The battle of the fries

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Pineapple Benitez & Macaroni Goblin, Editor-in-Teeth & Always a Gouda Time

The French Fry is completely satire. Any resemblance to any real person is completely coincidental. The statements in the French Fry do not reflect the views of the Northern Iowan, nor do they reflect the views of the advertisements outside of this insert. 

It is tradition that the Northern Iowan does an April Fool’s issue, which is famously known as the “French Fry.” This year, our editorial team is switching things up, and we asked the public online to nominate places with the best fries. With over 20 responses, you made your voices heard and we sought out to try every fry we could. On Wednesday, March 29, we held our first annual French Fry Competition to finally settle the debate and give you our take on the best fries in town.

Here are this year’s contestants: 

  • Pepperjax Grill
  • Culver’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Raising Cane’s
  • Pump Haus
  • Chick-Fil-A

We had Oh My Grill on our list, but they were unfortunately not open at the time of the judging. Our editors went one by one eating each establishment’s fries without a beverage. We would also like to note in the time of the judging that some of the fries were colder than others due to transportation and gathering all the fries in one setting. Our team took this into consideration. 

The staff had a fun time judging each fry. There was no specific criteria for scoring — the scores were determined solely by the editor’s own judgment. 

It was like judging the least damaged piece of cardboard, but being surprised to find a flavorful fry in tip-top shape,” said Spanish Editor Karina Ortiz.

Yes, there were good fries, but unsurprisingly, there were some that were not up to the editor’s tastes.

“Some of the fries were bad — but some of them were downright awful. Atrocious, even,” said Copy Editor Sophie Hoffmeier.

After a back-and-forth war, some editors agreed that certain fries were decent, while others looked obviously soggy. A common observation among several of the fries we tried was that they lacked seasoning and flavor — but we’ll get to that in the individual reviews. Our ratings were based on a 5-star system.

The Northern Iowan’s first French Fry Competition came to a unanimous decision — Pump Haus took the crown for the best fries in town with a 4.5-star rating. In second place, McDonalds came with a 3-star rating. In third place, there was a tie between Pepperjax and Chick-fil-a with a 2.5-star rating. In fourth place was Cane’s with a 1.5-star rating, and in dead last was Culver’s with a 1-star rating. 

“It was decent,” said Diamond Roundtree, Campus Life Editor. The event closed off with the editors gathering around and eating the rest of the (now very cold) fries.

Let us know what you think! Do you agree with our rating?