I pay attention to my health. I try to be wise and eat right, exercise, and what have you. The body is the temple of the Spirit, right? So I work out, eat stuff like quinoa and kale, and take herbs and get acupuncture for my allergies and such. I even went gluten and (cow’s) dairy free about a year ago. I had lunch at a vegan raw food restaurant with a friend today. You could definitely call me a health nut. But that doesn’t keep me from loving a great glass of red wine or chips and salsa or French fries. In fact, and I don’t like to brag, I’m kind of a connoisseur of fries. So when a fellow expert/aficionado suggested we team up for an Austin French fry tour, we both knew immediately she’d stumbled upon an incredible idea. We love fries. You love fries. We can tell you where to find the best ones in town. They’ll be presented in no particular order as we go. But don’t worry: Jenny and I will tell you our top 5 when the tour is done.
Jenny and I got a chance to see St. Vincent on Monday. The girl had definitely earned a night out after a grueling weekend with a sleepless teething baby and I was happy to tag along. What can I say? I’m a great friend.
The W was a logical choice for pre-show snacking since it’s next door to ACL. Capitalism working for the people is what that is. Here’s the thing about the W: It’s a little too swank and formal for Austin. It seems like a place that would be more at home in Houston or Dallas than Austin. I’ve got to be honest; I was really annoyed when construction began a few years ago. I didn’t want to like it but I just can’t help myself. The décor and design is so smart and well done. The cocktails are incredible. And I haven’t had anything to eat there that didn’t make me want to basically write a poem about it. I love the W in spite of myself.
We decided on the album room because there were two majorly comfy chairs in the corner and the wall of vinyl seemed the perfect vibe for the music we were about to enjoy. We promptly ordered the fries (obviously). They are truffle oil and salt covered perfection. The texture is just what I want in a French fry. Not too thick and not too thin and crisp without making you feel like you’re going to chip your teeth. They have a little bit of potato skin left on for texture and are finished with a hint of minced fresh herbs for color.
The fries come with two sauces. One is a spicy barbeque sauce. It has a sweet and subtle spicy flavor with a smoky undertone. The other is a creamy chipotle aioli that has a similar subtle spice and smoky flavor without the tomato base of the other sauce. Both were delicious on their own but I have to say they just didn’t match the flavor of the fries. We were wishing we had the calamata olive aioli that Nordstrom serves with their fries. (We’ll be talking about those fries soon, don’t worry.)
I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. Those fries are a bit rich. That’s why we paired them with the pulled pork tostados and a couple of cocktails. After an hour or so of catching up without dogs, kids, or husbands, Jenny was looking like a new woman. Great start to a great night! I highly recommend the W for a date night or girl’s night out. Either way, don’t forget to order the fries. Public service announcement: This place is pricy and you’ll probably have to pay for parking even if you don’t use their valet service so you won’t want to make this a weekly stop off. Which is probably a good thing for your health.
So what are your favorite Austin fries?