Aug. 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM ET
August 12th is National Shoestring Fry Day – yes, those delightfully skinny fries have their own day to be celebrated. One thing we know about fries: there’s something for everyone, whether its shoestring, thick steak-cut, curly, limp, crunchy, disco… the list goes on. Here, we share five over-the-top ways to pay homage to the humble fry.Frysmith, Los Angeles
Tired of cheese and chili fries? Time to head over to Los Angeles' Frysmith, where you can get everything from kimchi to soy chorizo topping your freshly fried tubers. This food truck focuses solely on crazy french fry creations, where toppings of the week have included Poached Tilapia and Tarragon Tartar Sauce, Chile Pork topped with Bonito (Japanese dried fish flakes) and Blood Orange Braised Beef with Guacamole and pomegranate. Don't worry if you missed these specials - you can always count on the Rajas fries, which include fire-roasted poblano chiles, caramelized onions and schwarma-marinated steak with jack cheese. As one Yelper notes, "It's like Fry Heaven on wheels."
Primanti Bros., Pittsburgh, PA
This Pittsburgh eatery is famous not only for their fries, but how they serve them -- right in the sandwiches. That means that you don't eat a turkey sandwich with a side of fries -- you eat a turkey and fries sandwich. Or, you can branch out, and try the Pitts-Burgher Cheesesteak, the Knockwurst and Cheese or the Imported Sardine and Cheese -- all served with a crispy, freshly fried potatoes piled right on the sandwich. As blogger Trouvant Ma Chanson says "Nothing beats the original... having the cranky man behind the counter fry you up a huge, greasy, falling apart with deliciousness sandwich..."
The Potato Bowl, East Grand Forks, Minnesota
You might think of Idaho when you think of potatoes, but East Grand Forks, MN is home to the Potato Bowl, a week long potato fest in September that includes the world's largest french fry feed. The folks here aren't kidding around, and will fry and serve up as many potatoes as people can eat. In fact, in 2006 the record of french fries served was broken and 4,680 pounds of fries were served, to about 10,000 people with 113 gallons of ketchup. This festival may not have the record for the world's longest french fry (that honor goes to the 34-inch fry found at a Taffy's Hot Dog Stand in Orchard Park, N.Y.), but it may well be the world's most delicious festival.
French fry-coated hot dog
French fries are often a nice companion to a hot dog, but in Seoul, South Korea, some road side stands up the efficiency by serving french fry-encased franks. Food blogger Phil Lee describes the taste "as obvious as it looks: greasy but still crispy fries glued to a hotdog with a thick, neutral batter." He shares a recipe on his site LastAppetite.com for making your own heart-stopper in the comfort of your home.
World Poutine Eating Championship, Toronto
If you are really jonesing for a hearty serving of fries, you might head up to Toronto, Canada, where, on Sept. 24, 2011, the second annual world poutine eating championship, sponsored by Smoke's Poutinerie, will take place. Poutine is a Canadian dish that consists of french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. In last year's competition, Pat Bertoletti ate 13 pounds of the stuff in just 10 minutes, rendering him the current world poutine eating champion. The Torontoist says, "Watching Bertoletti eat poutine was like watching a lion dismantle a gazelle on Animal Planet―except on endless repeat, and in quadruple fast-forward." If you think you can give him a run for his money, start training today and be sure to grab a bottle or two of Alka Seltzer.
Check out Fritos and Foie Gras for more from Sarah Spigelman.