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(Marketwatch)   Americans slowly begin declaring their freedom from French fries   (marketwatch.com) divider line 59
    More: Interesting, Hudson Institute, Quentin Fottrell  
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4193 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Feb 2013 at 10:20 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-11 09:30:23 AM  
If McDonalds would put Bratkartoffeln on their menu, I'd be in there faster than a German through Belgium.
 
2013-02-11 10:01:35 AM  
30 years ago... side items were french fries (with rare places like Burger King having ground up onion rings) and that was it.

Now you have all sorts of other unhealthy sides, plus salads, soups, chili, fruit, etc. at most places.

So... duh.
 
2013-02-11 10:14:49 AM  
First time I've seen these.  They were selling them at the Mardi Gras opener at Universal on Saturday.

i01.i.aliimg.com

Didn't try one but they looked good.
 
2013-02-11 10:26:27 AM  
French fries sales fell nearly 2% at five big restaurant chains between 2006 and 2011

Nope, still fat.
 
2013-02-11 10:29:54 AM  
It should come as much of a surprise that people are eating healthier, even at fast food restaurants.

What I used to get at McDonalds: Big Mac, Large Coke, Large Fry -- 1360 calories, 54g fat
What I get now: McChicken (no mayo), Large Diet Coke, Small Fry -- 680 calories, 22g fat

Is it good for me?  No, of course not.  Is it much, much, much better than what I used to eat?  Absolutely.
 
2013-02-11 10:31:27 AM  
It always makes me happy when we take the family out to dinner, and the kids prefer to have a salad or fruit cup as a side dish instead of fries. This is how they've learned how to eat, and it's all good.

/it's too late for me, but they can still save themselves
 
2013-02-11 10:35:58 AM  

pdieten: It always makes me happy when we take the family out to dinner, and the kids prefer to have a salad or fruit cup as a side dish instead of fries. This is how they've learned how to eat, and it's all good.

/it's too late for me, but they can still save themselves


That's kind of the point in our family, too.  Studies have repeatedly shown that the vast majority can't lose more than 10-15% of your maximum weight and keep it off for the long term.  So, the key is to get the kids eating healthfully when they're young, keep them active, and hope they never have to go through what I've gone through (growing up with a Southern born-and-raised mother who cooked everything in bacon grease).

So, yeah, I eat like crap but my daughter knows that if she's going to be "big and strong" when she grows up, she's going to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins.  If she's hungry, we have "snack packs" which are made up if the veggies and fruits that she likes to eat with a little piece of cheese in with them.  We've found what vegetables she enjoys (tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, are particular favorites) and those are the vegetables she gets with her food.
 
2013-02-11 10:46:29 AM  

Diogenes: First time I've seen these.  They were selling them at the Mardi Gras opener at Universal on Saturday.

[i01.i.aliimg.com image 333x500]

Didn't try one but they looked good.


Had one at the State Fair a few years ago.  It's basically a long potato chip.
 
2013-02-11 10:58:28 AM  
Maybe because they were temporarily called freedom fries.
 
2013-02-11 11:04:57 AM  
[Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked
 
2013-02-11 11:10:25 AM  

Land Ark: [Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked


If you're gonna make fries, fry them to a degree that they actually appear cooked - they need not all be golden crunchy goodness on the outside with almost-creamy potato inside, but that's the goal.

Don't just hit them with hot grease and hope.

// shouldn't need to be said; who farking likes soggy, wilted fries?
// and that they give you 974,609,581,479,687,416 of them - ALL USELESS - is more of a taunting than a side dish
 
2013-02-11 11:11:54 AM  

Land Ark: [Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked


I don't understand the love for Five Guys fries. They are not good. The boxes of potatoes in the store is just a marketing gimmick that appears to work. It doesn't matter how freshly cut the fries are if they are completely ruined by awful preparation. Properly cooked fries should not be nearly that greasy.
 
2013-02-11 11:12:10 AM  
Fries simply aren't as good at the chains now, probably because of the push to make them healthier (but still generally unhealthy.) McDonald's fries took a big hit with the switch to non-animal fats, and the loss of trans fats in general makes fries less tempting flavor-wise compared to healthier options.
 
