This is the list that needs no introduction -- except to say that we fully expect you to throw something hot and greasy at us when you see what we chose for Number 1.
The trifecta of fries at Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert -- scandalously ignored when Guy Fieri visited for "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" -- are each a meal unto themselves (not that anyone's counting!). The Baked Potato Fries are topped with sour cream, bacon, onion, and chives - everything you need to simulate the flavors of a baked potato with all the fixin's, in a snack you can eat with your fingers. Chili Cheese Fries are topped with farm-made chili sauce, sharp cheddar, and sour cream. You can taste the restaurant's dedication to fresh, local ingredients, including those from the Gilbert urban farm (dubbed Agritopia) right out the back door. Last but not least, the Garlic Fries are tossed in olive oil, Pecorino Romano, fresh garlic, and herbs. There's no skimping on the garlic, so you can count on these fries to keep even pesky glittery vampires at bay.
Get the ketchup ready -- and grab the rest of our picks after the jump.
The thyme fries at Green, the New American Vegetarian restaurant in Tempe, are at once hot and crispy and melt-in-your-mouth good, topped with a spice that you just don't get enough of. Too often second banana to its more popular cousin, rosemary, thyme as a seasoning for fries proves deliciously addictive. You can order these fries on the side of one of Green's savory sandwiches, on their own, or (why not?) with a salad. The best part about the fries at Green is that -- despite the truth that while it may all be vegetarian, it's not necessarily healthy -- they feel easy to justify: You're eating tofu, right? You deserve fries!
4. Beaver Choice
Poutine is comfort food taken to the max, and just like any good comfort food, it doubles as a damn fine hangover cure. We have the Canadians to thank for this artery clogging, yet crazy delicious concoction of french fires, cheese curds, and brown gravy. We trust Beaver Choice in Tempe for all of our poutine needs. Seeing how these folks started in Canada (on a college campus no less), they've got poutine down pat. So the next time you've got a five alarm hangover that needs fixing, hit up the Beaver for a satisfying mass of greasy, crispy fries dotted with fresh white cheese and smothered in soul-satisfying gravy. You're gonna need a fork for that.
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3. Four Peaks Brewing Company
A place like Four Peaks (locations in Tempe and Scottsdale) doesn't have to focus on their menu with such solid brews, but we're certainly glad they do. Of all the things on the menu we would recommend with confidence (beer bread, burgers, and brunch come to mind), it's the 7 Barrel Fries that we like sharing with friends over a couple of beers. Four Peaks takes their fries to the next level by beer battering and deep frying tater sticks to crisp perfection. Order up a platter of these and be alarmed at how quickly they disappear. Paired with the Arizona Peach Ale, it's a solid combo for any season.
Delux makes a damn fine patty, and the only thing better than a Delux Burger is a Delux Burger with a side of fries. We tend to opt for a full side of mixed shoestring fries with half regular and half sweet potato. It's half sweet, half savory, and all delicious -- even more so when you dip 'em in the homemade aioli that comes with the side of ketchup. Fries never tasted so good, especially when they come in a whimsical little metal shopping cart.
Yes, you read that right. Maybe it's the nostalgia of the Golden Arches -- back in the 80's when the word "trans fat" didn't exists and a trip to Micky D's on a Friday night for a Happy Meal was what we looked forward to all week, a time when a parent could take their child to McDonald's without having to feel like they failed as a parent -- but nothing beats an order of just outta the fryer McDonald's French fries. Sure, they are from the biggest fast food corporation and a large order of the perfectly crisp, golden spuds weigh in at 500 calories and 25 grams of fat, but that's what makes them so good. How healthy do you think those duck-fat-fried taters from that gastropub are for you? Fries aren't meant to be healthy! Crispy, golden, delicious and the perfect complement to a chocolate milkshake.