Best Unpretentious Fries San Francisco 2008 - Hotel Utah
A while back, we asked a well-known foodie about where to find the best french fries in town. The answers appalled us somewhat: Oola, some restaurant that puts truffle oil on them, Zuni, and that unbearably smarmy place that specializes in fries and serves them in froofy paper cones with "housemade" ketchup and mayo were among the chosen. We don't have anything against frills, but fries, for us, are nullified by froof. So we say that, in addition to your favorite pub joint, Hotel Utah makes an uncommonly good basket, priced correctly at $4.50. The menu makes some concession to pedigree by describing the spuds as "hand-cut Kennebec potatoes," and they are dusted lightly with minced parsley, but it's nothing to worry about. Medium-sized and finding a nice balance between crispy little shards and softer (okay, greasier) center cuts, the fries here are tasty and come out of the kitchen surprisingly fast. If you want fancy, go for it. But if you demand loudish music and a place you can plunk your elbows on the bar, enjoy a beer, and read a mindless weekly publication, this is the french fry experience we recommend.