BEST FRIES - 2000
If you look into your heart of hearts, you'll be forced to admit that McDonald's fries really aren't all that great anymore. You do know that, don't you? Granted, they used to, but it all ended during the Bush era when they stopped adding beef tallow to their oil, and now their fries are as tasteless as every other batch of pre-frozen taters cooked up at every other fast-food emporium. If you're not going to use tallow, the only way to render excellent French fries is to age special low-moisture potatoes, then cut them to order and fry them with the skins on. There are still quite a few places that do this, if you know where to look: Hamlin's Coffee Shop on Nicollet Mall, the St. Paul Grill, the Convention Grill in Edina, the Wienery on Cedar Avenue, and a handful of others. When push comes to shove, you can pretty much take your pick of the above preservers of American fry culture. We're giving the nod to the Wienery here because longtime owner Jerry Petermeier sold the business last year, and we think the new kids running it should get all the support the greater fry community can afford; after all, they're keeping their fries real for the future of mankind.