DAILY DIRT: McDonald’s beats out Wendy’s, Burger King for top fast food fries

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Daily Dirt for Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024

I’ve never had fries at Taco Bell. I may have to see if this ranking is worthy  … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 878 of The Daily Dirt.

1. A day ago in this space, we unveiled the worldtravelling.com ranking of fast-food cheeseburgers. 

Well, today, it’s time to tackle French fries.

Remember, I’m only listing those available in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri:

  • 1. McDonald’s: “The Golden Arches have become synonymous with the ideal fast-food fry, achieving a legendary status that few can rival. Their consistent quality across locations worldwide is a testament to the chain’s dedication to delivering the perfect fry every time. he golden potato strips are cut to an optimal size for eating, seasoned to enhance without overwhelming, and fried to achieve the perfect balance of crunchiness and fluffiness. It’s a formula that has captured the hearts of countless fans.”
  • 2. Wendy’s: “Wendy’s skin-on fries manages to dodge the common pitfalls associated with this style — overly thick cuts that fail to crisp up properly. While not without room for improvement, Wendy’s skin-on fries emerge as a notable contender in fast-food fries, offering a robust flavor and texture that sets them apart from many competitors.”
  • 3. Burger King: “At Burger King, the fries serve as a dependable side that adequately complements a meal without stealing the spotlight. They achieve satisfactory crispiness and seasoning, making them a solid, if unspectacular, choice. While they don’t inspire a dedicated trip, they don’t disappoint either, maintaining a balance between expectation and delivery. In stark contrast, Burger King’s chicken fries have carved out a niche of their own, offering a unique and flavorful experience that stands as a compelling reason to visit.”
  • 4. Arby’s: “The unique appeal of Arby’s lies in its distinctive curly fries, which stand out for their playful shape and the extra crunch that comes from their spiraled form. Due to the increased surface area, this unique texture makes them a favorite among fast-food aficionados. Yet, the experience is somewhat marred by the aftertaste of frying and seasoning. This lingering residue necessitates frequent sips of a drink to cleanse the palate. It might even prompt an immediate toothbrushing session, detracting from the overall enjoyment of these otherwise delightful fries.”
  • 5. Taco Bell: “Taco Bell’s introduction of nacho fries was bold, offering a unique twist on the traditional French fry formula. Seasoned with a proprietary blend of cheesy, savory spices, these fries aimed to capture the essence of Taco Bell’s flavor profile. And while they’ve garnered a following, they somehow miss the mark for purists. The combination of the nacho cheese sauce and the Doritos Locos-esque seasoning makes for a tasty snack but doesn’t fulfill the classic French fry craving. Furthermore, including fries on a menu otherwise dedicated to Mexican-inspired fare feels somewhat out of place, leaving consumers puzzled over how to integrate them into their meals seamlessly.”
  • 6. Hardee’s: “When Hardee’s announced it was revamping its fries, there was a mix of anticipation and skepticism. The move to “natural cut” fries was meant to elevate the offering, with thicker cuts and skin-on potatoes that hinted at a more gourmet, sit-down restaurant quality. Initially, the promise of a premium potato experience was enticing. However, the reality fell short. These thicker, skin-on fries tend to lack the satisfying crunch of their predecessors, often turning out less crispy and somewhat underwhelming. The shift, while well-intentioned, left many longing for the classic fast-food style fries, proving that sometimes, tradition trumps innovation.”

2. Here’s a few things to shake your head about, when it comes to the popularity of HIGH SCHOOL baseball in Japan:

  • An annual single-elimination tournament of 4,000 teams attracts day-after-day of sold-out crowds totaling more than 500,000 people. The tournament is played at the home of the Hanshin Tigers, one of Japan’s “major league” clubs.
  • High school players in Japan practice seven hours a day, 12 hours a day on holidays. Elite baseball schools have 100 or more players on their teams, but only 20 are permitted to dress for a game.
  • The aforementioned tournament has the same per capita viewership as the Super Bowl does in America.

3. Want to feel old(er)? The following songs turn 60 years old this year:

  • “Pretty Woman,” by Roy Orbison: The late, great Orbison was one of the few people with glasses thicker than mine.
  • “Under The Boardwalk,” by the Drifters: File it under strange, but true: The song was set to be recorded on May 21, 1964, but the band’s lead singer, Rudy Lewis, died of a suspected heroin overdose the night before. Lewis had sung lead on most of their hits since the 1960 departure of Ben E. King, including “Up On The Roof”. Rather than reschedule the studio session, the lead on “Under The Boardwalk” was given to the group’s other lead vocalist, Johnny Moore. 
  • “House Of The Rising Sun,” by the Animals: The only complaint I ever had with this song was that it would never end.
  • “Where Did Our Love Go?” by the Supremes: This was about the time Diana Ross was entering superstardom.
  • “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” by the Righteous Brothers. Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, best male rock duo ever?

Steve Thought O’ The Day — When Chuck Norris lifts dumbbells, they get smarter.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. I guess we’ll have to see who as the best local fries as well…

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