Best french fries (2000)
McDonald's may think it invented the French fry as we know it, and the French are just snooty enough to claim pommes frites as their own, but the fact is that potatoes were grown in South America long before they ever made it to Europe. As a result, our friends south of the border know a thing or two about tubers, and Nicole and Rick Fierro ferreted out their secrets during a few fact-finding trips to come up with recipes for Piscos, the South American eatery they opened this year in the old home of Chives. Many of the Fierros' discoveries adorn the appetizer sampler platter, which includes Brie-enriched empanadas and heavenly humitas, a fresh-corn version of tamales. But what really gets the fingers fighting are the papas fritas: thin, crunchy and faintly greasy fries that are sprinkled with the perfect amount of fine-textured salt and arrive steamy hot.
Readers' choice: McDonald's
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