and abroad. Hamburger and fries, fish and chips, steak and frites -- you name it, and it will probably pair well with some fried, crispy potato strips. Variety, they say, is the spice of life, so here are my top five french fry styles.

5. Poutine

Poutine is a French-Canadian specialty of fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, traditionally, although "high-concept" and "fusion" varieties include different combinations of meats and toppings, taking the dish to whole other heights.

This is a proper cold-weather dish, something to replace those calories you expend moving around and trying to stay warm.

It is also from French Canada, though, which is why it sits so low on the list.

4. Steak Fries

What's better than french fries? Ever larger french fries.

Steak fries aren't something you want an entire plate of, because all that starch is just going to expand in your stomach and make you feel like you may burst, but when done right, steak fries can be delicious. They also have much more surface area for holding onto seasonings, making them extra tasty.

3. Chili Cheese Fries

This is an easy one.

Take a completely unhealthy mound of fries and then douse them in gooey, dripping, artery-clogging melted cheese. That should be good enough for even the most gluttonous of consumers, but it's just not.

Top them fries with some chili, too.

I would argue that you could even then top chili cheese fries with onions or even Fritos, if there weren't enough carbohydrates, or a high enough sodium content, for you.

2. Sweet Potato Fries

I love them, personally, and they are so much better for you, from a health standpoint.

Crunchy, sweet and salty, sweet potato fries are an excellent alternative to their fellow tuber, made from the regular potato. I really like the trend of more and more places offering these as an alternative choice, as they are delicious and way easier on your system.

If you've never given them a shot, try them at Barnaby's with some Chipotle barbecue sauce. They are seriously good.

1. Freedom Fries

Because if you don't eat Freedom Fries, the terrorists have already won.

This still remains one of my all-time favorite bits of homegrown propaganda. I actually only saw them on a real-life menu once, at Cracker's Cafe in Paducah, Texas.

And you know I ordered the hell out of them.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords What are some of your favorites, either here in our great city or elsewhere?

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Sam Brown