French fries are an utterly subjective thing. Some like the skinny, slender shoestring variety; others prefer the meaty, thickness of steak-cut frites. Some like them deep-fried in duck fat; others like them drizzled in truffle oil. They can come curly or straight, in cones or in parchment-lined baskets, with garlic aioli or malt vinegar.
Anyway you slice and fry ‘em, french fries are a hotly debated topic among fry addicts — including me.
There are different attributes I look for in fries. First, they have to look good. I like them golden brown and slightly glistening with oil. They have to be hot — not piping, I-could-sue-you hot, but not warm, either. And I like a slight crispiness to them. Yes, a far cry from the “potatoes served in a French manner” at a White House dinner in 1802. (Credit Thomas Jefferson with that quote.)
There are dozens of restaurants, eateries, food trucks and fast-food joints here that serve a stellar bag of fries. But after years — yes, years — of research, here are my right-now favorites:
No. 5: The Alley
There’s nothing I want to eat more at a bowling alley — and yes, I’ve spent a lot of time in them — than french fries, and the ones from The Alley at Aiea Bowl are exceptional. Hot, crispy and piled high on a plate that’s big enough for sharing, these fries are great with the restaurant’s popular garlic chicken or handmade burger. You can even get them topped with fresh garlic. But that would require a cold beer to wash it down. Good thing the bowling alley has got a bar, too.
99-115 Aiea Heights Drive
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