Best Cafe Fries – The Forest Scout

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Every day in the lunchroom at Lake Forest High School, there’s a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in the back corner of the cafeteria where the fry counter is.

Fries are easily one of the most profitable cafeteria items. Some students even end up bringing half their lunch from home and relying on French fries to complete their meal.


Unfortunately, the selection is different every day. Some lunches there is a noticeably larger crowd in the corner due to higher demand for certain types of fries.

I sought to find out what the hype is about certain types of roasts over others. In this list I unpack my ranking of the 5 best types of cafeteria fries.

5. French fries

There is nothing more disappointing than walking into the lunch room on a Friday to throw down wings and seeing fries as a side. They are inferior in every category compared to the other fries. Their fried surface in relation to the volume of potatoes is far too small. You might as well eat an uncooked potato straight out of the dirt. To add, the wedge shape is such a poor design, it’s like eating a slice of salty orange. The brown color is unpleasant and it takes an inordinate amount of ketchup to get them down.

4. Fried potatoes

French fries are just as easy. There is nothing inherently bad about them, but there is nothing inherently good about them either. I think if I were to ask my colleagues for one word to describe these fries, it would be “medium”. Nothing unique or interesting about the shape and they are nowhere near crispy. With that, they are often damp and wet if you are late for lunch. The only reason they beat fries is because they contain more fried surface area, so it doesn’t taste like you’re putting raw potatoes in your mouth.

3. Crinkle Fries

I’m told that’s what the Belgians of Namur had in mind when they created the dish in the winter of 1680. According to tradition, the fried fish-loving citizens had to find something else to fry when the local river froze over, so they resorted to potatoes. When I eat the fries in the dining room, I imagine myself in a Belgian cabin warmed by a fire during that particularly cold winter, savoring the crispy rivets in the fries. These are a lunchtime classic, but they rank just below the top two.

2. French fries with waffles

If you have lunch at slot C, you’re lucky to see them still available. They have the best shape of any fry on this list and fit perfectly on the top of the tongue. The holes greatly increase the “fried” ratio of the potatoes, making every bite fruity. The color is flawless, a golden shade with crisp mahogany accents. Waffle fries are the best for dipping because they hold the spices better than any other fry on this list. My only complaint about waffle fries is that every once in a while you’ll get one that’s been made from the edge of the potato, resulting in a weird consistency without the signature holes of a waffle fry.

1. Curly fried potatoes

Without a doubt, dining room fries are the champions of the frying glove. They are perfect compliments on throwing wings on friday. They have an essential ratio of potatoes to “fries”. They are the thunder to my lightning, the Queen to my England, and the French to my footmen. Corrugated potato tubes are not only interesting to look at, but also to eat. They easily have the best seasoning of all the fries on this list. When the curly fries touch my mouth, I’m instantly transported to the good old days of dino nuggets and bagged mixed veggies. Many students would consider curly fries a delicacy when you mix them with the barbeque sauce at the bottom of the wing basket. Heavenly, savory, delightful, delicious and divine would all be appropriate words to describe these curly fries.