I love this new age, ever-expanding concept of organic ingredients, vegetarianism, and veganism. I love vegetables, veggie burgers, and soy. I’ll even eat tofu on occasion if it’s in a good miso soup.
But no matter how health conscious I try to be and would like to be, I crave carbs, particularly potatoes. And even more specific than that, I love french fries. Fries are my downfall. Every time I try a new place I have to test the fries.
I have to say the best french fries I have ever tasted are right here in New Paltz.
I’ve eaten at most places on Main Street, and tried their french fries, but the two restaurants that stuck out for me were Bacchus and The Gilded Otter.
At Bacchus, they have a choice of steak or curly fries, and both are really good. Steak fries can get gross and overly doughy very quickly, but Bacchus has trumped that problem and perfected them. Curly fries can also be overly spicy or squishy, but they are neither. I’d recommend eating (and drinking) at Bacchus to anyone, just for the french fries and the raspberry Woodchuck Draft Cider.
But the obvious winner, without contest, is Gilded Otter. Their beer battered, always fresh, always hot, perfectly balanced crispy and soft fries are mainly the reason I go there. The fries and the Italian Moscato are the best of the best. The Otter even has the common sense to serve baskets of french fries as an appetizer separate from the meal, so that the fry lovers like me can get what they came for in addition to one of the amazing, delicious salads on the menu.
It’s amazing that out of all the fine dining restaurants, all of the fast-food chains, all the Chili’s/Friday’s/Outback franchises, and all the roadside diners I’ve eaten at in my 21 years of life, the two best contenders are right here in a small town right next to my college. Amazing, but true.