When the doctor tell you to eat more veggies, they're totally including fries in that, right? After all, these golden strips of yumminess start out as humble potatoes. Sure, they're then deep-fried in grease and covered in salt, but they're veggies nonetheless. Here are our five favourite spots where the crispy and golden sides might just outshine the main course.
WVRST (609 King West, www.wvrst.com)
Two words: duck fat. This sausage and beer hall in the Entertainment District fills their fryer with duck fat, making their Belgian-style fries ($4.50) even more decadent than usual. The dark and chunky potato slices are served in a red and white checkered paper cone, and come with a large selection of house-made dipping sauces that are mayo-based, tomato-based or yogurt-based. You can also order plain fries made in regular oil, but that would make you a crazy person.
BeerBistro (18 King Street East; beerbistro.com)
WVRST isn't the only restaurant in town that cooks their fries in animal fat. Beerbistro's Yukon Gold potatoes are blanched in beef tallow and duck fat, then crisped in peanut oil and finished with a dash of Kosher salt. They are served with your choice of mayonnaise or house-made smoked tomato ketchup.
Banh Mi Boys (399 Yonge Street and 392 Queen St West; www.banhmiboys.com)
This ever-expanding sandwich shop may be known for their Vietnamese banh mi, but it's their kimchi fries ($5.99) that keeps me coming back for more. Like an Asian spin on poutine, it features a layer of crispy fries covered in kimchi (fermented veggies), house-made mayo, green onions and pulled pork. The slightly sour kimchi cuts the fattiness of the pork. Vegetarians can opt to substitute the pork for tofu.
Gilead Cafe (4 Gilead Place, jamiekennedy.ca)
Celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy first rose to fame with his haute spin on the lowly French fry, which he's since sold everywhere from the Brick Works Farmers Market to the Air Canada Centre. I love getting his JK Fries at the Gilead Cafe in Corktown, where he tosses hand-cut Yukon Gold potato slices in two types of sea salt and serves them with house-made chili and cider dipping sauces ($6).
Chippy's Fish & Chips (893 Queen West; www.chippys.ca)
A fish and chips restaurant lives or dies by the quality of its chips, which is why Chippy's has remained so popular for so long. Their Ontario and PEI potatoes are hand cut each morning, and are double blanched and cooked fresh with every order. The result: perfectly crispy, piping hot fries. A little sprinkle of malt vinegar gives them an extra kick. $3.99 for small and $5.25 for large.
Honourable Mentions: Jules Bistro, The County General, The Queen and Beaver Public House, Clubhouse Sandwich Shop, Five Guys