Monday, March 8, 2010

Fry bracket: VOTE IN 4 more!

The Observer's 2010 Tournament of Fries begins with the following 12 teams, chosen after weeks of sampling readers' suggested locations across the land. Don't see your favorite? That's OK, since readers get to vote in four additional teams.

Comment on this blog (only once, please!) before midnight WEDNESDAY (March 10). I'll add the top three vote-getters, plus the place that garners what I think is the most heartfelt, compelling comment. (That's to allow for a Cinderella team!)

The dozen anointed ones:

Big Daddy’s Burger Bar, 1626 East Blvd.
Cafe Monte, 6700 Fairview Road.
Comet Grill, 2224 Park Road.
Crepe Cellar, 3116 N. Davidson St.
Fran’s Filling Station, 2410 Park Road.
Lulu, 1911 Central Ave.
Matt’s Chicago Dog, 435 S. Tryon St.; 19732 One Norman Blvd., Cornelius.
Moosehead Grill, 1807 Montford Drive.
Rooster’s, 6601 Morrison Blvd.
Sub Corral, W. Wilkinson Blvd., Belmont.
Tenders, 18341 Statesville Road, Cornelius.
The Penguin, 1921 Commonwealth Ave.

You’ll notice no national chains in my dozen. I didn’t include them, seeking to emphasize our local offerings, but I’ll let the people make the call -- if you want to vote one in, so be it. Same goes for the places that sell a hybrid fry-like "home fry": If you believe it fits in a classic french fry competition, vote it in. The completed bracket will be in Friday's CLT (or maybe earlier, in this space).

Want to get a look at competitions of years past? Go here for the pizza competition of 2009 and here for wings in 2008.

348 comments:

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Anonymous said...

The Little Village Grill - located on West Trade - Family Run - winner of local Bestaurant Award for 2007 i think, from WCNC - Excellent Fries - add chili and cheese and they are even better

Malinda said...

131 Main Restaurant in Dilworth is my vote. Their fries are awesome!!! It would be a travesty to dip their fries in ketchup.

Anonymous said...

131 Main has the best fries in town -- can't believe they aren't on the list!

Anonymous said...

131 Main should be added to your french fry list. thanks

Anonymous said...

RUSTY'S DELI

Judy said...

131 Main (all locations) have the absolute hands down the BEST fries I have ever tasted in my entire life!!!!

Anonymous said...

Harris Teeter. Ore-Ida, in the frozen section. Cheap too. Even cheaper if you have a coupon.

Christine Devoe said...

131 Main!!!!

bigredd said...

East blvd bar and grill, only fries i've seen that are round and dipped in ranch, but comet's are the best.

Anonymous said...

Cafe Central in Plaza Midwood has chili cheese fries to die for....really!

Anonymous said...

East Blvd Bar and Grill - Fries dipped in their ranch = awesome

buckeye_guy said...

Tilted Kilt has great fries and when you add in the girl that brings them to your table, that makes them the very best.

Anonymous said...

Radcliffe's steak fries are wonderful!!

Anonymous said...

131 Main Fries are the same as Tenders Fries. They are owned by the same people and are less than 1/4 mile from each other. That is probably why 131 Main didn't make the list, same Fries. I like going to Tenders, same quality food as 131 Main, I get the same fries, but it is a lot cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Nolens Kitchen--thin, crisp, salty but not spicy (as they should be)

Anonymous said...

Topz Healthier Burger Grill has great regular and sweet potato "fries." I say fries in quotes since they are actually baked not fried. There has to be room in the competition for a healthier entry!

Anonymous said...

131 Main is the place for fries!

Anonymous said...

Zink's fries are great!!

magpie said...

Pappas Lanes. Close the blog.

Anonymous said...

Five guys has the best fries!

Jon Fox said...

The best fries in Charlotte are undoubtedly served at Big Daddy's Burger Bar. Go Big Daddy's!!!!!

Pamela Grundy said...

