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Main Dish

Summer days and French fries 10 ways

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Fresh-cut fries at Official BBQ & Burgers in Harrisburg, Lower Paxton Township. Photo/Erica Streisfeld
Fresh-cut fries at Official BBQ & Burgers in Harrisburg, Lower Paxton Township. Photo/Erica Streisfeld

Let's face it – while you may or may not like to admit it, French fries are just plain delicious. And with July 13 being National French Fries Day, I think that's more than a good reason to get a little fry-crazy. Here are 10 different fry styles and suggestions for local places that serve them up.


Let’s start with my favorite kind of fries: fresh-cut. No matter how you slice them, these fries are potatoes at their finest, and they remind me of the boardwalk-style fries consumed during childhood summers at the beach. Official BBQ & Burgers (formerly Little Black Truck) may very well make the best fries (and barbecue) I’ve ever had. Twice-fried in peanut oil and perfectly seasoned, these fresh-cut fries arrive piping hot with just the right amount of crisp factor.

For other great fresh-cut options, check out J.R.’s Fresh Cut French Fries in York, Bricker’s Famous French Fries trucks at local events, DK Dogs in Harrisburg and Williams French Fries in Millersburg. It’s also worth making a trip to the snack bar at Tröegs Brewing Co. for hand-cut fries with hop oil and spicy ketchup.


As if fries weren’t murderous enough to your diet, it’s time to prep your stomach for something really substantial: the rhino fries at T.J. Rockwell’s. These homestyle fries are covered in melted cheese and bacon and then served with a side of ranch dressing. Rockwell’s has locations in Elizabethtown and Mechanicsburg.


In Belgium, “frites” are typically served with mayonnaise. At Café Bruges in Carlisle, you can savor this Belgian-style snack with an array of sauces, including homemade mayonnaise, homemade tomato ketchup, Asian spicy-hot mayonnaise, curry ketchup, horseradish sauce, mustard mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.


When it comes to waffle fries, I think Chick-fil-A has the market cornered. Yes, it’s a chain and a fast-food restaurant, which is far from my norm … blah, blah, blah. Just try their waffle fries at the locations in Mechanicsburg, Lancaster, York or Shrewsbury. They’re delish.


What is it about fast-food restaurants and the funny fry shapes? I may not be a personal fan of Arby’s, but I think it’s safe to say that their seasoned corkscrew-like fries are as much a claim to fame as their roast beef sandwiches.

Duck Fat

It seems that duck-fat fries are the latest craze in fried potatoes, and they are what separate the foodies from the wannabes. At the Federal Taphouse in Harrisburg and Lancaster, be sure to indulge in the Fed Fries — hand-cut fries cooked in duck fat. Pour in Lancaster also offers luscious duck-fat fries served with a roasted garlic aioli.


Even though they’ve taken a back seat to duck-fat fries, truffle fries are still a novelty in Central PA. The Garlic Poet Restaurant & Bar in New Cumberland and Bricco in Harrisburg both accompany their fries with a truffle aioli. Meanwhile, the Lucky Duck Fries at Lucky Ducks Bar & Grille in Elizabethtown goes all-out, with shoestring potatoes that are sprinkled with parmesan, fresh parsley and white truffle oil!


For this skinny-mini style of fries, try the Lucky Duck ones I mentioned above or head to downtown Lancaster to try the ones at FENZ Restaurant & Latenight


I’ve already mentioned the Federal Taphouse, but it should also be noted that it serves some pretty great poutine: fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This Canadian dish is available at The Garlic Poet as well, where the Quebec-style, triple-cooked fries are crowned with beef short rib, cheese curds and a Guinness demi-glace.

Sweet Potato

Many places have started serving sweet potato fries as an option, but the Athenian sweet potato fries at Hellenic Kouzina in Mechanicsburg are the only ones I’ve seen that are listed on the dessert menu. Drizzled with honey and cinnamon, these little gems truly are like eating sweets.

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