Les Frites de la LibertéOctober 9, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Posted in food | 6 Comments
Tags: belgium, drunk food, french fries, paris
Way back in 2003, the United States suffered a serious embarrassment. I’m a little ashamed to even bring it up again, but the historical record will show that on March 11th, 2003, two United States Representatives declared, in a fit of pique, that the House cafeteria should henceforth refer to French fries as “Freedom fries”.
It’s safe to say that this was not America’s finest hour. France’s reaction, however, was to my mind delightfully typical: when journalists called the French embassy for a comment, they were informed with a Gallic shrug that French fries aren’t really French, anyway — they’re Belgian.
Whatever the origin, it’s worth noting that the dish itself varies a bit from country to country. Whereas here in France, fries are typically served in giant piles next to steak tartare or roast chicken, in Belgium they’re considered street food, scarfed from a paper cone and loaded with any one of a dizzying array of sauces.
Luckily, those of us with a penchant for Belgian-style potatoes don’t need to go all the way to Brussels to get our fry fix. Instead, we make a much shorter pilgrimage to La Frite Bruxelloise on Oberkampf in the 11th.
The heaping cones served here will do to satisfy a craving for Belgian fries, although the sauce options are much more limited than at your average frietkot.
Despite this promising sign, “La William” did not deliver the sauce extravaganza we had hoped for. Indeed, the Andalouse and Samourai sauces were surprisingly similar to each other, with the Andalouse being the slightly spicier of the two. Still, it makes for great hangover food, and at €2.60, it’s a lot cheaper than hopping on the Thalys and heading to Brussels. Oh, and if that’s not enough, they also offer the best American-style cheeseburger I’ve tasted here in Paris.
La Frite Bruxelloise
101, rue Oberkampf
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