Crafting the perfect fry is a challenging and lucrative endeavor. From the potato to the cut style to the seasoning on top, a 10-out-of-10 fry seeks the perfect balance. Such a task cannot be taken lightly, and out of all the fries in the world, one must reign supreme. Some of the most respected players in the game are in contention: Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s and Zaxby’s.
The Chick-Fil-A waffle fry is a timeless hallmark of food. These fries are made by cutting Washington-grown potatoes into thick, waffle-shaped slices. The balance of a crispy outside and a soft inside is perfectly complemented by a variety of sauces.
However, to judge the true quality of the fry, one must forgo sauce. Upon biting into a Chick-Fil-A waffle fry, one discovers a new world— a world that can be likened to a UPS shipping facility due to the pervasive taste of cardboard. The cardboard slabs are either hidden with an excess of salt or left without. They have an almost magical ability to get cold within 30 seconds, leaving the customer with greasy, flavorless discs.
For many, a traditional fry can be found at McDonald’s. These Russett potatoes, cut thin and coated in sugar before being fried and salted, seem as simple as it gets. But that is not all; they are infused with beef fat to enhance their flavor. This is a relief, as they lack flavor even with the beef fat, so it is hard to imagine how bad they might be without it.
The McDonald’s fry experience is reminiscent of biting into a sponge. Finishing a container of fries here presents itself as a chore or a punishment for patronizing the restaurant. The complete lack of salt prevented any enjoyable dining. However, the texture and crispy to soft balance are second to none, and unlike Chick-Fil-A, they can be enjoyed for longer than 30 seconds as they cool to room temperature.
A contender from the crinkle-cut market, Zaxby’s provides a superior flavor on their fries. Because they use seasoning salt instead of sea salt, the fries are made to be enjoyed both with or without sauces. When the fry is placed in one’s mouth, the experience is impressive.
However, it quickly fades away as you bite down on the fry; The dense, thick texture fails to deliver the crispy outside and soft inside one comes to expect. The dryness of each fry makes your mouth yearn for water with every bite. Yet, despite its shortcomings, each fry also makes your mouth yearn for another, and then another until they are finished.
The Chick-Fil-A fry remains unmatched for the realistic fry eating experience, dipped in sauce. However, this does not mean that they are of a higher caliber, and for a true quality fry, one should venture to Zaxby’s instead.