Have you ever heard of National French Fry Day, the day in which we give thanks for all the potatoes that have died for our country? Neither have I. But who am I to doubt?
Today is the day, I am told. And rather than poke around the Internet to mythbust this momentous occasion, I'm not going to google it. I'm not going to ask around. I'm just going to go out and celebrate with a bunch of starchy-delicious fried potato strips.
Without further ado, may I present to you my findings: fries for every occasion, or at least the important ones.
When you're feeling fancy
Truffle fries at Grill 55, $10
They're twice the price of most fries on the market, but these hand-carved shoestrings are worth it. They're crunchy down to the last lil' guy in the basket, lightly browned, and tossed in fragrant truffle oil and fresh herbs. Served in an aesthetically pleasing but totally impractical cone, with two hybrid dipping sauces: chipotle ketchup and chive-lime ranch. Have 'em at the bar with a Belgian beer.
When you need some spice in your life
OK, you caught me. They're not really called Atomic fries, but they might as well be, I'm told by a Metro Pizza waiter, who was probably just trying to be nice when he told me everyone makes that mistake. Metro's Nuclear fries are like street art: seemingly commonplace but subtly skilled -- enough to earn a die-hard following. A sandblasting of grocery-shelf seasoning distracts from the nuclear fry's true explosive property: it's creamy, mashed center. The thickish, diner-style fries are served piping hot with ranch. At Paymon's, the Athens fries seem somehow healthful when served on the Combination plate, accompanied by hummus, tabuli, stuffed grape leaves and other vegetarian sides. The seasoning is so good you'll want to take it home with you, and you can, thanks to Paymon's for-sale spice jars. Served with a tangy aioli-like sauce you'll want to take home, too.
When you're like really, really hungry
Angry kimchi sweet potato fries at Buldogi's, $4.95
Fries, stacked tall and topped with a few add-ons, can be a meal in itself. Buldogi's, the Asian-fusion hotdog shop on the west side, is a master of Korean mashups. This mound of sweet potato fries is piled high with spicy pork bulgogi, kimchi, five cheeses, green onion, jalapeno and topped with a fried egg. The restaurant should drop the word "angry" from its description because customers most certainly leave happy. If you like eggs on everything, also try the Oxtail chili cheese fries at Bachi Burger.
When it's time to leave the bar, but not yet time to go home
Carne asada fries at Tacos El Gordo
These guys make the best tacos in town (try the adobada), but honestly, after a night of drinking do you really care what you're eating? Likely not. Whether your carne asada fries or super nachos come from this joint or another ... we know it really doesn't matter. Price not specified because it doesn't matter.
When you're craving sweets
Sweet potato fries with black sesame at Wendy's Noodle Cafe, $4.95
Sweet potato fries. Been there, right? Wrong. Not even close. Wendy's sweet potato fries are tiny funnel cake sticks in costume, bejeweled with black sesame seeds and crowned in powered sugar. If you ordered a plate for dinner and another for dessert, you would be doing the right thing. Seriously guys, gorightnow.
Adam Burke contributed to this report