Thomas Street Tavern! No bells or whistles. Just everything that fries should be -- skin on, perfect texture, great potato taste. It's one of the few places I visit just for the fries (although their other food is swell too). I don't think it's a coincidence that when noted fried-food lover Bill Clinton came to town, that's where he stopped for lunch. Stroll across the street from the Penguin, and taste the difference!

Anonymous said...

131 Main = Tenders. Same company, same fries at Lake Norman 131 Main location that is 1 mile from Tenders. I love them too!

Coach Blogger said...

Gotta be Matt's with the Wisconsin cheddar cheese on top!

Anonymous said...

Nolen Kitchen - they're worth the risk of ending up with the parsley in your teeth.

Califgirl@heart said...

Bojangles! The best combination of spicy,sweet and salty all at the same time, a little like kettle corn.
If I ever move away and come back to visit, these would be on my "what to eat while I'm there" list. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Cedar St Tavern

Anonymous said...

Comet Grill

Anonymous said...

Chick Fil A!!!

Ron said...

If it aint McDonalds then they are not Fries!

par said...

I would go with Five Guys. However, of the ones listed.. Sub Corral and Big Daddy's.

Anonymous said...

Ed's Tavern on Park Rd.!!!!!! The best in Charlotte!!!!

Anonymous said...

I prefer Foster's Grille, which is across the street from Concord Mills.

Anonymous said...

Common House on Central.

Anonymous said...

love Bid Daddy's sweet potato fries!

Anonymous said...

East Blvd Bar & Grill. Dipped in Honey Mustard. Hands down.

Anonymous said...

Common House on Central

Hand cut fries smothered with home made pimento cheese and topped with Applewood bacon and scallions.

Damn, I'm getting hungry just typing about it.

Anonymous said...

131 Main gets my vote. Best in town. 2nd best are Zink's.

Anonymous said...

With absolutely no doubt...Comet Grill.

Anonymous said...

Pesto Brie fries at Crepe Cellar, unmatched.

Anonymous said...

Rusty's Deli!!

Anonymous said...

I also have to say the Little Village Grill on West Trade. The fries there are great and it is family owned.

Anonymous said...

Chick-Fil-A waffle fries and Capital Grille truffle fries (unbelievably tasty). I know, I know, quite the contrast in restaurants, but both great fries!

thatShortChick said...

Crepe Cellar.

Anonymous said...

mcdonalds. hands down

Anonymous said...

Zink's fries are AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

I would like to vote for Skinnyz Bar and Grill in Matthews, NC. They have THE BEST fries in NC!!! Both cajon battered and the original hand cut are amazing!! I believe they should be added to your voting list.

Christopher said...

Frans Filling Station - crispy, low grease, awesome flavor - no condiment required (or recommended)

Anonymous said...

Rusty's! (I was going to say Hef's, but I'll gladly step on the Rusty's bandwagon).

Anonymous said...

you people are a bunch of unhealthy fatties!

Anonymous said...

I would also like to vote for Skinnyz in Matthews. Their fries are the best.

Anonymous said...

Cardillo's Kitchen in Camfield Corners Shopping Center on Elm Ln has the best fries in town. A great little neighborhood nook full of awesome food, great hospitality and out of this world New York/New Jersey atmosphere. The fries have a secret seasoning that makes them awesome!

Anonymous said...

The Penguin fries with cheese please!

Anonymous said...

Supper Restaurant
http://www.time4supper.com

Anonymous said...

SKINNY BAR AND GRILLE!!! They have the best Fries that I know of! And I loooovvveeee fries!!!

Anonymous said...

Rusty's Deli and Akropolis (Arboretum)!!

tarhoosier said...

Comet Grille

Carolina Girl said...

My vote goes to Skinnyz Bar. Their fries are so good - YUMMY!!!!!!!!!

Ryan said...

By far my favorite is LuLu's.

Anonymous said...

Mr.K's!!!

El Shizzz said...

