If food writers ever want to spark a bit of viral warfare, all they need to do is publish a ranking of the best (and worst) french fries from America's top fast-food restaurants.
The Los Angeles Times just released a thorough chart classifying fry favorites from the nation's biggest chain's like McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, Arby's and more. The fries, whether curly, wedged or shoestring, were judged by their taste and texture. And with two cult favorites (Chick-fil-A, which found that its customers' favorite item was fries, and In-N-Out) sinking to the lower end of the chart in both categories, many fast-food lovers are now rebelling via social media.
Even the paper's social media intern who tweeted out the final chart questioned the accuracy of the graphic's rankings.
Then again, everyone loves a good food fight.
The chart was artfully crafted by LA Times food columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson, who presented it as being "the authoritative, totally not subjective, incontrovertibly definitive and 100% correct" ranking on the topic. Peterson includes 19 fast-food establishments, but for time's sake, here are the top five:
- Five Guys: These guys are fried in peanut oil, which allows the potato's true flavor to shine.
- McDonald's: A very close call, but Peterson lamented that McDonald's fries lose their texture too quickly.
- Del Taco: Peterson loved the taco chain's crinkle fries, which are crispy on the outside with a "nice, fluffy center."
- Steak 'n Shake: These long and skinny fries were celebrated for their crunch factor.
- Arby's: Not many chains have curly fries, so Arby's may have had an advantage here, but the chain's seasoning blend was favorably noted.
Of course, not all restaurants fared so well. In-N-Out, which came dead last, was dinged for its "bland, crumbly little matchsticks." The nation's two largest chicken chains (KFC and Popeyes) were also ranked on the lower end of the chart for their lackluster fried spuds.
Chick-fil-A, which is known for its fresh waffle fries, didn't even crack the top 10. Peterson, a self-proclaimed advocate of skinnier fries, was not a fan of the chicken chain's "soft and mealy" french fry offering.
As soon as the article was published, some tweeters were glad someone finally outed In-N-Out Burger for its less-than-delicious fries.
If Ina Garten has taught us anything, it's all about the burger anyway.
One tweeter agreed that In-N-Out definitely serves substandard fries, but also compared the fries at Del Taco and Shake Shack to "junior high cafeteria fries."
Others were simply very disappointed by the overall ranking.
Some people just couldn't handle that Five Guys took the top spot.
And some Chick-fil-A fans may never, ever forgive the LA Times.
The reactions were so harsh Peterson may as well have told fry fiends they're allowed to eat only six at a time.
But that would just be total lunacy ... right?