2013-02-11 11:21:24 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Don't just hit them with hot grease and hope.


I was going to say...
Perhaps Americans are swearing off fries because it's near impossible to find anyone that knows how to actually cook them.
Fast food is a crapshoot, the fries pretty much ignored until the timer goes off or whatever else the wage slave is supposed to do besides cook fries, and the fryer combined with how old the oil is will always give a different consistency.
Other restaurants, you just have to find the right one. Back in college, best fries in town were from an English style pub. Order the fish and chips and you were guaranteed to get perfect fries every time.
It sucks that of two English-style pubs in my area now, both of which are more expensive, neither one of them seems to be able to manage anything but wet mashed-potatoes in vague fry-shaped form.
But damn, that old college pub was so good. Even when you could tell the shepard's pie was made from the spicy chili from the day before, it was still amazing.
 
2013-02-11 11:21:46 AM  
Yeah. Type II diabetes has a way of doing that.
 
2013-02-11 11:31:12 AM  
Fries started their downhill slide when McDonald's made them vegetarian back in the '80s and everyone else followed suit. I feel sorry for the kids who never had a chance to know how delicious they were when they cooked them in beef tallow (I think that's what it was).
 
2013-02-11 11:31:28 AM  

max_pooper: I don't understand the love for Five Guys fries. They are not good. The boxes of potatoes in the store is just a marketing gimmick that appears to work. It doesn't matter how freshly cut the fries are if they are completely ruined by awful preparation. Properly cooked fries should not be nearly that greasy.


Five Guys does soak their fries for several hours to remove excess starch. This improves cooking, and ideally it means the fries absorb less oil. They also use peanut oil, which imparts a distinct flavor.
This is all quite ineffectual when the fry cook is paid hourly less than what it costs to buy a bacon cheeseburger, has other things to do that get in the way of cooking fries, and may have multiple orders which necessitates cooking as many fries as quickly as possible.
You can get good fries from Five Guys, but it involves going when they're not that busy and getting a frycook who doesn't hate his life.
 
2013-02-11 11:43:38 AM  

Sergeant Grumbles: max_pooper: I don't understand the love for Five Guys fries. They are not good. The boxes of potatoes in the store is just a marketing gimmick that appears to work. It doesn't matter how freshly cut the fries are if they are completely ruined by awful preparation. Properly cooked fries should not be nearly that greasy.

Five Guys does soak their fries for several hours to remove excess starch. This improves cooking, and ideally it means the fries absorb less oil. They also use peanut oil, which imparts a distinct flavor.
This is all quite ineffectual when the fry cook is paid hourly less than what it costs to buy a bacon cheeseburger, has other things to do that get in the way of cooking fries, and may have multiple orders which necessitates cooking as many fries as quickly as possible.
You can get good fries from Five Guys, but it involves going when they're not that busy and getting a frycook who doesn't hate his life.


Inconstancy at a restaurant means the restaurant is sub-standard. You would think a restaurant that supposedly prides itself on the quality of particular menu item would have much better quality control.

I've tried Five Guys several times since they started opening around me. At first I gave them the benefit of the doubt since they were all new establishments that perhaps could have been working out the kinks of just opening. I kept going back hoping it would be as good as the hype. After a year of trying I am now done with that place.
 
2013-02-11 11:45:43 AM  

Sergeant Grumbles: max_pooper: I don't understand the love for Five Guys fries. They are not good. The boxes of potatoes in the store is just a marketing gimmick that appears to work. It doesn't matter how freshly cut the fries are if they are completely ruined by awful preparation. Properly cooked fries should not be nearly that greasy.

Five Guys does soak their fries for several hours to remove excess starch. This improves cooking, and ideally it means the fries absorb less oil. They also use peanut oil, which imparts a distinct flavor.
This is all quite ineffectual when the fry cook is paid hourly less than what it costs to buy a bacon cheeseburger, has other things to do that get in the way of cooking fries, and may have multiple orders which necessitates cooking as many fries as quickly as possible.
You can get good fries from Five Guys, but it involves going when they're not that busy and getting a frycook who doesn't hate his life.


