There are few things more satisfying than hot, crispy, thinly-sliced fried potatoes. I tend to respect folks who cut Idaho russets all day long, par-blanching them first, and then, right before an order comes in, frying them a second time to crisp them up. It doesn't mean serving them soggy and limp, but rather, extra-crispy (the result of an oil bath of about 360-375 degrees). I do still find myself asking for them a little well-done, just to make sure they're properly cooked.
Some places go a few steps further, and rather than fry them up in standard vegetable oil, they use some tasty alternatives, such as beef fat (hello Top Notch) or duck fat (mazel tov, Mr. Sohn). I also realized that I can't just limit my parameters to Chicago proper. This week, we're expanding our boundries, and including the 'burbs as well. I look forward to the heated debate and constructive criticism that will inevitably follow.
1. Parky's (Forest Park)
3. Hot Doug's duck fat fries (Friday and Saturdays only)
4. Edzo's (Evanston)
5. Poochie's (Skokie)
(Photo above: Parky's fries from Forest Park - via Joseph Storch)