Then, after my boyfriend dumped me in the 7th grade, my friend gathered up all the change she had in her backpack and we ditched art class and got some fries at our local McDonald’s.
In college, there was nothing like greasy fast food to cure a hangover. And as a mother to three young kids, the drive-thru allowed me to get out of the house and keep my kiddos restrained as I fed them fries and we listened to The Wiggles soundtrack.
Here we are now, going through a pandemic — and fast food is one of my crutches. I have three teenagers in the house who know how to chow down and are climbing the walls. Taking a cruise to enjoy some fast food and sit in the parking lot once a week (okay, three times a week), has been as adventurous as we’ve gotten in the past two months, and I’m thankful it’s an option every time we pile into the car.
You don’t go through four and a half decades eating fast food on the regular without becoming a connoisseur of fries. I can smell the salty grease right now just thinking about them.
French fries are my saving grace. If I was only allowed one kind of junk food for the rest of my life, I would choose fried potatoes with lots of salt and extra ketchup. You’ll never find me ordering a small, and don’t even suggest we share a large. Nope. Please don’t ever mistake my gluttony for generosity.
And people who order a burger, sandwich, or pancakes without a side of fries, who are you? I don’t understand what is happening when I hear someone order a main dish that so desperately needs fries, and they say they don’t want any.
My favorite fries are McDonald’s. I just love the sturdiness– they are so dippable and you can so easily grab ten of them and shove them in your mouth at once. If that’s your thing I mean. I don’t do that, but you do you.
There’s some level of nostalgia to it, of course. I can smell McDonald’s in the air as soon as I drive by one and my salivary glands start working overtime. It reminds me of being little and my mom taking me and my siblings out for a Happy Meal on a hot summer day. There is something about stepping into the air conditioning in my flip flops and smelling fried food that makes me so damn happy.
I don’t care what anyone says, these are the best fries that ever lived. You can keep your fancy bacon-dusted, duck-fat-fried french fries for yourself. I’ll take a large fry in the red box any day.
Five Guys is a close second for me, especially if you ask them to fry the fries twice, which they will do. They are hand cut, so potato-y and always have the perfect amount of salt. My kids love digging for the tiny, crunchy pieces and I love the mix of bigger fries with smaller ones. They hold vinegar so nicely and I love that their portions are so large.
If you ever have leftover Five Guys fries, take them home, heat them up in a frying pan the next morning with some butter and you have the perfect side to your eggs, waffles, or cereal. It’s a kind of deliciousness I don’t want you to miss out on.
Coming in hot are Wendy’s hand cut fries. They are almost as good as Five Guys’ and you can’t beat the price. If you are feeling adventurous, dip them in a Frosty. It’s a good time for sure.
And this just in: KFC started selling french fries at select locations last September and OMFG, they are damn good. I was honestly surprised and thought they’d just be okay, but I was blown away.
They are crunchy one the outside — it’s almost as if they are breaded or double-fried. I can’t quite tell. All I know is if you have not tried them, you must give them a go. Even if you are obsessed with their mashed potatoes, just do me a solid and order a small to share with someone just so you can experience them. Your life will forever be changed.
I’m not the only fry freak out there. People have big feelings about their french fries. We want what we want, and believe you me, if you feed a PMSing, fry-craving person fries that are just okay, there is going to be hell to pay.
Scary Mommy polled some of our readers who weighed in on this very important subject, and here’s what they said:
“Salt to grease to potato ratio is important, but also, how many I can shove in my mouth at one time so… McDonald’s.”
This is a woman after my own heart. She’s got standards and knows what to look for in a fry.
Another commenter said, “McDonald’s, Five Guys and In-N-Out.”
I’ve never tried In-N-Out Burger’s fries because we don’t have one near me, but since we seem to have the exact same taste, I’m gonna need to head to the closest one as soon as this pandemic is over and see if she’s right.
Now someone has got me interested in Chick-Fil-A fries, just have a listen to this:”Waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A, They’re pillowy on the inside but crisp enough on the outside to handle a strong dunk into whatever sauce I’m overeating that day. Lastly, thank the Chick-Fil-A sauce. I’d bathe in it. Thanks for coming to my fast food TED talk.”
She wasn’t the only one — I got ninety responses (McDonald’s won hands down, with Five Guys at a close second), and Chick-Fil-A fries came in at third place.
What’s your go-to place you’re craving something hot and greasy? You don’t have to agree with my (correct) opinion that McDonald’s is the G.O.A.T., of course. Maybe you’ll even convert some of us Golden Arch fry lovers, but probably not.
All I can say is, no matter how you like them — or where you prefer to get them — french fries really do make everything better.