I think the lack of blanching sets the fries up for mediocrity.  You simply can't make a perfect fry without it.
 
2013-02-11 12:04:17 PM  

max_pooper: Inconstancy at a restaurant means the restaurant is sub-standard. You would think a restaurant that supposedly prides itself on the quality of particular menu item would have much better quality control.


Like I said, the final say on quality control is a wage slave who has more to do than watch for the perfect fry and probably doesn't give a shiat about it anyway. I'd say that's par for the course in food service. What is Five Guys going to do about it? They're not going to pay to attract talent.

Five Guys does go on about their quality ingredients, but their downfall is the same as most retail and food service, they want the product treated better than the workforce that produces it.
 
2013-02-11 12:07:16 PM  
I rarely get fries anymore. When I do, I'll eat about half of them then toss the rest out the window and watch the crows fight over them.

/I'd also like to jump on the Five Guys fries suck bandwagon.
 
2013-02-11 12:17:22 PM  
Shoestring fries is where its at.

I'll give up french fries when you pry them from my plump, sweaty fingers.
 
2013-02-11 12:20:08 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: Five Guys does go on about their quality ingredients, but their downfall is the same as most retail and food service, they want the product treated better than the workforce that produces it.


That's ok unless you're eating the workforce.
 
2013-02-11 12:21:32 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Land Ark: [Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked

If you're gonna make fries, fry them to a degree that they actually appear cooked - they need not all be golden crunchy goodness on the outside with almost-creamy potato inside, but that's the goal.

Don't just hit them with hot grease and hope.

// shouldn't need to be said; who farking likes soggy, wilted fries?
// and that they give you 974,609,581,479,687,416 of them - ALL USELESS - is more of a taunting than a side dish


Just slice up a bunch of potatoes with their skin still on, I like to do various slices when I do it, some circles, some long thin slices, etc., pour some olive oil on them, add some salt, pepper, then toss it around in a bowl.

Put on a tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes at like 400 degrees, flip them after 15 minutes or so...
 
2013-02-11 12:22:17 PM  
But if the customers just order burgers then where are all the profits going to come from?
 
2013-02-11 12:26:39 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: max_pooper: I don't understand the love for Five Guys fries. They are not good. The boxes of potatoes in the store is just a marketing gimmick that appears to work. It doesn't matter how freshly cut the fries are if they are completely ruined by awful preparation. Properly cooked fries should not be nearly that greasy.

Five Guys does soak their fries for several hours to remove excess starch. This improves cooking, and ideally it means the fries absorb less oil. They also use peanut oil, which imparts a distinct flavor.
This is all quite ineffectual when the fry cook is paid hourly less than what it costs to buy a bacon cheeseburger, has other things to do that get in the way of cooking fries, and may have multiple orders which necessitates cooking as many fries as quickly as possible.
You can get good fries from Five Guys, but it involves going when they're not that busy and getting a frycook who doesn't hate his life.


Usually I go to Five Guys with a group at work for lunch. We get there just after 11am and are usually the first few people there. I've been at other times and locations and notice no discernable difference in the quality of the fries. I'm pretty convinced that that's just how they make them. And I know plenty of people who swear they are the best. So my description of over cooked and greasy may actually mean perfectly done for other folks.
 
2013-02-11 12:33:30 PM  
I've been loving the fact that you see more sweet potato fries or sweet potato tots in restaurants now. Love those things.
 
2013-02-11 12:34:57 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-11 12:47:01 PM  
I go to Red Robin and eat a minimum of two baskets of fries with my burger.

/you'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands
//I sound fat but am 6 foot 175 lbs
 
2013-02-11 01:00:33 PM  
ITT: fatties.
 
2013-02-11 01:01:15 PM  

Bullseyed: I go to Red Robin and eat a minimum of two baskets of fries with my burger.

/you'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands
//I sound fat but am 6 foot 175 lbs


Good, you can have my fries. I'm gettin' the onion rings.
 
