The Rest of the “Best of”: Pretentious Pommes Frites

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 “French fries in a bowl,” circa 2006

The Wikipedia Collection

The smell of old grease wafting from Morningside’s finer college-grade establishments is irresistible in this indecisive weather.  But which one to pick?  The musty, fast-paced oil of HamDel?  The old-fashioned, touristy lard of Tom’s?  Or, the sushi-soba mix of M2M?  In this installment of “The Rest of the Best of,” Bwog analyzes the gluttonous offerings of the area.

Tom’s Restaurant

They’re classic, they’re expected, they’re from your home town.  Tom’s McDonald’s-style fries are a pleasant American yellow, and once you’ve slipped a few into your mouth, it’s an easy, nostalgic ride.  The fries are thin, well-salted, and horrifyingly greasy.  The puddle left at the bottom of the dish at the end of our nutrient-deprived meal is more guilt-inducing than the threat of impending finals. They’re far from gourmet, but you’ve known that taste since you were born, and they’ve been served at diners across America.  Rely on them for a quick, lazy, 3:00 AM fix.

Hamilton Deli

This semi-subterranean bunker is known for swarming with doctors and athletes during peak hours, all ordering artery-clogging “Famous Hamburgers” and chicken-related hoagies.  But what of the french fries?  Simply append “deluxe” to the end of any order and you’ll be upgraded from a dripping, foil-wrapped package to a luxury aluminum container, complete with a patent-pending sogginess-enhancing plastic lid

Hamilton Deli Fries 

All of this does wonders for the fries, which are anything but tasty.  HamDel fries have the consistency of a baked potato.  One Bwog associate, usually useful as a leftovers-consumer, described them as “chalky” and politely declined to finish the portion.  In addition, during peak hours, the potatoes are pre-fried, which means by the time you’ve ordered, the french fries have probably been sitting around for a while.  Nobody likes a stale, saltless french-fried potato, not even the chefs themselves: every order comes with several packets of (imposter) ketchup to add some much-needed flavor.


Finally, an establishment that knows its deep-fat frying techniques.  These fries are the kings of Morningside.  Crispy and chewy, perfectly wrapped in a golden-brown skin, these fries win the contest.  They’re made to order, but are apparently double-fried, the way any decent recipe suggests.  M2M doesn’t use quite enough salt, but the rich burnt Russet flavor more than makes up for it.

M2M French Fries

You won’t be cramming these masterpieces into your mouth as you run to class.  It’s worth the time and effort to eat the fries one by one, savoring perhaps the only bargain delicacy in the area – at $2 for a generous portion, they beat all other prices.  For your significant other’s next special occasion, forgo the cupcakes and cuddles for a disposable container of deliciousness.  Thank us later.

Photos by AB

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  1. are you seroius?  

    Deluxe and Le Monde have the best fries and you didn't even consider them?!!?

  2. somewhere between  

    Appletree's not bad either - not on par with M2M, but miles above HamDel.

  3. HamDel  

    may not have great fries until you add salt to them, but their cheese fries are great! (Also, their fries are at least better than the ones at Subsconscious)

    • hamdel cheese fries  

      for the win.

      also if you ask them to put hot sauce on them, they do two layers of fries with hot sauce in the middle, the overall effect of which is quite quite pleasing.

  4. YES  

    m2m definitely has the best fries! however, be warned that if you get them later in the evening they taste as though they have been sitting around for a while. go in the afternoon to get them at their crispy & delicious peak.

  5. saji's fan  

    if saji's made fries they would win every contest

  6. B.A.  

    For an article claiming to be pretentious, this was lacking. The restaurants you reviewed use frozen fries, which are all par-fried at the factory.

    M2M fries are not twice-fried, unless you count the aforementioned fry at the factory. You can get the same results from a bag of battered Ore-Ida from Appletree.

    If you want to write a serious french fry review, go to Pommes Frites and watch them work.

  7. pommes frites  

    is AMAZING. definitely worth the trip.

  8. Although  

    regular Ham Del fries are soggy and flavorless, the curly fries are more than redeeming, so long as you open your container soon after buying them and don't let them sog up.

  9. ...

    going just off taste without considering price, Le Monde french fries have no competition

    and since they're a french resturaunt, they can legitimately be called prommes frittes

    boo for shabby reporting

    • ...  

      Cafe du Soleil.

      better food in general, and their fries are to die for....perfectly fried with parsley and whole garlic cloves on top.

      and they serve it in a paper swirly cone thing. can't beat that.

  10. well,

    subs conscious anyone? they're the best, in my opinion.

  11. ...

    Don't forget TOAST, which has my favorite fries.

  12. UGH  

    this is making me crave M2M fries so bad.

  13. hamdel has no...  

    aluminum containers... they're jet black plastic...

  14. wrong  

    Deluxe and Le Monde have really shitty fries. HamDel curly fries are decent

  15. ahhh  

    the power of subjectivity.

  16. fries  

    The cheeseburger deluxe at M2M is the perfect study companion. Next to a fine lady, that is.

    ...sorry, I've been watching too much Mad Men.

  17. yo yo yo choke a ho  

    fortago is the shtuff

  18. DHI  

    The sloppy fries from HamDel are delicious, with the mozzarella and gravy. They also have good curly fries.

    M2M's fries are good but not great.

    McDonald's has delicious fries.

  19. duh

    1. Cafe du Soleil
    2. Le Monde
    3. Strokos

  20. Yoooo

    Pourhouse has the best fries in the area

    • Agreed  

      I can't believe nobody else had yet brought up how glorious Pourhouse fries are. Going there for a very reasonably priced lunch and cheap accompanying beer has been my favorite discovery of this semester.

  21. Have you tried  

    the fries at the Heights? They're pretty good as well

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