The Anatomy of a Fry

A recent DCist post reporting on John Roberts' ruling in the case of Metro's juvenile delinquent fry eater had me thinking not about Roberts' fitness to serve on the Supreme Court but about french fries (it was getting close to lunch). French fries have proved their polarizing capabilities, witness the patriotism-gone-bad "freedom" fry fiasco and the case mentioned on DCist.

But politics aside, I'm more interested in the sides people take when it comes to the anatomy of a fry. Some people like their fries thick and meaty, with potato clearly dominating each bite (aka steak fries). I'm in the thin, crispy, fry-the-hell-out-of-em camp. Some douse them in tangy vinegar, some smother them in mayonnaise or classic ketchup. A little sprinkling of Old Bay never hurt a fry in my opinion.

There are a lot of sub-par french fries out there, so I humbly offer a few of my favorites here, in no particular order.

Amsterdam Falafel Shop: This friendly, late-night falafel joint opened last year, offering a beautifully simple menu of falafel and fries. The falafel's great but what had me oohing and ahhing were the piping hot fries, salty and crunchy and firm enough to stand up to the special Dutch mayonnaise offered for dipping. The secret to these (and most great fries) is the double dunk in the fry basket, rendering them golden and crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

Truffled fries: In a category all their own, truffled fries have stolen my heart with their earthy pungency and sensual smell. Both Poste Brasserie and Firefly offer cones of these gems, which are drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with parmesan. They don't even need any dipping.

I would mention Café Saint-Ex in this list for their browned, seasoned Brittany fries with housemade ketchup, but I fear the fries have been replaced by sweet potato fries, which last time I had them were too limp to achieve greatness.

I would also give a shout out to the fries at Belga Café, again thin, double fried and with that delicious mayo thing going on, but it's been more than seven months since I've been.

Where are your favorite fries? Are you in the steak or shoestring camp?