GALWAY HOOKER IN HUNTERSVILLE

Marco said...

Skinnyz bar and grill in mattews has the best made from scratch Cajun battered fries
check them out

Anonymous said...

Cardillo's on Elm Ln. - great fries!

Anonymous said...

My own! For what you pay for "an order" @ those places you can buy a bag at any grocery store!

Anonymous said...

Subway's fries are hands down the best fries of them all.

Anonymous said...

East Blvd.

Anonymous said...

Foster's Grille in Concord has the BEST fries in the state, but of the ones listed...Big Daddy's!!

Josh said...

Village Bistro, though Helen won't pick it because she hates that place.

Anonymous said...

The Lodge!

Civil Religion Thesis said...

Nolen Kitchen, 131 Main, and Radcliffe's all have GREAT, yet different fries.

Anonymous said...

Comet Grill

Anonymous said...

Skinnyz Bar & Grille in Matthews DOES have the best Friez; CAJUN BATTERED are MY favorite AND oh, those sweet potato friez with the honey butter dipz... Its a personal "THANG" with the Skinnyz Friez!

Ryan said...

The Lodge on Colony Garlic Fries. Mmmmmmmmmmm

Sam said...

I had never been to Therapy Cafe on N. Tryon until a couple weeks ago, but their fries are absolutely out of this world. They definitely deserve to be in this contest.

Anonymous said...

Cafe Central. Chili & Cheese. Boom.
Enoyed while heckling other sub-par fry joints from the roof top deck. Getcha some!

Anonymous said...

SKINNYZ BAR AND GRILLE!!!! Best Cajun battered fries ever!!!! Fries even a cardiologist would love!!!!

Y THE FORK NOT said...

My vote goes to Skinnyz Bar & Grille in Matthews. The Cajun Battered or the Sweet Potato homade fries will let you know that you have some South in yo Mouth. Sit back and have the fries at Skinnyz and you'll know that you've had the BEST that the Queen City has to offer.

Anonymous said...

The clear answer is Moosehead. They are easily the best.

Anonymous said...

Eat Here Now! Awesome hand-cut fries...you'll love 'em!

Anonymous said...

ANON votes should NOT count. Easiest way to stuff a ballot box. =)

Anonymous said...

Taco Bell!!

Dawn said...

Jake's Good Eats - Homemade fries, hand cut fries. Not greasy, light, just the right about of sea salt and come with a variety of home made dipping sauces to choose from.

sal said...

skinnyz fries are off the hook! AND so is every thing else there!

Anonymous said...

TOPZ in Ballantine has the best, baked fries in Charlotte. Crispy without the grease..guilt free. the sweet potato fries are also superlative. Lightly dusted in cinnamon salt/sugar they are slightly sweet & savory.

Will said...

Ri Ra's (I'm glad they're back). And honorable mention: any Five Guys location.

Andy said...

Better Bedder & Moore at South Tryon and Clanton. They somehow seem to batter their fries. I have no idea how they do it but they're the best in Charlotte in my opinion...I've never had any even close to those!

AlRx60 said...

Thomas St. Tavern by far! I'll go there just for the fries alone. Comet Grill has started putting way too much seasoning on their fries, unlike they did before new ownership took over a couple years ago. So, the best goes to Thomas St Tavern!

Anonymous said...

East Blvd Bar & Grill w/ honey mustard.

jennifer said...

I agree with Sal, the "hand cut" french fries at Skinnyz are the Best; cajun battered #1! I should know, I "work" there and have cut some of those potatoes!

Anonymous said...

Zack's Hamburgers on Scaleybark has the best fries in town. I cannot believe they did not even make the list. I know for a fact their fries are better then Sub Corral, Moosehead and Cafe' Monte.

ZACK's is #1

Grashopper said...

Foster's Grill on Concord Mills Blvd. They're fresh, salty, and oohhh so good!

Anonymous said...

Little Village Grill on West Trade has the best.

Anonymous said...

