I am kinda tired of the word “fresh.” Also, if you’re counting, “new,” “but wait..”, “natural”, and “you may have won.”
Boardwalk originated on the Atlantic City boardwalk (New Jersey), selling “fresh, hot fries”. Period. They launched a couple other locations, and recently, went into the franchised burger and fry biz. Excited yet? Me, too! Because lord knows there ain’t enough burger franchises.
I recently hit their Tigard, Oregon, location, in a strip mall a mile and a half from the nearest interstate. No street signage, other than an occasional blip on the mall’s electronic sign, so it’s in one of those locations where you would have to be seeking it out, or find by accident.
(Spoiler alert, I have an attitude today).
I went to try their signature fries. They come in three sizes, which are all ample portions, I conservatively chose the medium at $3.19, and it was too large for me to finish. “Sides” are available, a “cup” (and we use that word loosely) of chili, cheese, or brown gravy at .75 a pop. I went with the gravy.
The fries are “fresh” cut, and fried to a light crisp, with a modicum of salt. On the condiment stand, in addition to ketchup, Boardwalk offers apple cider vinegar, Old Bay Seasoning, and Cajun seasoning, all at no extra charge.
The fries were pretty good. Better than 90% of most fast food fries. They went well with ketchup, for me, the apple cider vinegar was too much, might be an East coast specialty, not sure, I’m more used to malt vinegar with fries. It was nice to have access to Old Bay, which I personally like; you’ll find it common to seafood places up and down the eastern seaboard. Most homes in the Northeast have a can at the ready. A peculiarity of Old Bay is it tends to cake in the can, so serving sizes can end up being a surprise. I am guessing it doesn’t contain as much (????) as my usual savory seasoning, Tony Chachere’s. No matter. It worked with the fries, and the fries with ketchup, not so much with the gravy or vinegar.
The brown gravy is………well, here’s one of those phrases I hate…. It is what it is. Doesn’t taste as “floury” as most commercial preparations, but does have that under taste of “beef flavoring,” as one would experience in a soup base or bullion.
It’d be good in larger quantities with the requisite squeaky cheese curds to grow up to become a full-fledged poutaine. That I’d like.