By Johara Al Mogbel
There is nothing on earth that is prettier or more important than fries. That is a solid, Destination Riyadh fact and we refuse to believe otherwise.
We send our love and compliments to their inventor, whether it’s originally French or Belgian. So of course, when it came down to our comfort food issue, it was time to taste test the fries of Riyadh. Oh, the happiness. THANK YOU FRELGIANS. WE LOVE YOU. Below, the results!
The Criteria: regular sized standard fries; straight out of the fryer and post-20 minute delivery.
1- McDonald’s (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 7.3
Overall Happiness: 9.1
Verdict: We suspect there’s a little bit of childhood bias when it comes to McDonald’s fries, but bottom line is, everyone was euphoric with their first bite. The winner, ladies and gentlemen!
“It just tasted better with a McFlurry, sorry not sorry.”
2- Texas Chicken (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 6.5
Overall Happiness: 7.5
Verdict: The dark horse of the bunch, Texas was oh so close to beating McDonald’s out. Actually, we were split into two, one group crowning Texas, the other crowning the arches. Well done, Texas Chicken! You do a lot better with your fries than your chicken, for sure.
“These are cold and they’re still so good. How. How?”
3- Burger King (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 5.3
Overall Happiness: 6.8
Verdict: The expected favorite, we were sad to see that the King’s fries weren’t as amazing as they used to be. Still tastes great, though.
“Acceptable, but a bit weird.”
“It’s Burger. King.”
4- Dairy Queen (SR 4)
Oil Ratio: 6.7
Overall Happiness: 6.7
Verdict: Perfectly crispy, and full inside, DQ should’ve slayed the masses. But it didn’t hold up so well after the 10 minutes it took to cool.
“Not bad. Not bad at all.”
“It tastes like soda.”
5- Elevation Burger (SR 12)
Oil Ratio: 6.4
Overall Happiness: 6.4
Verdict: It was a hard decision with this one. On one hand, it’s definitely the healthiest of the bunch, and therefore better. On the other, it didn’t hit the right spot for us, after all the greasy happiness we had. So if you want healthy fries, this is the place for you.
“Healthy. Does this count as a salad?”
6- Shawermer (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 6.7
Overall Happiness: 6.3
Verdict: Another underdog we weren’t expecting to shine. But with a decent cut and straight out of the fryer it was surprisingly delicious. If only it had more salt and held up against time and temperature to still taste as good.
“With garlic this would be yum.”
7- Kudu (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 4.1
Overall Happiness: 4.8
Verdict: Kudu will never be a contender amongst the fry giants, but for a good fix, it isn’t half bad. It just felt a bit flat because of the lack of salt. What is everyone’s problem with salt and fries?
“Would finish it.”
8- London Fish and Chips (SR 6)
Oil Ratio: 5
Overall Happiness: 5
Verdict: The only freshly cut potatoes on the list, and it showed. The fries were thick cut and enjoyable and would definitely have gotten a higher rating if only they were salted properly. Salt your fries, London Fish and Chips. Salt them!
“I don’t know why, but I taste fish.”
“Mmm, there’s a lemony taste.”
9- New York Fries (SR 12)
Oil Ratio: 4.7
Overall Happiness: 4.4
Verdict: We had high hopes for this one, but sadly it didn’t even remotely live up to its Emirati counterpart. A tad disappointing, really, especially since it should have had the edge on other fries with the cheese inclusion.
“Now we know what the F is for, NYF. F is for FAIL.”
“Not bad actually, just a bit… soggy.”
10- Herfy (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 4
Overall Happiness: 4
Verdict: The best out of the bad fast food ones, Herfy managed to be acceptable, if a bit inconsistent. The shorter fries tasted better than the longer ones and the crispiness was okay.
“Brings back memories.”
11- Kentucky Fried Chicken (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 2.8
Overall Happiness: 3.2
Verdict: Do you like your fries smelling like limp chicken? If you do, dig in. If you’re a normal human being who values their taste buds, then don’t.
“It tastes like chicken. Naked chicken. What? It does!”
12- Fatburger (SR 8)
Oil Ratio: 2.4
Overall Happiness: 1.8
Verdict: For 8 riyals, this is in no way acceptable. We refuse your expensive subpar fries, Fatburger. TAKE THEM BACK.
“One’s super soggy, the other lacks salt. What is this, horrible fry diversity?”
13- Hardee’s (SR 5)
Oil Ratio: 2.7
Overall Happiness: 3.1
Verdict: When we dumped the fries out of their cases, Hardee’s retained the shape of its container. That is all you need to know.
“This is so sad.”
14- Johnny Rockets (SR 16)
Oil Ratio: 2.5
Overall Happiness: 1.4
Verdict: We don’t understand what went wrong here, we really don’t. Johnny Rockets is usually so much better, and their milkshakes are the best in Riyadh. But the fries we picked up were a disaster. Undercooked and severely inedible. Do something about this, JR. Please. Unbreak our hearts. We believe in you.
“Blech blech blech blech!”
“It tastes like cardboard. And tears.”
Do you think we missed a fry? Want to nominate your favorite? Let us know via twitter @destinationryd
The Jury: the Editorial Foodies, an engineer, a grade schooler, a marketing expert, a fry enthusiast and DR’s very own social media manager.