The (Side) Dish: Our Favorite Finds, French Fry Edition
You’ve probably heard of the Field’s legendary burgers, made with a private blend of sirloin, chuck, brisket, and short rib. Maybe you’ve even caught whispers of the adult-approved hard milkshakes they’re mixing up with Berkey Creamery ice cream. But you haven’t experienced the Field in full until you’ve had a bucket of hand-cut russet potato fries dumped onto a layer of butcher’s paper for the whole table. Their fry menu is a thing of beauty. Choose from crowd pleasers like decadent Parmesan and Truffle fries, or Crab Fries seasoned with Old Bay, white cheddar, and crab sauce.
This place is serious about their French fries, an important quality in a traditional American kitchen specializing in pub favorites and comfort food among other made-from-scratch creations. The Deli’s fries are fresh cut and perfect as an appetizer, especially with a couple of their delicious dips like creamy garlic and Cajun mayo. For those who favor a less traditional fry, opt for the fresh cut sweet potato fries, topped with brown sugar salt – variety is the spice of life!
Why not try the namesake at the Nittany Lion Inn’s casual pub-style restaurant? Ordering the Fried Whiskers will land you a heaping bowl of fresh-cut fries seasoned to your liking with Cajun, Old Bay, or classic salt & pepper. If you go the sweet potato route, you’ll be treated with a Sriracha honey barbeque sauce for dipping purposes – certainly an adventurous way to spend National French Fry Day!
This High Street gem in Bellefonte earns a spot on the charts with one word: Poutine. The timeless Quebec recipe features hand cut fries, fresh cheddar cheese curds, and brown gravy. Any restaurant menu with French fries as the star of a dish warrants serious respect. The Pub’s fries are a northern New York recipe, seasoned with kosher salt and thyme.
Can’t get enough of Otto’s beer? You’re in good company. Cue beer batter, one of the greatest inventions known to deep fryers. Enjoy a handful of Otto’s golden-brown beer battered French fries with a house favorite like beef on weck. They also look great sprinkled on top of a Three Rivers salad.
Road trip! Head out to the Whistle Stop in Centre Hall for a plate of P.R.R. Spikes, steak fries topped with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions, and a side of sour cream. For the spud lover who values a meaty fry, this is the way to go. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to stray from the beaten track and update the usual restaurant routine. The Whistle Stop is an old-timey favorite, full of railroad décor and nostalgia. Prepare to be charmed!
Rosemary and garlic make for a delightful flavor marriage. HVBC’s rosemary garlic fries are an excellent complement to their novel sandwich offerings like the Oyster BLT and Shish Kicker. Plus, you can wash these deep fried beauties down with an ale or stout brewed onsite.
No French fry bucket list would be complete without mentioning the reigning champ. The Spruce Creek Tavern is perhaps best known for its Famous “TRAY” of fresh cut French fries. Yes, they’re talking about a literal tray, and it’s piled high. Other sizes are available – “just a few,” a “handful,” and the “platter,” – and all are plenty generous for less ambitious stomachs. Consider having cheese, bacon, or gravy poured on top or served on the side. Better yet, go for the trifecta!
Now it’s your turn, Happy Valley. These are eight of our favorite French fry destinations, but we’ve got to be missing a few. Tell us where you go for your fry fix, and let us know how you celebrate National French Fry Day!