Here is the line from yesterday's free-burger bonanza at Charlie Palmer's new South Coast Plaza hamburger stand, DG Burgers (and I just remembered that line in the Simpsons when Marge got annoyed at that Italian candy maker who works in the field of Gummi...). Surprise, surprise--give out free anything, and people will flock to it nowadays, and forever.
The burger? Like the name says, a damn good one--a spicy sauce, fragrant meat, crunchy bun, and maybe a tad small for its $8 price tag. I'm actually more intrigued by the sausage sandwich advertised, a sandwich I didn't have time to try. But an absolute revelation occurred in the French fries, one that changed my view of the side forever.
Confession: I have never cared for fries. I think they're generally an excuse for cooks to get rid of potatoes and rip people off an extra two bucks. They're usually limp, and even at its best a failure in comparison to other side snacks like tortilla chips, pita bread swiped through hummus, or some good baked beans.
I almost asked the waiter who handed me the basket to take away the fries, but I was hungry and needed to fill my gut. The picture above does them little justice--they're thicker, sprinkled with sea salt, like mashed potatoes on the inside held back by a crisp skin sturdy enough to bat on someone's cheek and leave a mark. I didn't even have a chance to ask for a dipping sauce, or even mustard--when I'm hungry, and need to eat fries, I drown them in mustard and Tapatío to mask the chalky flavor of a regular batch. But these fries needed no tricks--plain-and-simple delicious. Most miraculous part of all? Although they were hearty, and tasted like French fries should, they left no grease on my fingertips. None. Charlie: you are a genius. Now, if you can only offer a combo with the burger instead of charging people $5 just for fries, I might actually become a regular...