Guys. Hey, listen. We need to talk.
It's about the annual Best of Houston® issue.
I think you know what you did. But the problem, you see, is that you keep doing the same thing almost every single year. Something has to change.
It's honestly baffling. You have really good taste otherwise. And although I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for McDonald's iced coffee (it's cheap and tasty!), the fries are simply nothing to write home about and haven't been great in a very, very, very long time.
So take a little while and think about it. You've got a whole year or so until the next Best of Houston® issue comes out. Sample some of the terrific selection of french fries we've rounded up for you below. Hey, I hear that even the sweet potato fries at Burger King are pretty damn good.
Just please stop with the freaking McDonald's fries.
10. Amazon Grill
I hadn't been to Amazon Grill in years until it was suggested to me by former EOW contributor John Kiely as his favorite place for fries. Lo and behold, the old restaurant on Kirby -- which I hadn't visited since its remodel, which has bolder and more elegant colors along with some quirky decor touches reminiscent of big sister Americas -- does indeed turn out a fine fry. The twiggy shoestring fries are even better when dipped into one of the three sauces found in abundance on Amazon Grill's plantain bar: creamy cilantro, garlicky chimichurri or a hopped up ketchup.
When it comes to waffle fries, Barnaby's can't be beat. Although the Waffle Fries with Blue Cheese Fondue normally comes assembled in a massive pile like a plate of nachos, I always order it "deconstructed." It's not that I'm fussy; it's that I like to make sure that every waffle fry has the perfect amount of blue cheese dipping sauce, blue cheese crumbles, crispy bacon bites and green onions. (Okay, maybe I'm a little fussy.)
Although the wild game burgers and hot dogs are often the star of the show here (along with the elk tacos -- my God, the elk tacos), don't discount the fries. They come in two iterations here: One topped with python chili -- yes, as in the snake -- and one called simply "Wild Fries" (shown above). Those are tossed with a fried egg, the yolk coating the fries, before being topped with cheese, bacon and chives. If you're like me, you'll make them extra wild with a healthy portion of Sammy's house-made ghost pepper sauce -- and maybe even pick up a few bottles to take home.
7. MKT Bar
The thinny-thin french fries at MKT Bar arrive in a bowl large enough for a table of four to split, so beware. Unlike regular salted fries, MKT Bar's fries are seasoned with za'atar, the sumac-based Middle Eastern spice blend that features prominently in many of the popular downtown bar's dishes. You can even purchase some za'atar of your own next door at Phoenicia, the attached grocery store. But first, polish off that bowl of fries with its three interesting dipping sauces:
Harry's feta-topped fries are quickly becoming a thing of legend for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they're just as popular an order at breakfast as they are at lunch. That's right; the fries are so good that Harry's patrons aren't even willing to wait until lunchtime to order them. It's not just the feta and parsley on top that makes the fries, though -- it's Harry's sweet, creamy housemade honey mustard, which is essential for dipping the salty fries into.
The truffle-Parmesan fry is almost a genre unto itself now, but not every place that tries this method out gets it right. The two places in town to guarantee the best experience are at Ibiza -- one of the first places in town to offer this twist -- and at The Tasting Room, where I'm currently a fan of getting a cone of these fragrant fries with the calamari banh mi that comes with buttery fried squid inside a Slow Dough bun.
It's all about two things at these two food trucks, which offer the best fries found in a moving vehicle in Houston: hand-cut fries and condiments. In the case of Bernie's, the fries have found their perfect match in the truck's homemade ketchup (which was so sought after that it's now bottled separately by the Bus and sold at Revival Market). And at Filipino street food truck Flip 'n Patties, the irresistible fries are topped with a sweet mayonnaise, cilantro and two kinds of sesame seeds.
Of the Belgian joints in town, I actually prefer the mussels at Jeannine's Bistro as well as the homemade mayonnaise, although the frites themselves at Cafe Brussels are better -- but only slightly, hence the tie. Still, the twice-fried frites at Jeannine's are nothing to scoff at, and are especially delicious at lunch -- that's when a nice portion of moules-frites is only $12. Catherine Duwez made amazing frites at The Broken Spoke, and now she's doing the same thing at her brand-new restaurant: Cafe Brussels. And -- as with Cafe Rabelais and Jeannine's Bistro -- the tangy housemade mayonnaise is an absolute must.
Two words: duck fat. The Burger Guys uses this unctuous oil to fry their Belgian-style fries twice, so they're piping-hot and crispy when they come out in their little paper-lined metal box. Like the fries at Little Bigs, they're even better when dipped into one of The Burger Guys' equally tremendous milkshakes. And now that the Guys are downtown, you have double the chance to try them out.
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1. Hubcap Grill
Though primarily known for its innovative burgers (like the Sticky Monkey with peanut butter, bacon and grilled bananas), Hubcap Grill offers fries that can steal the show from the patties -- which is why they were awarded Best Fries in this year's Best of Houston® issue. The Hell Fries, thin strips of deep-fried potato topped with jalapeños, cayenne and chile powders, and a Siracha mayonnaise, are (irony noted) heaven for those who want some serious spice with their starch. Pair them with a milder burger or eat them on their own; either way, you'll need a fork and some milk.