90: Sonora Grill's Eggplant Fries


Suck it, sweet potatoes. There's a new fry in town. Sonora Grill has tamed one of the most finicky members of the vegetable kingdom -- the eggplant -- and turned it into the perfect bar snack.

See also: 91: Toast Bar at Canteen

We know what you're thinking. Eggplant experiments can go terribly wrong. Behind that taut aubergine casing there's a soft interior that will soak up as much oil as you can throw at it. Too much oil and eggplant becomes a soggy gray pile of goo. Not enough moisture and you feel like you're chewing on a sponge. Lucky for us, Sonora Grill has cracked the code.

Sonora Grill's eggplant fries strike the perfect textural balance, proving just how wonderful this nightshade vegetable can be. The eggplant is cut into wedges and given a crisp, seasoned breading on the outside, then fried to a deep golden brown, giving way to an impossibly creamy center. It's as though someone coated and sizzled a piece of wispy white cloud.

For something fried, the eggplant is very light, more akin to Japanese tempura than Italian parmigiana. The fries are so airy, they'd be a guilt-free snack if not for the Chimichurri aioli on the side. Of course nobody wants an innocent bar snack. Give us a delicious dipping sauce and we will gladly make our vegetables less virtuous with a swipe or two.

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