When I first went to Pommes Frites (on 2nd Ave between 7th St and St. Marks), I was completely unaware of what I was about to experience. Sure, the shoppe is advertised as a vendor of "Belgian fries", but who really cares? Fries are fries.
I probably should have realized that I had stumbled across something entirely different as soon as I removed one perfectly crisp potato baton from the paper cone. I did not know these fries were to be savored as the fries of Belgium. I merely thought this third snack of the day was a world class and ingenious twist of the more well-known fries. I can only hope that the powers-that-be can forgive me for my ignorance.
According to The One and Only Belgian Fries Website, six traits distinguish Belgian fries: freshly cut and irregularly shaped; cooked or fried twice; fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside; a distinct potato taste; a thickness of at least 10 mm; and they should be served in a paper cone.
Clearly, I have not sampled many Belgian fries. (Shame on me.) But Pommes Frites' potatoes were fried to perfection, irregularly shaped, and oh so crisp. My group of 8 ordered the regular cone of fries. Yes, we had just sampled pastries from Veniero's and ice cream from The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, but everyone ate a satisfactory helping of fries because the regular cone of fries is just so gosh darn large. In addition to the usual mayonnaise dipping sauce, we also sampled the Honey Mustard Mayo, Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayo, and Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo dipping sauces. The whole snack cost about $8 ($4.50 for the fries, another dollar for each of the tasty sauces).
So, huddled over a little table made for cone-encased fries and perched on wooden high chairs, my friends and I found the final bit of space in our stomachs and gorged ourselves on fries.