“You know, you’re the first guy I’ve seen eat cheese fries in a suit. And with a knife and fork to boot. I told you not to order just cheese fries”
Taking a break from chewing, I realized my friend Seth had a point. For a second I even considered that I might look ridiculous. Then I remembered he was the one saying “to boot,” and I was the one savoring one of the finest cheeses of Europe or something.
“Dude, these aren’t cheese fries. It’s fondue. If you knew anything about anything you’d know it’s all the rage in Europe and only the next big food trend here.”
“You sure there, Marty McFly? I coulda sworn my grandparents saw that stuff go out of style.”
I looked down at the natural cut, skin-on fries; their still-crispy skins peeking out from the thick white goo of the Swiss Gruyere cheese like rocky outcroppings dotting the Alps. Ok, I told myself, he has a point. But so what if fondue is a bit retro. Besides, I don’t remember bacon in any of those corny old photo albums. And these fries weren’t just covered in bacon, they were covered in practically a whole hog’s belly.
“Cheesy goodness never goes out of style, Seth. Especially not when bacon is introduced.”
“Yeah, but on fries? I like cheese and bacon as much as the next guy, but I’d prefer to eat this bacon cheeseburger. I like my fries crispy, not soggy and covered in even more fat.”
A fair point, to be sure, and one I had originally had reservations about. But the fries remained remarkably crisp despite the fresh covering of Gruyere cheese lava. They even managed to retain that hearty and earthy potato flavor with the addition of the assertive but nutty richness of fast food’s take on the classic Swiss cheese.
“It’s all strategic positioning,” I explained. “The cheese covers most of the fries without saturating each fry completely. Yeah, parts of the fries are a bit soggy, but more often than not you’re still getting bites of untouched potato skin. It’s really the best of both worlds.”
Now he was the one doing a double take at his meal, his Junior Bacon Cheeseburger appearing increasingly dull.
“But the bacon…no way it’s actually good.”
I could tell he was scrambling. And still wrong.
“Why wouldn’t it be? It’s the same bacon the burgers use. Crispy, meaty, and with enough chewy and smoky fat to keep things interesting. I did get one burnt tasting piece, but overall it’s damn good.
“But man, let me tell you, this cheese sauce is where it’s at.” I was getting close to rubbing it in now, but Seth had been the one mocking me for “just” getting cheese fries. The way I saw it, he had earned it. “It’s rich like butter, smoky like meat, and as gooey as the gooiest grilled cheese sandwich your mom ever made for you. And since you can eat it with a fork and knife, you actually savor it all.
Now that was a bit excessive. I looked down in partial shame (but really mostly just to get another bite) and then looked up again to apologize to Seth. He had left, but returning a moment later with an order of Bacon Fondue Fries in one hand, and a knife and fork in the other.
“Yeah,” he said. “Turns out you were right.”
(Nutrition Facts – 460 calories, 230 calories from fat, 25 grams of fat, 8 grams of sat fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 590 milligrams of sodium, 1050 milligrams of potassium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein, 10% DV calcium..)
Item: Wendy’s Bacon Fondue Fries
Purchased Price: $3.29
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Excellent contrast of crispy fries and warm, gooey cheese sauce. Bacon is plentiful and meaty with excellent smoke flavor. Complex Gruyere cheese sauce is like Queso with a Ph.D. in International banking (or something). Two and a half bananas worth of potassium. Being right.
Cons: Bordering on heavy. Pricey for a side item. Eating French Fries like an aristocrat.