Fries — the versatile nosh that's just as enjoyable in the form of fast-food snack or gourmet side. While the classic French fry may be your salt-tooth vice, go ahead and expand your horizons with these creative alternatives. You won't be disappointed.
Calamari Fries at The Green Well (924 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids)
A tasty precursor to any entrée on the menu, these crispy bites are dusted in cornmeal and come with marinated vegetables and chili aioli for dipping.
Truffle and Parmesan Frites at Central City Tap House (359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo)
White truffle oil, Parmesan and herbs add new dimensions of flavor to these house cut fries. Pair with a cold beer selected from the restaurant's extensive list or class things up with a glass of wine.
Idaho Nachos at Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub (11539 E. Lakewood Blvd. #50, Holland)
Waffle fries go incognito under a blanket of sharp cheddar and jack cheeses, bacon and scallions. A sweet-and-spicy barbecue ranch tops this dish off.
Crack Fries at HopCat (25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids)
There's a reason these are called "crack" fries. They're as addictive as crack. (Just say no, kids.) Enjoy the house-blend seasoned beer-batter fries alone, or kick it up with Loaded Crack Fries with house soft cheese sauce, pepper-jack cheese, onion, jalapenos and bacon.
Fries Two Ways at The Electric Cheetah (1015 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids)
As if these thick, russet potato fries weren't satisfying enough on their own, the addition of black truffle oil, beet frites, scallions, and buttermilk bleu cheese dressing take this plate to a whole new level.
Smashfries at Smashburger (4315 W Main St., Kalamazoo; Grand Rapids locations)
What’s a burger without fries? Smashburger forgoes the traditional route in favor of their Smashfries, seasoned with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. Don't forget the Smash Sauce—they won’t tell you what's in it, but you'll be too happy dunking your fries into it to care. On subsequent visits, sample the Sweet Potato Fries and Veggie Frites (flash-fried carrot sticks and green beans).
Chronic Fries at Stella's Lounge (53 Commerce Ave., Grand Rapids)
Another culinary mystery. Tossed in a "secret spicy seasoning", these fries are meant to be enjoyed with a side of spicy queso dipping sauce. Up the ante with the chili cheese version—covered in chili, queso, scallions and jalapenos.