2013-02-11 01:17:13 PM  

max_pooper: I've tried Five Guys several times since they started opening around me. At first I gave them the benefit of the doubt since they were all new establishments that perhaps could have been working out the kinks of just opening. I kept going back hoping it would be as good as the hype. After a year of trying I am now done with that place.


I feel the same way about 5 Guys. The last straw was when they farked me on a bacon cheeseburger that was missing the bacon (I had gotten the burger to go, didn't find out until I got home). $10 and it's missing the bacon? Get bent.

Culver's has better fries (and burgers) and won't destroy your wallet.

/also, DIY baked (in olive oil) potato wedges FTW
 
2013-02-11 02:31:51 PM  

Land Ark: [Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked


I like Five Guys because they'll wrap my burgers in lettuce leaves instead of bun.  Then I'll have a few fries on the side.  Potato is easier to digest than white flour.
 
2013-02-11 03:30:14 PM  

Land Ark: Bullseyed: I go to Red Robin and eat a minimum of two baskets of fries with my burger.

/you'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands
//I sound fat but am 6 foot 175 lbs

Good, you can have my fries. I'm gettin' the INCREDIBLY PHALLIC onion rings.


FTFY. 

www.louisvillehotbytes.com


germ78:  /also, DIY baked (in olive oil) potato wedges FTW

Considering that they sit there on the pan in the oil with little or uneven steam pressure it all soaks in, oven fries are usually higher in fat than deep fried fries.

Properly fried food, and trust me, most chain fast food places have that shiat down to a science, really shouldnt be greasy. If the fries soaked up a bunch of oil while frying, theyd have to keep topping off the fryer.
 
2013-02-11 03:46:42 PM  
I think part of it has to do with the cost of the fries too. When faced between the choice of getting a large fry for $2 or two more hamburgers instead, I think a lot of (fat) people are going to choose the latter.
 
2013-02-11 04:19:44 PM  

Rapmaster2000: Sergeant Grumbles: max_pooper: I don't understand the love for Five Guys fries. They are not good. The boxes of potatoes in the store is just a marketing gimmick that appears to work. It doesn't matter how freshly cut the fries are if they are completely ruined by awful preparation. Properly cooked fries should not be nearly that greasy.

Five Guys does soak their fries for several hours to remove excess starch. This improves cooking, and ideally it means the fries absorb less oil. They also use peanut oil, which imparts a distinct flavor.
This is all quite ineffectual when the fry cook is paid hourly less than what it costs to buy a bacon cheeseburger, has other things to do that get in the way of cooking fries, and may have multiple orders which necessitates cooking as many fries as quickly as possible.
You can get good fries from Five Guys, but it involves going when they're not that busy and getting a frycook who doesn't hate his life.

I think the lack of blanching sets the fries up for mediocrity.  You simply can't make a perfect fry without it.


img2.timeinc.net
 
2013-02-11 04:49:31 PM  

vossiewulf: Fries started their downhill slide when McDonald's made them vegetarian back in the '80s and everyone else followed suit. I feel sorry for the kids who never had a chance to know how delicious they were when they cooked them in beef tallow (I think that's what it was).


I found a place where I can order a 5lb pail of grass-fed beef tallow. Best fries ever.


/better than lard and healthier than the rancid vegetable oil you can find at the store
//almost as good as duck fat
 
2013-02-11 05:00:33 PM  

Land Ark: [Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked


I am intrigued and would like to subscribe to your newsletter

/tasty burgers
//shiatty fries
 
2013-02-11 05:15:30 PM  
I mean, fries aren't great for you, but they're still probably the most innocuous item you can consume at a fast food joint.
 
2013-02-11 06:05:46 PM  

KellyX: Dr Dreidel: Land Ark: [Flame suit on]

I don't like the fries from Five Guys. So I get a little cheese burger and a cup of water and (as if one needs a side) I get a couple scoops of peanuts. Not too bad for less than $5.

