Put a gun to my head and force me to choose only one restaurant's French fries and I'd probably say McDonald's. But...yes there's a but...but it has to be when they are just out of the fryer. Otherwise I'm disappointed and that happens a lot at many different places.
Just last night I was talking to my wife asking her what I should order my next time out to dinner. She replied "It doesn't matter. You're never satisfied". She's right. I rarely have a perfect dining experience. Often times it's the potato that sets the tone. For the sake of this discussion, I'll stick to French fries. It's sort of the Goldilocks Conundrum! They're too hot, too cold, to limp, too salty, too specy, too greasy, too crunchy and sometimes they are juuuuusssssttttt right! Crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Just lightly seasoned. Greasy isn't always a problem. Take Fair Fries for example. They are delicious! They're often fresh cut, then fried, tossed in that paper cup into which I pump a bunch of ketchup. (No vinegar) I think part of the appeal is the location. It's one of the best treats at any give fair. If I'm at a sit-down restaurant I'll order fries without seasoning, like I do at Applebee's. At The Outback their seasoning is different and I leave it. (more on that later). Red Robin's (YUM! You sang it, I know you did) has delicious and endless steak fries. I'll bet you have a favorite, too!
There are Crinkle cut fries, Waffle fries, Nacho Fries, Curly Fries, Home fries, Shoestring fries, chicken that's made into a fry. The only limit to the number of fry types is one's imagination.
The same is true when it comes to fry toppings. If ketchup was the only thing available in which to dip my fries, I would be fine. But I like other options such as ranch dressing or honey mustard, but not mayo, hot sauce, or a chocolate milkshake. Don't forget cheese! Ladles of glorious gooey cheese , or shredded cheddar cheese, or parmesan cheese. How about The Outback's "Chayz Froyz". I mean cheese fries...with bacon. (Sorry. It's really hard to type with an Australian accent.) I've never had the Canadian favorite Poutine but I think I'd like fries covered in chunks of cheddar cheese and a brown gravy.
I salute you French Fry on National French Fry Day! You in all of your crispy, soggy, salty, crinkly, vinegary, waffly, garlicky, parmesany, cheese and bacon or cheese and gravy covered decadence. Know that you , in one of your glorious forms or another, are loved!
And don't get me started on Tots!