SKINNYZ BAR AND GRILLE!!! Best cajun fries ever!!! Fries even a cardiologist would love!!!

Anonymous said...

Lodge at Colony and Rea. Awesome garlic fries!!!

Jeff said...

Thomas St. Tavern

Anonymous said...

Stool Pigeons Any location Univeristy or Matthews or Uptown.

Anonymous said...

Big Daddy's Burger Bar!

Anonymous said...

T-Bones at Lake Wylie has really great fries, but I am ALL ABOUT some Rusty's Deli fries here in Charlotte!

Anonymous said...

SKINNYZ BAR & GRILLE in Matthews ahs the BEST cajun battered fries ever!!!! hand cut hand battered fried to order!!!! add a little home made honey mustard and your in heaven!!!!!! they also have just battered fries, if your not into the cajun thing, and the absolute best sweet potatoe fries with home made honey butter for dippin'!!!! SKINNYZ is hands down the best local, home made, fresh, family friendly, Alabama style place to go!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Skinnyz should be eliminated for a poor attempt at "stuffing the ballot box".

Anonymous said...

Bojangles' seasoned fries are the best!

Anita said...

Mmmmmmmmm. I may have to go out and sample a few new places so I can make a qualified vote. :->

Anonymous said...

please you have got to add in Hef's on woodlawn !

Anonymous said...

The bacon cheese fries with rance at Solstice are pretty darn tastyyyy!!!

Anonymous said...

Definitely East Blvd. Bar and Grill. Yum.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, The Comet Grill. Best fries, best chips, best burgers too. And all homemade.

Anonymous said...

East Blvd bar and grill has the round fries. They are the best in Charlotte by far.

Anonymous said...

Oops I meant ranch on the solstice comment!!!

Anonymous said...

Can we please bring Five Guys back into the conversation? Their fries are worth making the tournament list. Five Guys fries are scrumptious!!!

Anonymous said...

how about Eddie's Place at Cotswold?! They have the best burger and fries. and yes, much better than Big Daddy's.

Anonymous said...

Little Village Grill on West Trade has the best fries I've ever eaten!

Anonymous said...

Foster's in Concord! just add a touch of malt vinegar and thats all you need

Anonymous said...

Comet Grill for sure!!!

Bliss said...

Have to include TOPZ...who else bakes them as well as they do!

Anonymous said...

I can think of so many. Love 131 Main fries. Roosters too.

Anonymous said...

Rusty's, hands down.

Anonymous said...

Tenders has the best. I believe Tenders and 131 Main are owned by the same people.

Mac said...

Let's review what makes up a great french fry. First, they have to be crinkle-cut, no exceptions. Then, the outside has to be golden brown and crispy without being greasy. That requires hot fryer grease kept to a constant temperature and just the right amount of cooking time. The inside should be soft, fluffy and with a nice potatoe flavor. They need to be delivered to you HOT and fresh out of the fryer.

Very few places can do that consistenly. Showmars at South Park Mall is one.

Anonymous said...

Fort Mill Tavern has the fries that remind me of the great old fair grounds fries. Super.

Anonymous said...

Comet Grill hands down...and anyone who votes otherwise obviously hasn't been there.

Anonymous said...

Bet you meant Town Tavern of Fort Mill. Their great.

Anonymous said...

I'd add Topz for the healthy alternative that tastes just like they were fried in oil.

Anonymous said...

Tavern on the Tracks! They are fresh cut!!

Sully in Bremen, AL said...

Skinnyz in Matthews, N.C. definitely has the best friez anywhere!!! Can't wait to go back and get some more....

dbyers said...

5 guys fries. i dont care if they are a national chain. they are the best fries hands down. if you want local, than that would probably go to big daddy's tater tots.

stick said...

Skinnyz in Matthews cajun fries are my favorite!! If you haven't tried them, you don't know what you're missin!!

Jennifer Daily said...

