Friday, January 27, 2017


I don't go to fast food places as often as I used to, but unless things have completely changed, this ranking of franchise french fries is absurd.

Here's the list, bottom to top:

14.  Five Guys
13.  In-N-Out
12.  Sonic
11.  Chick-fil-A
10.  KFC
9.    Burger King
8.    Steak n' Shake
7.    Del Taco
6.    Shake Shack
5.    Popeyes
4.    McDonald's
3.    Carl's Jr.
2.    Wendy's
1.     Arby's

Wow, wrong just about everywhere.

Five Guys is fairly new in L.A., and I don't think I've tried their fries.  Some people swear by this place, so can the fries be that bad?  In-N-Out fries are great--among the best.  And if you want, you can watch the whole process, starting with them slicing up the potato.  Sonic I've never tried, either.  Chick-Fil-A has good waffle fries (and they've got their own special sauce), so their rating seems too low.

I've never had fries at KFC--don't people get the mashed potatoes? Based on the photo at the website, not only wouldn't I eat them, I wouldn't want them touching my other food.  Burger King fries used to be okay many years back, but a while ago they got much worse--if anything, their rating is too high. (In general, you want fries to be simple--a lot of coating or seasoning ruins them.)

I've never been to Steak n' Shake.  If I was at Del Taco, it would have been years ago, and anyway, I don't get fries at taco places.  Shake Shack I've never been to, though the photo at the website makes their crinkle-cut fries look pretty good.  I don't think I've had the Popeyes fries either.

McDonald's is the gold standard of fast-food fries--they probably should be higher than #4.  Carl's Jr., on the other hand, has (if I recall) lousy fries.  It's now selling waffle fries that are nowhere near as good as Chick-fil-A's.

Wendy's used to have pretty good fries, but they changed a number of years ago and are now quite poor--it's insane to have them ranked so high.  Top-ranked Arby's used to have great curly fries, but now they're all but uneatable.  That, I guess, is the problem with this list--the author promotes that they're heavily seasoned with a spiced batter coating, which is what makes me want to avoid them.

There were a few places not mentioned.  For instance, where's White Castle (even if there's no White Castle west of the Mississippi)? Locally, we've got Astroburger, which has pretty good fries, but not enough locations to make the cut, I suppose. On the other hand, what about Fatburger, which has well over 100 locations?  They should be on the list, and somewhere in he top half.  Their fries are pretty good, and you've got two choices, fat fries (my preference) or skinny fries.


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Agreed -- that's not only wrong, but it's mind-bogglingly wrong. Burger King's "new" fry recipe (which is now several years old) is disgusting. They are the only burger place where I never get fries; I prefer their (adequate) onion rings.

Five Guys's fries are good, but very over-seasoned.

The only places whose fries are particularly good are In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A, and McDonald's. (Disclaimer: I have never been to Sonic or Steak Shack.) Del Taco's fries are pretty good but nothing you'd remember. Arby's curly fries are good, but they are no different from the curly fries at Jack-in-the-Box or a dozen other places.

1:01 PM, January 27, 2017  
Blogger New England Guy said...

Funny to have to say this but I have found McDonald's fries to be incredibly inconsistent (I ate them a lot during my son's growing up years)-- From doughy and stiff to burnt and crunchy and non-fry-like tasting- some times just right. I think they have a quick live in the fryer and if you come in at the wrong time, they are crappy.

I love 5 Guys fries (they have seasoned and unseasoned here) but they do feel like cement in my stomach a few minutes afterwards- the joys of aging I suppose

2:53 PM, January 27, 2017  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I agree that McDonalds' fries are inconsistent. Indeed, all food at cheap fast-food places is inconsistent, because they will let food sit for a long time -- or take it out of the fryer early -- to avoid throwing away any food and thus cutting into their profit margin.

In D.C., Five Guys had two kinds of fries -- "Five Guys style" and "Cajun" -- but both of them were seasoned (in different ways).

Also, it seems silly to go to this much trouble to rank fries and not include sit-down hamburger joints such as Red Robin (which has the best fry seasoning anywhere, and you can add as much or as little as you like).

5:37 PM, January 27, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Favorite fries for the last few years - Freddy's. An old chain but I'm not sure where they are besides Colorado and Arizona. But you have to love shoe-string fries.

9:36 AM, January 30, 2017  
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