Posted: Wed, March 16, 2011
(This article is from the Rapid City Journal Online, posted by Deanna Darr on Wednesday, March 9th 2011)
It’s been a long, cold winter, and there’s just one cure: Starch Madness. Whether you like them thin and crispy or crinkle cut and seasoned, there’s nothing like french fries to fill the corners of your tummy when the weather is chilly. Our online readers think so, too. Last week, they nominated their favorite local fries, and we compiled their choices into a March Madness-style bracket, with 32 restaurants paired by a random drawing.
Now the winners will be up to you. Vote for your favorite in each Round 1 pairing from now through 8 a.m. Monday, March 14. Next Wednesday, we’ll whittle the favorites down to the top 16. The Final Fries winner will be announced Wednesday, April 6. There was no shortage of passion in the nominations. Sarah Williams of Lead nominated the fries at Oggie’s Sports Bar in The Lodge at Deadwood. “They are perfectly crispy and perfectly seasoned. And this is from a person who generally does not like fries,” she wrote. Jeanne Wing of Rapid City goes for the fries at Bully Blends: “Perfectly crisp with great seasoning!” she wrote. She’ll have to take that up with Anita Harwig and Laurinda Tapper, both of Rapid City, who nominated the fries at Tally’s Silver Spoon, which just happens to be Bully Blends’ rival in the first round of Starch Madness. The Tally’s fries are also “crispy and full of flavor,” wrote Tapper. Could be a tough match-up.
Big chains such as McDonald’s drew votes, too. “They have the best flavor and I have eaten them since I was a kid,” wrote Randy Thovson, who grew up in Rapid City. "I have always used McDonald's fries as a basis and compared other restaurants fries to them ... and no one can compare as far as I am concerned." The sweet potato fries at Colonial House Restaurant are a bit addictive for Kay Stambaugh of Rapid City. “They are fresh and I always want more. I actually have cravings for them,” she wrote.
Some of the nominations were a bit of a surprise. Dawn Brimm found her favorite fries at Picasso Barn Pizza in Rapid City. “You would never think a pizza place has the BEST fries in town,” she wrote. And Will Hansen’s favorite fries are at Rapid City Regional Hospital: “Not soggy, not overdone, just right,” he wrote. This may call for a taste test. Hopefully, your Lenten plans don’t call for limiting fries. If so, you can still dream – and vote. For Elizabeth Langenfeld, the choice is clear: She loves the fries at Elk Creek Steakhouse. “Who wouldn’t?” she wrote. “They’re the best.”
She may be right, but we’ll leave that up to you. Vote weekly at www.rapidcityjournal.com/fries.