Thin or thick, long or short, baton-shaped or round, fries come in all sizes and forms—but can they really shine without the potato? Here, five addictive, deep-fried, super-tasty takes on the fry. The only thing missing is the spud.
Greek Fries, Kapnos, Washington, D.C.
One bite of these crunchy fried chickpeas, served with peppercorns and Mizithra cheese at Top Chef alum Mike Isabella's D.C. Greek restaurant Kapnos, and you’ll want to deep-fry all your veggies, always. Balance out your meal with the modernized versions of Greek spreads, breads, vegetables, small plates and meats cooked on wood-fired grills.
Clam Fries, SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, Houston
SaltAir Seafood Kitchen's roster of globally influenced seafood dishes includes these crispy, habit-forming clam fries. There's much more than clams going on this dish: The strips of clam are coated in cornmeal, then topped with tarragon aioli, a hard-boiled egg, cornichons, capers and lemon, and presented with the house take on French gribiche sauce (mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce). Photo by Eric Sandler.
Black Bean Fries, Travelle Kitchen + Bar, Chicago
Black-bean fries may sound like a strange idea, but Travelle Kitchen + Bar in Chicago is onto something here. These spud-free French fry alternatives are slightly spicy, crunchy on the outside and luxuriously soft on the inside. Bonus: Black beans are pretty good for you—but healthy or not, these will vanish from your table in seconds.
Eggplant Fries, Poppy, Seattle
Poppy in Seattle is helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Jerry Traunfeld, and his talents are on display all over the menu—including in these brilliant eggplant fries. The crispy batons are made with lightly brined eggplant that's dredged in chickpea flour and fried. The fries are then drizzled with local buckwheat honey and gray sea salt before they make their way to your table, and directly into your mouth.
Polenta Fries, Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant, Boston
South Boston’s Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant serves up American comfort food with a modern twist from its open kitchen. One of the best things to get here are the polenta fries, made with organic cornmeal, jalapeño, sauteed corn cut from the cob, fresno chili, Parmesan and corn stock. The fries arrive with a duo of sauces—wood fire-roasted red pepper sauce and pesto aioli—for maximum dipping pleasure. See ya, ketchup.
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