/too greasy and always seem overcooked

If you're gonna make fries, fry them to a degree that they actually appear cooked - they need not all be golden crunchy goodness on the outside with almost-creamy potato inside, but that's the goal.

Don't just hit them with hot grease and hope.

// shouldn't need to be said; who farking likes soggy, wilted fries?
// and that they give you 974,609,581,479,687,416 of them - ALL USELESS - is more of a taunting than a side dish

Just slice up a bunch of potatoes with their skin still on, I like to do various slices when I do it, some circles, some long thin slices, etc., pour some olive oil on them, add some salt, pepper, then toss it around in a bowl.

Put on a tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes at like 400 degrees, flip them after 15 minutes or so...


You know what works well?  I put them in a big baggie and shake up all the ingredients to coat, so you get an even distribution, then I toss the baggie, easiest clean up ever.
 
2013-02-11 06:08:09 PM  
Vote me in on 5 guys being no big deal too.  In N Out is twice as good at half the price.
 
2013-02-11 06:21:53 PM  
They need to start importing Belgian fry cooks to teach American's how to cook proper frites
 
2013-02-11 07:16:56 PM  

browser_snake: I've been loving the fact that you see more sweet potato fries or sweet potato tots in restaurants now. Love those things.


They're super easy to make at home too, while being very healthy and low in calories.

Just slice up a sweet potato, and put it in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
I like to dip them in honey mustard sauce.
 
2013-02-11 08:20:03 PM  
Hey, fast food joints: lard or tallow, not shortening or vegetable oil. That is all.
 
2013-02-11 08:28:18 PM  

El Dudereno: vossiewulf: Fries started their downhill slide when McDonald's made them vegetarian back in the '80s and everyone else followed suit. I feel sorry for the kids who never had a chance to know how delicious they were when they cooked them in beef tallow (I think that's what it was).

I found a place where I can order a 5lb pail of grass-fed beef tallow. Best fries ever.


/better than lard and healthier than the rancid vegetable oil you can find at the store
//almost as good as duck fat


I would cook everything in duck fat, if I could find it at a reasonable price.
 
2013-02-11 08:49:09 PM  
If you know of  a place where you can order a 5lb pail of grass-fed beef tallow...
you might be a redneck.
 
2013-02-11 08:55:40 PM  

sandi_fish: Vote me in on 5 guys being no big deal too.  In N Out is twice as good at half the price.


I love In N Out, but the nearest one is 3,000 miles away.

I think it's for the best.

Oh, if you find yourself in Poughkeepsie, I'm sorry. But you should check out Soul Dog to cheer yourself up. Those people know how to do fries!
 
2013-02-11 09:44:15 PM  

T.rex: I mean, fries aren't great for you, but they're still probably the most innocuous item you can consume at a fast food joint.


Actually, I get fast food regularly for lunch, and never eat any of the carbs. Beef or Chicken burgers (without the buns), and very rarely breaded chicken fingers but never fries. I'm 5'7 160 built, normal BP and cholesterol
 
2013-02-11 10:52:45 PM  

wraith95: Fries simply aren't as good at the chains now, probably because of the push to make them healthier (but still generally unhealthy.) McDonald's fries took a big hit with the switch to non-animal fats, and the loss of trans fats in general makes fries less tempting flavor-wise compared to healthier options.


I have to agree. I eat fewer fries because most places' fries are crap. Even if they use fresh cut, they fail with the cooking (like 5 guys as described in other posts). It seems many restaurants have stooped to serving the standard Sysco "seasoned" fries which I detest.

Best fries I ever had: Original Joe's in San Jose, CA. Each fire was a work of art, perfectly cut, perfectly cooked.

Also, I hate to get the bottom of the bag. The others at my table will have normal fries and my plate has all the over cooked corners, ends, and little pieces from the bottom of the fry bag.
 
kab
2013-02-12 12:22:27 AM  
Fries at most big chain fast food places suck, with Burger King's being the worst IMO.  Perhaps something else to consider here isn't so much that folks are opting for salads, as they are simply skipping the side dish in an effort to save some coin.

The 'value meal' isn't a value anymore.
 
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