We tried all the fries in Tenley so you don’t have to

Keep your friends close but your fries closer. This is a motto we live by. $22 and a case of moderate heartburn later, we tried all of the french fries in Tenleytown so you don’t have to.


The Classic: McDonald’s

Of course, we had to start at McDonald’s. The iconic fries were as delicious and salty as ever and the price point is just unbeatable at $1.39 for a small. Our only complaint was a strange metallic aftertaste that might just be a by-product of the reason the fries taste so good. Overall, a 4.6/5.


Dear God, Why: Popeyes

Neither of us had eaten Popeyes fries before, and their only option is Cajun fries. Excited to try something new, we walked in with high hopes. This did not last long. The seasoning was debatably not Cajun, but rather an uncomfortable mix of herbs and salt. The texture was bad; the fries were chewy, dense, and oily. Also of note was a piece of chicken in the bag, which was big enough to be weird but small enough that it didn’t quite feel like a gift. Nestled comfortably in between worse and worst, Popeyes scored a measly 1.8/5 (which we think was generous).


Cajun Fries Redemption: Z-Burger

Z-Burger is a staple in the Tenleytown fry community. Their seasoned fries are just so good. The value is great, seasoning perfect, and our only comment is that their fries are more of a meal themselves than a side. Take notes, Popeyes. Z-Burger scored a 4.8/5.


All About the Sauce: Chick-fil-a

This is where our opinion split. Deirdre loves Chick-fil-a waffle fries, while Benjy thinks they’re better than fine but far from good. The texture and saltiness is perfect, and bonus points for originality of shape. The value isn’t great, since you really only get about 10 fries per order, but what they lack in fries they make up for with an endless variety of sauces to choose from. Overall, Chick-fil-a scored a 4/5.


Wasted Potential (and money): Five Guys

Five Guys is just so expensive. Yes, the fries are good, but $4 for a small??? Also, when we got the fries, it was clear they hadn’t been fried long enough, which was disappointing. Five Guys, however, unlike Popeyes, took Cajun seasoning seriously. The fries were salty, spicy, and almost made you forget you paid three times as much as McDonald’s. In all, Five Guys scored a meager 3/5.


New Kid on the Block: Roaming Rooster

Roaming Rooster was an interesting restaurant to add, but we felt that we should give the new place a try. They only have one style and one size of fry, but it’s weirdly nice to have the choice made for you already. The fries weren’t very salty and lacked an overall distinctive character of any sort, but for plain, simple fries, they were really good. For that, Roaming Rooster got a 3.4/5. •