Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
This week we take on the spiced French Fries from Nargis Cafe, at 2818 Coney Island Avenue. These crisp potatoes are topped with garlic, salt and dill – as well as a little somethin’-somethin’.
But before we get to that, a little poetry is in order… Ode to a French Fry…..
Potatoes, Grease and Salt,
I love them, I do, it’s not my fault.
Put them together and see,
Oh how happy I can be.
Fresh cut, blanched and fried,
I’m in heaven, have I just died?
Grease hot and clean,
take a bite, see what I mean.
Salt and spices take pride
propel these fries on a wild ride.
Biting, puckery, savory, zesty, piquant,
Hot, spicy, sexy, and smooth,
Let’s leave it at that.
Over the years, I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to the French Fry. I’ve had them everywhere; in haute places and in dives. I’ve eaten them on fine China and from paper cups. I’ve had them crisp and I’ve suffered through them when they are limp. They’ve been curled, waffled, sticked and disked but rarely have I experienced a French Fry that makes me stop and take notice. The “Spiced Fries with Garlic and Herbs” at Nargis Cafe made me do just that.
For $3.50 you are served a rather large portion of beautiful golden fried potato sticks topped with minced garlic, Kosher salt and chopped dill. Sounds like pretty standard seasonings for an Uzbeki restaurant right? But no, there’s a little surprise in these here fries, something amazingly hot and spicy. Every once in awhile, after your taste buds are lulled into complacency by the garlic and caressed by the dill – BAM! – they are hit with a shot of real heat. After about ten minutes of trying to isolate the explosive little devices, I decided it was best to just lay back and enjoy.
While these fries taste amazingly good, they are not without flaws. I hate to say this, but we’re all adults here. These fries are much too small. The industry term for these little fellas is “trims.” While still tasty trims, will never satisfy like their full sized brothers. Gentlemen, size does matter.
Nargis Cafe, 2818 Coney Island Avenue, (718) 872-7888.