Power Ranking The Best Fast Food French Fries In The Country For National French Fry Day
ALLISON SANCHEZ 07.13.17
There’s this restaurant not far from my house that I always walk past. And I’ve always thought it looked so cute! So the other day I brought a friend there for lunch having never looked at the menu. This was a huge mistake. Their sandwiches were $20. Twenty. Dollars. FOR A SANDWICH.
I wanted to back out. But I was too far in it. I had suggested the place. So I had to sit there and pretend that I WANTED a $20 sandwich more than anything else in the world. It was a nightmare.
It’s hard for me to think of a situation in which I would think a $20 sandwich was worth it. Maybe if instead of meat it was filled with five dollar bills? But other than that unlikely scenario, I feel like that price just sets you up for disappointment. This was no exception. These were terrible sandwiches. Not just terrible for twenty dollars, terrible for any amount. Like if they’d been six dollars, and I got them for three because they’d been sitting out for a week in a gas station that was being closed for health code violations…even then, I’d say, “Well, that was a waste of three dollars I could have spent on scratch off tickets.”
I should’ve been mad about the waste of money. I would’ve been! But here’s the thing…the sandwiches, they came with fries. And they were really good fries. Salty and soft like McDonald’s fries. They saved the meal. I was like, eh? Well I enjoyed that enough. Take my money.
Good fries can do that. Those fried potatoes covered in salt and seasoning can take a mediocre hamburger or crappy BLT and make the meal incredible. Put some truffle fries on the menu as an appetizer and sure, I’ll pay ten bucks for that. Happy to. But you don’t even need to pay that much! Fries are kind of the great equalizer. There’s a big difference between a fast food hamburger and an incredible burger at a good restaurant. The fast food burger has its place in your heart, sure. But it can’t compete with really good beef, truly fresh toppings, gourmet cheese, and a freshly baked bun. That’s not true of fries though. Fast food fries are usually just as delicious (if not more delicious) as the fries you’d get in any restaurant.
Fast food fries are amazing. Unless, of course, they aren’t. And then I’m filled with the fury of a thousand Christian Bales having had a take ruined.
Am I going to walk around and rip your f**king fryer down, in the middle of the kitchen? Then why the f**k are you walking right to the counter and serving me these terrible fries? Ah-da-da-dah, like this in the background with terrible fries. What the f**k is it with you? What don’t you f**king understand? You got any f**king idea how distracting it is having somebody walking up with bad fries in the middle of the f**king day? Give me a f**king answer! What don’t you get about it?
You’re an amateur.
-Actual transcipt of Allison at Shake Shack after being served their “cheese fries”
This power ranking tells you definitively who has the BEST FAST FOOD FRIES IN AMERICA and we’ll be ordering them today based on:
“Empty ketchup packets left on the floor of mom’s Dodge Minivan.”
12. Burger King Fries
You may think this is nonsensical, but it IS possible for fries to taste too much like potato. These taste like potato wrapped in cardboard dipped in oil collected from the drippings of a plain, white unscented candle that a child made during their 3rd grade class trip to Pioneer Town. These fries are blander than a protest led by Kendall Jenner.
Ranking: There are not any ketchup packets on the bottom of your Mom’s Dodge Minivan. You threw these fries out the window. They hit your neighbor, Mr. Wilson, in the face, and he shook his fist at you and yelled, “Dennis!!!!!”
11. Shake Shack Fries
Part of the reason these are ranked so poorly is because I had such high expectations. It’s Shake Shack. People LOVE Shake Shack. But these fries were more tasteless than taking a smiling selfie at a former concentration camp. Cheese didn’t even make them better. In fact, it kind of made them worse because not only did I have to eat them, I had to think about what was in the cheese to make it taste so unlike cheese? Did they do it on purpose? Were they literally trying to wipe the smile off of my face? We may never know.
Ranking: 1 ketchup packet that your mom steps on when she gets into the car and it splatters all over her new jeans. She sighs deeply. This is her life now. 23 years ago, she had that art scholarship in Paris lined up. Right now, she could be sitting in a little cafe, sketching the city, and making wild love to a man named Pierre with the windows open every night, the sweet smell of lilacs drifting in. Instead, she got pregnant with you and now, she drives a Dodge Minivan home to your father, a man who hasn’t given her an orgasm in 12 years. But no everything’s fine. Just fine. She’s happy. Really, really happy. Wouldn’t trade you for the world, honey. Ha. Ha. Life is great!!!!!
10. In and Out Fries
I swear I don’t have a hate secret agenda against In and Out. Except, I totally do, and think they serve garbage food. Their fries HAVE to be smothered animal style or you’ll realize that they source them from other fast food restaurants garbage bins, blow on them a few times, and then stick them in the microwave before serving them to you and all of the out of town family visiting you who just HAD to eat In and Out while in California.
