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.

Nargis Cafe on Urbanspoon

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  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    Oh god that looks so good……..with a nice side of Garlic Aolie and Garlic Ketchup………..oh yea….maybe some slaw to cool things down and a TAAAAAAAAAAAALL glass of Pepsi.

  • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

    Makes me in the mood for some Pomme Frites!

    • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

      Hell Yes. If you go grab me a large.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1098619556 Anonymous

        Oh Arthur Arthur Arthur!

  • Anonymous

    HELL YEA!

    you should try the Kompot (homemade fruit punch)  Friggen delicious!

    • Anonymous

      We did. Much lighter than what I’ve had at other places. A lot more citrus flavors  too. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erica-Sherman-Photographer/156144554406226?ref=mf ES

    This was delightful — I generally do not enjoy food columns, but this and all the others you have done are really quite enjoyable. Disclaimer: I was not paid to say that.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Absolutely. Best food writer, ever!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you both

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          I meant it.

  • Barkingspider7

    I know that I would love these.  Garlic and dill are 2 of the things that make life worth living!

  • nolastname

    Excellent. 
    You are a poet and didn’t know it.
    What does rhyme with smooth?  part of mouth called roove?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      So, are you considering making contributions to Ned’s new “Poetry Corner”?

      Here’s a sample.

  • Ray Johnson

    That review was delicious. I love your ode to FF.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks

  • Ray Johnson

    By the way, what streets is it between?

  • BKJester3

    Too bad they got a C grade from Department of Health. Check out the violations on they DOH site…nasty!

    • Anonymous

      Link Plz.

  • Bkie

    I do enjoy your reviews, Ned, although I enjoy them more when you are experimenting a bit with new foods.  I think you played it safe this time with french fries and i am really curious as to why.  Was the last thing you tried that bad?

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      Robert writes the reviews. 

      That said, I was with him when he went here. We ordered a number of items, and we both agreed the fries were the best. Our goal is to highlight what we think is worth highlighting – that day it was the fries (not to say the other stuff was bad, this was just the most enjoyable).

      I had chicken heart kabobs, by the way. Because I do like experimenting with new foods (though I’ve had them elsewhere, cooked differently).

      • Bkie

        Yayayay!  I was scared for a moment that you’ve or Robert or both of you got turned off by some “exotic” find.

    • Anonymous

      Bkie,

      One of the reasons I agreed to do The Bite was to give me an excuse to try new foods.  I do try, but it’s not always possible.

      Ned’s already told you about the Nargis experience. We had 3 different types of kabobs and 2 different types of samsas along with the fries. When we ordered, my intention was to focus on the samsas as it was something I’ve never had before. Unfortunately, they weren’t as good as the fries, so the fries became the focus of the story. 

      Writing The Bite each week can be a frustrating experience. I try to mix up the food every week so that I don’t stay focused on one particular culture or cuisine or even a dish. I don’t write about the food that sucks, so sometimes, I’m trying multiple places each week to produce one story. 

      I’m very open to trying new things. If you, or any of our readers have any recommendations, I’d be grateful to get them.  Weird foods are not the goal here. Good food is.

      Thanks,
      Robert

  • Nyckat

    Try the fries at 1001 nights on Emmons…yumm, and a clean kitchen to boot!