French fries on Long Island: Best bets
Magic happens when a freshly cut piece of potato meets a kettle full of bubbling fat. We steer you past the pre-frozen, batter-dipped, corkscrew-shaped varieties, straight to the aristocrats. A sprinkle of salt, a dip in ketchup (or, Euro-style mayonnaise sauce), and you're tasting paradise. Here are some of our favorites.
Chow Down Diner(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
Contemporary-retro Chow Down Diner in Bethpage serves hand-cut fries that are nutty-sweet. A nice accompaniment is always the signature BLT on toasted sourdough.
Pastrami Plus(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)
In his little kosher-style East Meadow eatery Pastrami Plus, deli man Sal Gawish serves superior hand-cut fries. They’re square-ish in shape, crusted golden brown on the outside. Careful not to burn your mouth on the piping-hot, nutty-sweet interior.
Waterzooi(Credit: Gaby Chiha)
Come to Waterzooi in Garden City for the mussels, stay for the fries served with a blue cheese sauce.
Ideal Wine and Cheese Cafe(Credit: Nicole Horton)
A show stealer at Ideal in Huntington are the excellent hand-cut pommes frites, bronze, sweet and nutty. Served with garlic aioli.
Bobby's Burger Palace(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Head to Bobby's Burger Palace in Lake Grove or Garden City for classic, skin-on fries accompanied by BBP's delectable, piquant, coral-hued fry sauce.
Hot Diggity Dogs(Credit: Gaby Chiha)
Bronze and delectable, the house-made fries at Hot Diggity Dogs in Medford are served with the restaurant's signature boom-boom sauce.
European Republic(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
At European Republic in Huntington, Idaho potatoes are hand-cut, twice-fried in canola oil and served, Euro-style, in paper cones. Each golden stick tastes of nothing more complicated (or delectable) than potato and salt. Have yours stark naked, with ketchup or any number of flavored mayonnaise dips, from mango chutney to Jamaican curry.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries(Credit: Photo by Heather Walsh)
With several Long Island locations, Five Guys Burgers & Fries uses of potatoes from a variety of sources; the origin of what's served on a given day is posted. First, hand-cut, skin-on tubers are soaked in water; then, they're partially cooked. The moment an order is placed, they're plunged into hot peanut oil, emerging golden brown, crisp, creamy and sweet. They're seasoned with salt (or Cajun spice blend) and shaken into a cup that's placed in a paper bag. One more scoop goes in for good measure.
Press 195(Credit: Jennifer S. Altman)
At Press 195 in Rockville Centre, the Belgian fries, hand-cut and double-cooked, are addictive.
Toku(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)
Asian-fusion restaurants aren't generally French fry hot spots, but at Toku in Manhasset the signature fries, thick-cut and served with spicy mayo, are among Long Island's best.
Roots Bistro Gourmand(Credit: Gaby Chiha)
French bistro Roots Bistro Gourmand in West Islip takes a detour to Belgium with its hand-cut fries, from foreground, Parmesan-truffle, plain with salt, and garlic and parsley.
Hildebrandt's(Credit: Timothy Fadek)
At Hildebrandt's in Williston Park, the burnished-gold, coin-shaped fries got their start as a timesaver. Many decades ago, then-owner Al Strano (who died in 1998) found that it took far less time to slice the red-skinned new potatoes crosswise than cut them into sticks, according to his daughter Susan Strano-Acosta, who now owns the restaurant with her husband, Bryan Acosta. "The little red potatoes have more flavor than Idahos," Strano-Acosta says.