Adults eat a lot of fries, too: Per capita consumption stands at about 28 pounds. And restaurants are helping to keep that number high. French fries are an American menu staple that transcends cost and cuisine. This year, I encountered fries in Greek restaurants, steakhouses, fried fish shacks and French bistros. Many of them were excellent. Of the new crop of Seattle fries, the following are my favorites:
The industry blog BurgerBusiness recently noted Burger King's introduction of "angry poutine" in Canada (it's angry because it has jalapenos on it) and wondered if the snack would soon be headed south. In Seattle, The Coterie Room this year joined the ranks of local restaurants already serving the cheese curd-and-gravy dish, putting forth a piggy version that made up in richness for what it lacked in classicism.
Maria Hines' fries are so fabulous that a few months back, she had to invent a burger to go with them. As I described them in my review, "the glossy, skin-on fries, burnished with beef fat, twinkle with sumac and salt." Yup.
Pommes frites, Marche
It's almost a shame to eat the fries at Marche, since they look so pretty in their white tureen. But it's hard to resist these golden-crisped beauts, served fresh out of the fryer with an accompanying side of mayonnaise.
A joint that has the guts to fry its burgers understands the alchemy of hot oil. Katsu's shoestring fries - you can order them up plain, although they're even better with curry powder or nori flakes - are near-perfect examples of the genre. There's an array of dipping sauces, but no one will tell if you drag a crisp fry through your green tea milkshake.