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One Trick Pony

Posted by on May 4 2009 in Rants & Raves, Restaurants


There’s something great about doing one thing and doing it well.  That’s why I love Pommes Frites.

Yes, this is coming from the same guy who nearly blew a gasket last week about chefs reworking one ingredient into three preparations.  But this is different.

Pommes Frites is a postage stamp-sized shop on 2nd Avenue in the East Village between St. Marks and 7th that specializes in Belgian french fries.  And when I say “specializes,” I mean that it’s the only thing on the menu.

They make fantastic fries.  They appear to be pre-blanched and finished to order, and then they’re served in paper cones.  The extremely limited seating consists of benches and low tables that have holes drilled in them into which you can put your cone of fries (illustrated in my shitty iPhone photo above).  The holes for the cones are charming beyond belief.

Good fries are always worth seeking out, but what is it that makes Pommes Frites so good that I dragged Mrs. TVFF down there for a special birthday treat, despite it being nowhere near our intended destination?  Without a doubt, it’s the sauces.

Just how exciting can dipping sauces be?  Well, let me tell you…Were you weirded out when you first saw Pulp Fiction and you heard about the mayo-on-french-fries thing?  If you haven’t got past the idea of it yet, now’s the time. The sauces–some mayo based, some gravy based, some ketchup based and some just plain exotic–are the icing on the deep fried cake.

Everyone gets free “Especial” sauce, which is a small cup of ketchup, mayo and raw onions.  But any self-respecting frites eater also needs to add at least one or two items from the list of over 25 other “tasty sauces.”  Sure, they have cheddar cheese for the incurious, but there’s also peanut satay, parmesan peppercorn, sweet mango chutney mayo and more if you’re up for it.

Although I haven’t tried it there, they also serve the Quebecois specialty poutine, which is french fries covered in cheese curds and gravy.  I suggest you order it “to go” and eat it as you walk to the closest hospital for your angioplasty.

If you find yourself downtown, be sure to stop by.  It’s refreshingly nice to see a restaurant so sure of itself and its one product that it doesn’t feel the need to do anything else.

More: NYC Tour de Poutine

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. May 4, 2009

    oh man – best. drunk. food. ever. how exciting is it to be here at 1 in the morning picking out what sauces to try??? But god it’s a horrible feeling waking up in the morning and realizing how much grease you consumed.

  2. Maids permalink*
    May 4, 2009

    wow, what a list of sauces. I think they need a touch more of the east – I see the teriyaki sauce, but I bet some mongolian dragon sauce and some other soy saucey mixture would be good too. Also harrissa is damned good on fries. mmmm hmmmm.
    On to other topics: irish curry? please to explain!!!!

  3. May 4, 2009

    I love all of their sauces, war sauce, peanut sauce, pesto mayo, roasted garlic mayo, rosemary garlic mayo, mmm some other stuff too whatever. I think you have to ask for especial sauce though cuz I never get that lol. Mmm pommes frites. Damn you tvff. I wasn’t even up to ES on my feed but I saw this on Gansie’s FB and I was all, hello my pretty…

    PS The fries are fried once partially then set aside for finish-frying when they’re ordered

  4. TVFF permalink*
    May 4, 2009

    @ Maids: I’m pretty sure that the brown sauce above is the Irish Curry. I’m not certain what the base of the sauce was (slightly sweet, I guess) but it had plenty of curry powder. I don’t think it was HP sauce or anything like that. It was similar to the sauce they served with the currywurst that I had in Hamburg, but I’m guessing that doesn’t get you any closer to a solution, does it?

    @Yvo: You confirmed my suspicion…they are pre-blanched. And always ask for the especial, even if you’re getting another sauce!

  5. Cathal permalink
    January 2, 2011

    REEAAALLY late to leave a comment but was looking through the archives at poutine articles.

    ‘Irish curry’ is, I assume, the same sort of curry sauce that is usually put on fries in Ireland and to a lesser extent the UK. It’s usually called ‘curry chips’ and is usually made from McDonald’s curry sauce (made by an Irish McDonald’s family, nothing to do with Ronald and co.), an instant mild curry.

    Another classic here is the ‘three in one’ which is chips (fries), curry sauce and fried rice. We’re not known as an unhealthly nation for nothing ;)

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