No longer a mere side dish, many Orange County eating establishments give French fries top billing on their menus. OC chefs take the noble spud seriously and, in one case, spend days getting their fries just right. It’s easy to see the European influences on how these fries are prepared and served. Some establishments even provide house-made ketchups and dipping sauces for their creations. No matter if you like them smothered or simply seasoned, these fries are worth more than just a look.
Mobile food truck
A familiar lunchtime sight in Irvine, Spudrunners serves their fries via food truck to local businesses. In addition to chili cheese fries, the truck serves Irish fries topped with Applewood bacon, cheddar cheese and green onion, and Santa Fe fries with green lime cilantro chicken, cheddar cheese, cilantro, fire-roasted green chile, red onion, tomatoes and chipotle ranch sauce. Spudrunners dishes up the same toppings on baked potatoes and offers a selection of grilled cheese sandwiches. You can wash everything down with one of their fresh-squeezed lemonades. Follow them on Twitter to see where their truck is heading next. Spudrunners also is available to cater events.
190 S. Glassell St.
Old Towne Orange, CA 92866
After opening their doors in September 2009, Haven Gastropub made their mark on the OC, especially when it comes to French fries. Their house-cut pommes frites are garnished with fresh herbs and served with house-made ketchup. A pile of pommes frites goes well with the Haven or lamb burgers and the current rotation of craft beers. The vegetarian fries are dairy-free and gluten-free as are the house-made potato chips, which are soaked in beer, fresh herbs and garlic aioli.
Deemer’s American Grill
27221 La Paz Road Suite. E
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Calling his establishment a modern-day roadside diner, Chef Kevin Deemer’s garlic fries attract lots of attention. Tossed in garlic butter and parsley, these fries complement their Angus beef burgers and their chicken and savory sandwiches. Deemer’s also serves salted, Cajun and chili fries as well, which pair off nicely with the burger of the month. Deemer’s American Grill is open daily and offers indoor and patio seating.
8961 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Like fine wine, The Corner will sell no fries before their time. This chef-owned and operated bar/restaurant serves “48-hour fries,” which are prepared through an established, multi-step process. Served with housemade ketchup, they are also gluten-free and prepared with vegetarian ingredients. The Corner’s menu includes such fare as heirloom tomato tar tar and red-wine braised short ribs. Everything goes well, of course, with the Corner’s selection of classic cocktails, wine and beer.
222 Forest Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Brussels Bistro earns compliments for their Cornet de frites, a portion of their Belgian fries served with housemade dipping sauces. For $26 every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, visitors can even enjoy all-you-can-eat mussels and fries; Belgian beer on tap or a glass of house wine is included in the cost. Executive Chef, Thomas Crijns also creates other menu items designed to bring a taste of Belgium to the OC. Those fries could, for example, go nicely with a 10-ounce gruyere burger, steak de boeuf grille or a roasted half chicken.