Belgian FriesPosted: 11/09/2012
I hadn’t planned on visiting Belgian Fries with my mom. It just sort of happened. It was my birthday, and we’d just finished shopping–first at the Vancouver Flea Market, and then at the Commercial Drive location of Barefoot Contessa. We were both hungry and I didn’t really know of anywhere else we could go. Plus, I’d heard good things about Belgian Fries and their artery-clogging food and hadn’t blogged about it yet, so why not?
Despite Belgian Fries’s reputation for their deliciously unhealthy poutines, my mom and I were not tempted. (I was having an uncharacteristically health-conscious summer). My mom also isn’t particularly into deep-fried or greasy foods (except onion rings), so she opted for the House Salad. This was a pretty typical offering, with the tomatoes, corn, cucumber slices, and lettuce all being satisfyingly fresh. It was prepared with a vinegar-based dressing which was a bit too sour for my liking. However, it was a typical salad, and neither memorably bad nor good. I suppose it was a good salad for a place known for deep-fried foods as their specialty.
Speaking of deep fried foods…true to character, my mom also ordered the Onion Rings. These came out nice, hot, and crispy, although my mom personally found them a little too salty. The batter was also not too thick, and they actually exhibited some onion flavour. The batter was pretty one-dimensional, however–I’m used to the A&W onion rings, which are all flaky and delicious. (Although I know they’re just full of calories and fat, but isn’t that the point of onion rings?) The portion size was fine for the price we paid, but I wish they weren’t served in this paper cone. As I watched the oil seep through the paper, it made the onion rings themselves less appetizing for me. Ah, whatever. This is a pretty casual place so I guess I shouldn’t be too picky.
As for me, I ordered the Chicken Burger, accompanied by their house fries and a choice of dip (I chose honey mustard). The burger, like the onion rings and salad, was ordinary. The highlight was that the chicken breast was not too dry, and actually was on the juicy side. However, the burger itself was quite bland, even though the lettuce and tomato seemed quite fresh. After a while, I just got too sick of it and stopped trying to finish it. Now, the fries. I’d read lots of great reviews of Belgian Fries, focusing mainly on their poutines, so I was expecting a lot from these fries. I was very disappointed. The fries I got tasted very old and hard, and exhibited very little potato flavour. Personally, I like two types of fries: either the skinny, very crispy kind, or the fat ones that are full of potato flavour. These fries were too large for my liking, too old, and too hard–I really had to make an effort to chew. I suppose that if these same fries are used in a poutine, the gravy and such would help soften them up, but here they were really not to my liking. I tried having them with the honey mustard dip, with the hope that that would alleviate the situation, but the dip itself was neither too sweet nor tangy enough for me. Maybe that’s because I’m so used to the McDonald’s honey mustard dip, but it was just devoid of flavour. I was not a happy camper with this meal and would not order it again.
To summarize, neither of us was incredibly impressed by our experience at Belgian Fries, but then again, what were we expecting from a burger, salad, and onion rings? I was disappointed by the fries though–I couldn’t understand how anybody found those fries appetizing. On the whole, it was acceptable food, but not amazing.
1885 Commercial Drive