The Death of The Plain Old French Fry

I’ll admit it – I am a french fry purist. I like my fries the way God intended them: fried golden brown and crispy on the outside but white and potato-y on the inside. Thin, thick, no matter. I am not partial to the cut. What I am not a fan of, however, are seasoned fries masquerading as basic french fries.

carls jr fries

Take, for instance, the most recent offender: The Carl’s Jr. Natural-Cut Fries. Carl’s decided to discard their superior basic fry in favor of pursuing a trend. The result, a seasoned fry that competes with, rather than complements, their line-up of mouth-watering burgers. This at a time when Carl’s already had a seasoned veteran on their menu: the crisscut.

But Carl’s Jr. is not the first. The trend is several years running. Burger King was the first big chain to succumb to the seasoned Siren’s song. Jack In The Box also tossed a perfectly servicable fry in favor of seasoned fluff. I won’t be hard on Arby’s, Sonic or Checkers. I think their fries have always been seasoned. But you others – shame on you! Where is your spirit of tradition? Your patriotisim? Dare I say, your taste?

Who will be next? My list of basic fries that don’t pretend to be more than fries is getting shorter all the time. Of the large nationwide chains there’s still McDonald’s, of course. And underrated Wienerschnitzel. And Wendy’s. And Del Taco (crinkled but basic.) And some chains do offer alternatives that satisfy the fried potato urge without going into strange flavor territory (thank you Sonic tots.)

Yes, this is an opinion piece. Sure there’s probably lots of market research that will tell me I am in the minority. I just hate it when a perfectly popular product is thrown away after years of dutiful service. It’s like discontinuing the secret sauce at Jack In the Box in favor of mayo. What, they did that years ago? Damn.


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