Flights of Fancy

(page 6 of 9)

Trio of Fries

Often relegated to sidekick status on plates where burgers and sandwiches hog the spotlight, the humble fry takes center stage at Cafeteria 15L, which features a showstopping platter of three mini metal buckets lined with newsprint and overflowing with garlic fries, barbecue fries and sweet potato fries.

Executive chef Christian Palmos remembers leaving no potato unturned in his search for the perfect frites, tasting more than a dozen different fry variations when conceiving the dish for the downtown eatery’s opening menu in 2010.

His research paid off. The sweet potato fries are pillowy on the inside and retain a crackly crunch on the outside, while the shoestrings are hot, crisp and flavorful. Each version is ideal for dunking into a threesome of dipping sauces: creamy buttermilk ranch, spicy sriracha-and-sambal aioli and, yes, ketchup. “You gotta serve ketchup with French fries or someone would kill you,” says Palmos. (Pro tip: Ask for the house-made version infused with rosemary.) With so many potential spud-sauce combos to play with, we bet you can’t eat just one strip. “These fries are addicting,” the chef adds. $10.75. 1116 15th St. 916-492-1960. cafeteria15l.com —Jessica Rine