Basic fries-What about Arthurs at Southpark? if you tell them extra crispy they will melt in your mouth
Uptown fries- The Wine Shop at Foxcroft wine bar- they are unbelievable- they come with a aoli sauce that will knock your socks off!! No sharing allowed!!!
Jennifer Daily

Anonymous said...

Mez! Truffle cut - sooo yummy! :)

Scott said...

Foster's Grille near the Concord Mall

Anonymous said...

FIVE GUYS!!! HANDS DOWN THEY ARE FRESH AND CUT RIGHT THERE IN THE SHOP. TRY REGULAR, BUT IF YOU WANT THE EXTRA KICK GET CAJUN SEASONED ONES!

Anonymous said...

Big Daddys frys for sure

steve said...

I agree with Stick, Skinnyz cujun fries get my vote!!

Anonymous said...

Subway has the best fries known to man!!

Anonymous said...

Cardillo's are the best fries in Charlotte!

Anonymous said...

Boudreaux's in NODA has awesome fries.

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Five Guys and BT Burgers both should be on this list. Oth are fresh and tasty.

Ed said...

You gotta include Zak's!

Anonymous said...

Cardillo's over by St. Matthew's in South Charlotte. 'Nuff said!!!

Anonymous said...

Cardillo's is the best in the world. no lies here!!!!

Anonymous said...

DEFINITELY CARDILLO'S!!!!!

Kirk said...

I know its new so I didn't expect it to make the list, but The Deck on East Blvd (old Village Tavern) has amazing fries.

nohuiam said...

Moosehead Grill! And Moosehead doesn't need the same "anonymous" poster voting over and over like Main 131 does apparently!

Anonymous said...

Comet !

Anonymous said...

Skinnyz in Matthews cajun fries are my favorite!! If you haven't tried them, you don't know what you're missing!

Elizabeth said...

Have to go with TOPZ! It's irresponsible to feed your kids fried french fries these days when the baked ones (sweet potatoes too!) are so darn good! Go with the baked fries at TOPZ.

Anonymous said...

are any of these restaurants more than 10 years old? maybe the penguin?

add some charlotte history to the mix: South 21

Daun said...

Skinnyz has the best fries in NC!!

Anonymous said...

5-GUYS

Jessica said...

I am voting for Skinnyz too. Their fries are amazing and you can enjoy them with friends while listening to live bands. Sweet potato fries with tunes - doesnt get any better than that!!

RT said...

The standings at this point:
#1: Skinnyz, with 18 votes
#2: 131 Main, with 10 votes
#3: Comet Grill, with 8 votes
#4: Two-way tie, between East Blvd Bar & Grill, and Five Guys, with 7 votes each.
#6: Cardillo's, with 6 votes
#7: Three-way tie between Foster's, Rusty's and Topz, with 5 votes each.

Sissy said...

Guaranteed best fries in town can be found at Cardillo's Kitchen at Camfield Corners. Yumm, Yumm!

Anonymous said...

A place in Harrisburg called Supper.

stephanie said...

TOPZ has the best fries, regular and sweet (although sweet are my favorite). They're baked, not fried, so they're better for you, but they taste great!! Not dry, but crispy and full of flavor.

Kate said...

Sir Edmund Halley's - YUMMO!

Anonymous said...

Topz has healthier and more variety than any other restaurant. Better for you because they are air baked instead of fried

Anonymous said...

Matt's Chicago Dogs? This contest has no credibility.

Cat Whitfield said...

Cardillo's Kitchen serves the very best fries I, or any of my friends have ever tasted! They are large,sultry,voluptuous fries, cooked to perfection with a beautiful golden tan. Oh, how I long for thee Cardillo's fry. Thou art trully spudalicious!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Five Guys have the best (and the best value - the regular size is huge)!

Anonymous said...

Green's Lunch (hotdogs)

chip said...

Full Disclosure - I am the owner of Topz.

We are very proud of our baked Aero Fries - both regular and sweet. They are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside.

We all know that fries are not the healthiest food. But by baking them, we make them healthier.

