Top 5: Fries

There's been a lot of burger talk of late. It got me thinking about fries, and which place in our fine city has the best. Let's take a look.

5. Five Guys Burgers and Fries

I'm convinced that one day there will be nothing but Starbucks and Five Guys scattered throughout the world. If you enjoy fries, you're in luck. Five Guys has some damn good ones. They're classic, skin-on and made-to-order. Just add your own seasonings to these bad boys and you're ready to go. I get a ton of ketchup and commence to dipping. These fries are perfectly cut and fried, along with being served at just the right temperature. Each one has a good amount of potato, and the smallest order is sure to satisfy two people.

4. Trevisio Restaurant

When a dining companion ordered fries- yes, just fries- for lunch at Trevisio, she looked confused when she had to specify steak-cut versus shoestring. She wisely chose the shoestring kind- crisp, delicious, perfectly fried and salty. Let's not forget the element of presentation, here, either. The fries are served in a vertical cone-shaped flask with a trendy-looking silver holder, so they look the part. They used to be served on the side of the seared ahi tuna sandwich, which is currently off the menu for seasonal reasons. To be fair, the steak fries are almost equally tasty, with narrow planks of meaty potato and just a hint of skin on the edge. Served with their akaushi beef hamburger, these fries keep it classy.

3. Lankford Grocery and Market

The fries at Lankford, specifically the sweet potato fries, are just like the burgers--just no-frills goodness. The final product looks like something you could replicate at home, but good luck with all that. I've tried my hand at sweet potato fries many times, and they never come out tasting this good. Seasoned to perfection, crispy and plentiful--these fried potatoes are quite addictive.

2. Samba Grille

French fry purists may frown at this selection. I love Samba Grille's yucca fries. They come with those monster burgers and really provide a different experience over the standard potato. These fries provide a mild taste and are still crispy on the outside. But as you continue to chew, you'll notice a chewier texture. Samba's are fairly thick-cut and really are the perfect complement to the spicy cheeseburger. Try them, and you may agree (but probably not).

1. Little Bigs

Here's a fine idea for Chef Caswell. Have a soft closing, rip down that cute sign, and replace it with one depicting a little, retro-Astros' hat-wearing dude, propping up two massive French fries. Change the name from "Little Bigs" to "Fries" and watch profits soar. Okay, back to reality. While Little Bigs' burgers swim in a sea of mediocrity, the fries are the best in the city. These are just right up my alley--medium-cut, a good amount of potato, and crispy, but not too crispy. The magic that is coarse salt, brings them to an entirely new level.

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Kevin Shalin
Contact: Kevin Shalin