Food

The Best Fast-Food Fries: How Burger King's Satisfries Compare


The Best Fast-Food Fries: How Burger King's Satisfries Compare

Photograph by Ben Blankenburg/Corbis

McDonald’s (MCD)
They’re known to be the crispy, gold standard of fries but are actually consumed and forgotten instantly. The outside is never crunchy and is uniformly undersalted. The interior has little texture, scant potato essence, and no aftertaste. They have as much flavor as a Communion wafer, without any of the benefits of transubstantiation. Rating: 4.5/10

 

Wendy’s (WEN)
“Quality is our recipe,” says the Dublin (Ohio)-based chain’s website, which is believable because these fries actually taste like potatoes. Wendy’s introduced its skin-on variety in late 2010 as “natural-cut,” an interesting choice of words given that they’re coated in sodium acid pyrophosphate, a chemical that prevents the fries from turning brown. The potato flavor is strong, but they’re aggressively underseasoned and have little crispiness. Rating: 3.5/10

 

Arby’s
The Atlanta-based chain, like McDonald’s, uses potatoes that don’t really taste like potatoes. But Arby’s realizes this and uses the tofu-like neutrality of the curly fries as a conduit for a vaguely spicy seasoning. The result is uniform saltiness and crispiness, with an interior ranging from soft to slightly gritty. Rating: 5/10

 

Burger King (BKW)
#WTFF. That’s the hashtag the Miami-based fast-food chain uses to promote its new crinkle-cut Satisfries, which boast a special coating designed to absorb less oil. Unfortunately, they taste so terrible you’ll throw them out before eating more than a few. The exterior is undersalted and sometimes sandy. The interior has a dry, gravelly texture, evoking a poorly made batch of mashed potatoes. #WTFF indeed. Rating: 0.5/10

 

White Castle
These crinkle-cut fries taste like Burger King’s Satisfries but are softer and slightly less … barfy. Some edges are gummy, which means they likely began to die a slow death under that warm tropical spud hospice known as the heat lamp. Rating: 2/10

 

Five Guys
You know how fries get a bit soft when you throw a bistro steak on top of them? That’s how these are textured, except instead of beef, it’s as if they’ve been soaking up pure baked potato juices all day long. Each skin-on fry is cooked in 100 percent peanut oil and has a pillowy interior, with big salt crystals clinging to every bite. Rating: 9/10

 

Shake Shack
This summer, Danny Meyer created the near-perfect fry for his growing burger chain, which has outlets in London, Dubai, and, soon, Moscow. The straight-cut, thin-cut, skin-on spears have a salty and intensely spuddy flavor. The exterior is crispy, sometimes crunchy, and the interior is just thick enough to keep the fries from falling into dangerous “shoestring” territory. They’re available only at the chain’s Upper East Side location in Manhattan; they’ll be introduced elsewhere soon and rival the iPhone 5S in popularity. Rating: 9.5/10

Sutton reviews restaurants for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.

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Companies Mentioned

  • MCD
    (McDonald's Corp)
    • $94.36 USD
    • 0.88
    • 0.93%
  • WEN
    (Wendy's Co/The)
    • $8.43 USD
    • 0.07
    • 0.83%
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