Ranking: 1 ketchup packet that fell out of the bag while you gently sobbed at the unfairness of the world.
9. Five Guys Fries
These are thick and greasy, but they aren’t as delicious as you’d like them to be. They taste sort of overcooked. I want them to be good, they look good, but at the end of the day, they just don’t do it for me. Like grunge bands or Dancing with the Stars or The Big Bang Theory. I get that other people like them, but I’m probably never going to be on board.
Ranking: 2 ketchup packets on the floor of your Mom’s Dodge Minivan that have been there since you made out with that girl in your junior year history class after drinking a bottle of Boone’s Farm.
8. KFC Seasoned Potato Wedges
These are good, definitely the thickest fries on this list. But if you’re craving real fries, they’re never going to satisfy you. It’s like you really wanted a good cupcake and someone was like, here’s a chocolate chip cookie. You like cookies, it’s sugary. But it’s no cupcake. ALL YOU WANTED WAS CUPCAKE.
Ranking: 3 ketchup packets that your Mom finds on the floor and brings home to put in a drawer for “later”.
7. Wendy’s Fries
These are solid fast food fries. You can’t find anything wrong with them exactly. But would you ever, like, jump for joy about them? Would you rush out at two in the morning specifically because you want Wendy’s fries and nothing else? Wendy’s fries are the best friend in the Romcom that ends up with the male protagonist’s best friend by default at the end. She’s not the one anyone has ever pined for, but right before the credits role, you figure she’s better than nothing.
Ranking: 4 Ketchup packets tossed on the floor like your clothes at the end of the day, you slob.
6. Popeye’s Cajun Seasoned Fries
Cajun seasoning is fantastic on just about anything, and while I find Popeye’s to generally be a disappointment, these fries are spicy and delicious. A real go-to if you’re in the airport or happen to find yourself in a Popeye’s for some reason. Like you’ve been kidnapped and forced to rob every Popeye’s located off of Highway 40 en route to Albuquerque. You’ll go there to take their money, but you’ll stay for the fries.
Ranking: 5 ketchup packets on the floor of your Mom’s Dodge Minivan that will stay there until the car finally dies and is donated to Kars 4 Kids. Sing it with us!
5. Culvers Crinkle Fries
I like how salty Culver’s fries are. You can literally feel your blood pressure rising with every delicious bite. And the whole time you think, “Well, what a way to go.”
Ranking: 6 ketchup packets on the bottom of your Mom’s Dodge minivan. You asked for one packet. It’s like they get a commision from ketchup packets given away or something.
4. Chick-fil-A Fries
Chick-fil-A waffle fries with a vanilla milkshake? Pure heaven. I don’t know why waffle fries taste better than regular fries. I’m not a scientist. All I know is that a good waffle fry can visit me any time they want. I’ll keep the light on over the porch, and a bottle of whiskey with a pack of cigs by the bed for you, waffle. Don’t you worry.
Ranking: 7 ketchup packets left on the floor of your Mom’s Dodge Minivan. Where else are you going to put them, the garbage? People are starving, dammit, and that’s perfectly good ketchup.
3. Checkers Seasoned Fries
What’s in “fry seasoning”? Is it magic? Was it God’s way of making up for all the injustice and sadness in the world?
“Look, guys. I know there’s a lot of war and horror out there. But I made something for you.”
“Is it another savior?” we ask.
“Nah,” she says. “It’s even better. It french fry seasoning. You’re welcome.”
Ranking: 8 ketchup packets on the bottom of your Mom’s floor which end up in Aunt Martha’s glove box four years later. The power of sisterhood!
2. McDonald’s Fries
The classic. These are the fry standard that I will measure all other fries against for the rest of my life. They are so soft and oil filled and the saltiest of all the food creations. At other restaurants, fries simply compliment the main dish, but at Mickey D’s? You could easily order just fries and more fries and be totally content. These are the Meryl Streep of fries. Part of you is like, “Oh man, she’s winning the Oscar AGAIN?” But most of you is like, “Of fucking course she is. She’s the best. And that’s what the best does.”
Ranking: 9 ketchup packets on the floor of your Mom’s Dodge Minivan, left over from that glorious road trip you took with your best friend the summer after high school — back when you had all the potential in the world, and everything was your oyster. Those were the days. But they’re behind you now. WAY behind you.
1. Arby’s Curly Fries
Arby’s curly fries are simply the best food in the whole world. They are seasoned, they are salty, they are perfectly cooked, AND THEY ARE CURLED LIKE THE RINGLETS OF A TINY CHERUB.
Ranking: 1o ketchup packets on the….you know what? You get the idea. I’m tired and I’ve eaten ten boxes of French fries in an hour. Lay off me.