If you are thinking about excluding us because you think we are a national chain, I can assure you, we are not. Topz was once a chain - but it is not one anymore. Today we are an independent, locally owned and operated restaurant.

We think that there should be a space for a quality, healthier product in this competition.

Thank you for your consideration.

- The Topz Guy

Anonymous said...

The counter in south Park seasoned fries are great!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fran's Fries are the greatest!

Anonymous said...

Nolen Kitchen!!!!!! Crispy, salty, perfectly bite size...you can't beat them!

Anonymous said...

skinnyzs fries are the best! they have my vote

Anonymous said...

TOPZ! TOPZ! TOPZ! We Love TOPZ!

Anonymous said...

Topaz fries are the best.

Anonymous said...

Topz fries are the best

Anonymous said...

Topz
They are baked and delicious!

Anonymous said...

Though I'm a foodie, I never gave french fries a second thought until I had Sullivan's Steakhouse's fries.

Not overly seasoned like all those fern bars, nor drenched in "secret sauce", just a great, straight-forward fry. Crispy on the outside. Powdery dry on the inside. Just thick enough to be "meaty". Simply well done.

Winston said...

131 Main Baby! Yummy fries.

Anonymous said...

Jake's Good Eats on Albemarle Rd. with ranch, please.

Anonymous said...

Arby's!!! Love that artificial coloring, flavoring, and grease!

Anonymous said...

So should 131 Main and Tenders be listed together or separate?

Tina said...

Topz Healthier Burger Grill has great fries that are healthy for you and always baked, never fried. They offer yummy dipping sauces to choose from, you can order with chili and cheese or just plain.

Anonymous said...

East Blvd. Bar & Grill - order crispy with ranch - BEST EVER!

Anonymous said...

Arnie's Tavern (Birkdale) and has the best fries...foster's grille and/or five guys has to be on there too!

Anonymous said...

With high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease, I generally shun fried foods. But I'll risk it all and walk the valley of death for the fries at Belmont's Sub Corral!

Anonymous said...

The Counter in Southpark Village. They have fried pickles that could battle the Penguin's

Anonymous said...

Katz's Deli

Anonymous said...

Helen, my Dear Helen, you must try 131 Main!

Anonymous said...

CHECKERS!!! The only one that used to be around here was practically on the NS/SC State line. That place was amazing!

Anonymous said...

Thomas Street Tavern, crispy brown skin, soft tasty guts, no special flavorings required, just a pinch of salt. Eat before they they cool. Cool!!!

Anonymous said...

Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd. love their fries!

Anonymous said...

131 Main

Anonymous said...

Bojangles has the best fries in the world.

Michael said...

Topz has the best fries - and healthiest

Anonymous said...

I have to go with O'Shea's fries! With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, you have to include this Irish pub in the competition.

Anonymous said...

The fries at TOPZ are the best. The aero fries are crispy and delicate at the same time with the perfect amount of salt. These fries are oven baked and you would never ever know it nor would your kids. They are the best fries hands down in the Queen City.

Brown said...

Boudreaux's in NoDa, or in a close second M5.

Anonymous said...

I love Jake's Good Eats with Ranch on the side.

That guy said...

SkinnyZ Bar in Matthews, THE best fries, try em i know you'll love em

Anonymous said...

TENDERS!!!! Woot, Woot! I am craving them now!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person who said Mr. K's (Best burgers and sakes too. good Gawd I love that place)

Anonymous said...

South 21 on Independence Blvd

beth said...

love love the sweet potato fries at TOPZ...and I know my sweet potato ff !

Anonymous said...

For fries I'd say Five Guys, even though it's a chain and thus not listed. Excellent potatoes cooked just right.

But if we could throw onion rings into the category also, then the Penguin would win easily.

Anonymous said...

little village grill, definitely

Anonymous said...

I vote Skinnyz.

Anonymous said...

Skinnyz food is horrible. Close it down.

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