123 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003-8319
I’ve discussed my never ending obsession with French Fries many times before, so i’ll endeavor to keep this short. In my experiences with Belgian Fries from Vancouver, and and Duck Fat from Maine, i’ve developed a pretty clear understanding of what im looking for in a french fry. Crisp outside, fluffy inside, flavourful, and a bit meatier than thin fries. On reputation alone, Pommes Frites in New York is often mentioned as one of the best.
I used to wander by this tiny storefront in the East Village all the time. It’s square on my walking path from Ippudo, to Katz’s Deli and Russ and Daughters. With Caracas around the corner, there wasn’t a hope that i’d ever have the room left in my stomach to try it. Then i heard it was really good, so i figured before Arepas, after Pastrami, Akamaru Modern, and some Lox, i’d share some fries with a friend.
Fries are pretty simple, and they certainly keep it that way. Fresh cut, double fried, they follow the basic Belgian Fry princples.
With a couple of fryers, there’s often a wait at Pommes Frites. Dipping sauces are available as well, including the traditional Aioli.
They come in a cone of paper. All good so far. Color looks good. Quantity is nice, though the price is a bit high.
The verdict? Holy cow, they’re soggy! I don’t know how they managed it, but for some reason, these limp fries just kind of ooze into your mouth. Not great at all…
To recap, how did Pommes Frites do against the criteria for a Belgian Fry?
- freshly cut, irregularly shaped – yes
- cooked (fried) twice – yes
- fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside – yes, and no
- a distinct potato taste – a bit too starch.
- at least 10 mm thick – yes
- preferably served in a paper cone – yes
Interesting. They hit almost all the criteria, and they were still not good. Just goes to show you that life is really about balance. And one thing out of balance, in this case texture, can take a great dish and make it a mediocre one. I’d pass on Pommes Frites – so many better choices in the vicinity.