French Fry Frenzy: Local Spots Turn Side Dish into Main Course

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When it comes to comfort food, it’s hard to compete with french fries. The classic side, generously dressed in seasoned salt and topped with a delicate ketchup insignia, is often the main craving for diners. Restaurateurs and chefs in the city have gone out of their way to cater to those looking to dine and those looking to snack. From classic loaded disco fries to hand-cut wedges that require no condiments, here’s a look at our personal favorite spots to munch on fries in the Burg:

 

betterbyrd    *Photo via Better Byrd

Better Byrd 

The Ciccio Restaurant Group is taking over the Tampa Bay food scene one delicious idea at a time. Their newest concept, Better Byrd (4447 4th Street North), opened in the Burg in 2016 and has delighted diners with mini doughnuts, indulgent bowls, fried chicken and savory tacos. While we love a Fruity Pebble-topped treat in the morning, it’s the french fries that keep us coming back in the afternoon.

We’re already daydreaming about their chili cheese fries and bacon sriracha queso fries. For those looking for a little crunch, Better Byrd’s crispy fries are also worthy contenders in the battle to impress the elevated palates of Burg residents. You can also enjoy their fries on the Mother Clucker Star Byrd sandwich and BBQ Bowl.

Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates.

 

AndrewW    *Photo via Andrew W. on Yelp

Central Melt

They had us at grilled cheese rollups. Central Melt is a relative newcomer to the 600 Block. The restaurant is situated in a small space at 685 Central Avenue — right next to the State Theatre. What the restaurant lacks in size it more than makes up for with innovation and attention to detail. Central Melt’s hand-cut fries are made fresh daily.

With just a little bit of salt this ordinary side becomes a revelation. For those looking for something a bit heartier, we recommend you indulge in their Hot Mess Fries — hand-cut fries covered with sloppy joe and shredded white cheese.

Learn about daily deals on their Facebook and Instagram.

 

thechattaway    *Photo via Savitre S. on Yelp

Chattaway

The Chattaway is a Burg icon. Their clawfoot bathtub planters, eccentric interior design and dreamy patio embody all that makes St. Pete the Sunshine City. Their no frills Chattaburger is famous amongst local diners and their crinkle-cut fries serve as the perfect complement. Our affinity for the Chattaway’s fries comes from nostalgia. A meal at this restaurant is truly a simple pleasure.

Spring is the perfect time of year to visit the restaurant — located at 358 22nd Avenue South. Visit their website and Facebook page for updates on special events.

 

jeffabba7    *Photo via @jeffabba7 on Twitter

FarmTable Kitchen 

FarmTable Kitchen at Sundial St. Pete continues to garner St. Pete high praise from national publications. Its arrival in the Sunshine City sent a message that the Burg was in the midst of a culinary renaissance. FarmTable’s eclectic fine dining theme is evident in their French fries.

These fries are cooked in duck fat,and come garnished with the perfect amount of salt arriving with each bite. The side is the perfect companion to the St. Petersburger — 30-day Locale dry-aged beef, ‘merican cheese sauce, smoked gouda, Niman Ranch bacon, sautéed mushrooms and secret sauce.

Follow FarmTable on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about the lauded restaurant.

 

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Kings Street Food

The EDGE District is a hub of culinary activity right now. Kings Street Food (937 Central Avenue) emerges as a premier destination to get your comfort food on. Whether ordering loaded tacos, a thick milkshake, a doughnut burger or a classic grilled cheese, Kings is a bastion of cheat day indulgences.

Kings takes the french fry game to an entirely new level. The Hangover — crinkle fries, applewood bacon, chopped ham, queso blanco and sunny-up egg — will help bring you back to life. Their ‘Merica snack combines crinkle fries with beer chili, cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, jalapenos and sour cream. Double Denim is Kings’ version of disco fries — crinkle cuts covered in brown gravy and Wisconsin cheese curds.

Beyond the potato, Kings also serves up funnel cake fries for those looking to satiate their sweet tooth. Follow Kings on Facebook and Instagram for updates on daily specials.

 

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Square 1 Burgers

Square 1 Burgers began with just one restaurant in the city of Tampa. The concept has since expanded to St. Pete, Sarasota, Gainesville and all over the state of Florida. Their commitment to serving 100% hormone- and antibiotic-free, humane certified angus beef has made them a staple in resident’s diets. Daily deals like the 3-4-5 happy hour — $3 drafts, WooHoo Fries and fried green beans; $4 select wine, fried dill pickle chips and edamame; $5 select cocktails, SQ1 awesome chicken wings and spicy egg rolls daily from 3pm to 6pm and 9pm until close — make it a fusion of culinary creativity and budget-friendly dining options.

Their Woo Hoo fries put the awe in awesome. Square 1’s version of poutine features Wisconsin-made cheese curds blended with house-made brown Woo-Hoo gravy over crispy French fries. Follow Square 1 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to learn about their weekend specials and daily deals.

 

zaytoon

Zaytoon 

Zaytoon owners Waleed and Mary Khalel incorporate locally made produce into all of their savory dishes. Waleed was born in Jerusalem and has been in the U.S. for 35 years. Mary was born and raised in Kentucky. Zaytoon’s is the realization of a shared dream. The Khalel’s hope to expand the palates of St. Pete residents by offering the fare served up and down the streets of Waleed’s home.

The Kabob platter and falafel are superb, as are their fresh cut fries. The side dish receives the same meticulous care all of their dishes do. Even though it’s right on Central Ave, Zaytoon remains a true hidden gem. We recommend you treat yourself to their culinary creations ASAP. Follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram. Zaytoon, 1618 Central Avenue.

 

*Header image via Better Byrd

 

Did we miss your favorite fries in the Burg? Let us know in a comment! We’re always looking to broaden our culinary horizons. 

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me