by Jeff Ruby
News flash: With our burger, we want french fries. Not potato chips or shoestrings or wedges or Tater Tots: simple, unadorned french fries. With ketchup. Heinz is fine. These fries should be long and thin and crispy/soft, preferably hand cut, skin on, and blazing hot, like the ones at That’s-A-Burger. You can throw a little garlic in there, like Marc Burger does, or even toss in a whole bunch of spices and garlic chips like at District Bar. Just don’t go too far, like Cortland’s Garage with that chili-lime nonsense. If you want to bowl us over with duck-fat fries, like at Sweets & Savories (1534 W. Fullerton Ave.; 773-281-6778) or The Bristol (2152 N. Damen Ave.; 773-862-5555), we won’t complain. Truffle fries are fine if you can pull them off—Bull & Bear and Capital Grille both can—but they’re a disaster when they’re too thick (you know who you are). All of you, frankly, could take a hint from Five Guys (left), which currently serves the best fries in Chicago. They’re hand cut, fried in pure peanut oil, and amazing, stuffed for some reason into a Styrofoam cup, then into an overflowing brown bag whose grease stains taste better than most of the fries out there right now.
Photograph by Anna Knott