Long considered the backup dancers to the leading lady, the hamburger, French fries deserve a starring role — as long as they're from one of these five restaurants in metro Phoenix. From fast to fancy, dig in. You won't be disappointed.
There’s nothing fancy about the hand-cut French fries at Welcome Diner, and we don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. These classic savory treats will come to your table piping hot and fresh from the fryer in a small silver bowl. You could grab yourself a bottle of ketchup or maybe splash a few dashes of Crystal hot sauce on these addicting snacks, but these fries don't need anything added. They’re thin and crispy with just enough salt and no excessive grease. At $4 for a side portion, you could eat these fries all night.
We’ll find ourselves going to Bink’s Midtown specifically for the French fries. Though they’re served in a mini bucket, there’s nothing mini about these fries – thick-cut and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and tender inside. The overflowing serving will arrive at the table with a trio of sauces, including a garlicky aioli, a sauce vert with subtle dill flavors, and a truffle ketchup, which really is the star of the show. Bink’s Midtown offers the fries as an appetizer for $5 or a meal accompaniment for $2 extra, and we wouldn’t blame you for splurging for both.
We know Delux is known for the award-winning Delux burger, but when we visit, it’s all about the French fries. From the time these fried bites arrive at the table in the petite shopping cart, you know you’re in for a treat. A heaping basket full of the thinly cut fries, only served a la carte, will run you $5. And if you’re not one to stick with the traditional, try the sweet potato fries or go half-and-half with the mixed basket for a dollar extra. Just don’t forget the tart aioli to tie everything together.
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It may seem silly to go to an upscale French restaurant in North Scottsdale just for fries, but when it comes to steak frites, Zinc Bistro does it right. The house fries, which sadly do not come complimentary with the restaurant’s excellent burger, are sliced thin and fried to a golden crisp before being tossed in a combination of marjoram and paprika. The spices give this side dish an extra kick, and for even more flavor just look to the little containers of smoked paprika aioli and ketchup. For $6, you get a towering bucket of fried potatoes, which we recommend sharing as a starter — assuming you’re willing to share at all.
These are not fancy fries. They aren't sliced julienne, cooked in duck fat or topped with truffles. But then, you don't go to Five Guys for a Michelin rating; you go there for a dense, messy burger the size of a cantaloupe and the only deep-fried potatoes that possibly could stand up to it. They're hand-cut, of course, which means every fry is supple, browned to perfection in a bath of peanut oil and left glistening with enough grease to turn a brown paper bag translucent. You won’t feel well after polishing off the entire pile, but you’ll do it anyway, because this — irresponsible amounts of starch, oil and salt — is the very essence of the French fry.