Sunday, September 23, 2018
Dining

Friday is National French Fry Day. Find (free!) fries in Tampa Bay.

Guess what Friday is? Itís National Fry Day (#FRYdayThe13th, see what they did there?). Fun fact: Their origin story may not lie in France but in Belgium. So why do we credit France? Thomas Jefferson is said to have introduced deep-fried potatoes at a state dinner in 1802 upon his return from a trip to France. Cíest la vie, Belgium (which does have seriously good fries, double fried and often offered in paper cones and topped with mayonnaise). But since Saturday is Bastille Day, letís keep our allegiance with France.

What started as a simple golden finger of potato, maybe a little ketchup dab, has gotten just plain goofy, with waffle cut, crinkle cut, curly fries, battered fries, disco fries, matchstick fries, loaded fries, poutine (thatís Canadian for fries with stuff on top), chili cheese fries and fancy truffle oil fries. To celebrate our ongoing love affair with them in spudtacular style, there are deals to be had this week.

BITE SQUAD

This food delivery service offers a tasty one. On Friday, people ordering from Bite Squad can redeem a promotion for free fries on orders of $20 (subtotal) or more. The code is FRYDAY, and itís Friday only.

BURGERFI

Shake Shack, Smashburger, Burger 21, Burger Monger, Shulaís ó Tampa Bayís cup runneth over with premium burgers these days. When it comes to fries, BurgerFi is at the top of the heap: skin on, crisp and greaseless, and they can be tossed a number of ways, from Parmesan and herbs to Cajun spices, chili and cheese sauce. Just on their own, hot and salted, theyíre sublime. (A regular size will feed two people, but youíll be peeved if the other guy gets grabby.) BurgerFi is doing a corporate promotion on Friday: Customers will receive a free order of fries with a purchase of any burger or hot dog. 714 S Howard Ave., Tampa. (813) 440-2283.

DUNKINí Donuts

Dunkiní Donuts is celebrating National Fry Day for the first time with the launch of a new item: Donut Fries. Let that sink in. Pieces of buttery croissant-style doughnut dough that are tossed in cinnamon sugar and served warm with "just the right amount of crisp." This is a limited time item and DD guests can enjoy them for $2. All locations.

MCDONALDíS

It was too early at press time for local outposts to know if there will be a promotion this year to celebrate the special day, but hereís a way to nab some gratis fries. Download the McD app and get an order of free medium fries with a $1 purchase every Friday through Sept. 28 at participating McDonaldís.

JUST GREAT FRIES

Last year there were free fry deals at Pizza Hut, Arbyís, Wingstop and others (check Facebook pages to ferret out any deals) to celebrate the golden day. But donít you just want to eat some insanely good fries?

This is going to sound nuts, but for some of the best Tampa Bay fries, head to Nordstrom at International Plaza. Bazille is its lovely full-service restaurant (one of the only remaining inside a department store around here), where you will find killer fries, skinny and herb flecked and offered with a savory kalamata-flavored aioli. They come with the burger and the French dip, but Iíve been known to put away a whole pile, sans anything else. 2223 N WestShore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 356-7916.

Nipping at Bazilleís heels are the fries at Five Guys, name brand potatoes (the Idaho farmer who grew them is written on a chalkboard ó Five Guys goes through 140 million pounds annually), skin on, sturdy, fried in peanut oil, seasoned just with salt or with Cajun seasonings. A large comes in a 20-ounce cup in a brown bag, its surface an archipelago of grease blotches in no time. These are not frozen fries, but whole potatoes mangled in a machine that can cut a pound a second, then blanched to remove starch and fried in peanut oil.

Comments
Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Andrea Gebbia grew up in Carrollwood, and now she is bringing the family business to the neighborhood of her youth.In late fall, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils is slated to open a second location."I feel so blessed having the ability to grow my...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

RIVEVIEW – Amy Lin knows that her newest Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea store is in a location where previous businesses have not lasted.The short-lived Tap’s Brewhouse & Deli and even shorter-lived Top Shelf Sports Bar and Grill tried to r...
Published: 09/21/18
New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

COMING SOON: OLIVIA Chris Ponte, right, has been a steady and notable culinary leader in our area for more than a decade with his flagship restaurant Cafe Ponte in Clearwater. A couple of years ago he mixed things up a bit by debuting On Swann in Hy...
Published: 09/19/18
Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

TAMPA Do you have this debate? "Florida is not in the South." "Um, look at a map." I guess I am in the former camp: It seems Florida gets more Southern the more north and west you go, accents only creeping in as reliably as boiled peanuts up on the ...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18
Chefs offer up a taste of whatís coming to Sparkman Wharf

Chefs offer up a taste of whatís coming to Sparkman Wharf

TAMPA ó On Wednesday night, about 60 people got a sneak preview of what Tampa diners soon will experience at Sparkman Wharf, part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa neighborhood that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners are developing in what...
Published: 09/14/18
Whatís new in food: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week, National Cheeseburger Day

Whatís new in food: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week, National Cheeseburger Day

DINE AROUND: CLEARWATER BEACH RESTAURANT WEEKPromoted by the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce, Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week is celebrating its ninth year Friday through Sept. 23. The culinary celebration offers foodies an opportunity to exper...
Published: 09/12/18
Restaurant review: Part fish shack, part high-end cocktail bar, Trophy Fish in St. Petersburg thrives on a fresh approach

Restaurant review: Part fish shack, part high-end cocktail bar, Trophy Fish in St. Petersburg thrives on a fresh approach

ST. PETERSBURGI value restaurants and people the same way, I suppose. I like those with a take. They donít have to be the smartest or the prettiest, but the ones I like have a unique perspective, something that differentiates them from everybody else...
Published: 09/10/18
Updated: 09/11/18
Tampaís Fly Bar and Restaurant will move locations

Tampaís Fly Bar and Restaurant will move locations

TAMPA ó Restaurant announcements for Sparkman Wharf and Strategic Property Partnersí 50-acre Water Street Tampa project have come fast and furious the past couple weeks. With a price tag of more than $3 billion and reading like a whoís who of Tampa B...
Updated one month ago
James Beard winner Anne Kearney to open Oak & Ola in Armature Works

James Beard winner Anne Kearney to open Oak & Ola in Armature Works

TAMPA ó It was always part of the plan for the 22,000-square-foot Heights Public Market at Armature Works to have two anchor restaurants in addition to the fourteen quick-serve vendors. The developers debuted Steelbach, a sprawling steaks and chops b...
Updated one month ago
Whatís new in food: The Artisan, Big Rayís Fish Camp, Joe and Sonís Olive Oils

Whatís new in food: The Artisan, Big Rayís Fish Camp, Joe and Sonís Olive Oils

COMING SOON: THE ARTISANGulfport is heating up. Iíve been hearing raves about Golden Dinosaurs vegan deli, and now it seems that seasoned restaurateurs Michael Stewart, left, and Tom Golden will open an art and food collective called the Artisan in G...
Updated one month ago