There are two things that really suck the most about being a Celiac as far as I’m concerned:
1. Inconvenience. I mean, we can’t go “grab a bite to eat” just anywhere like the rest of the world. So we are often starving and eating Kind bars while our friends eat real food.
2 Deep Fryer Deprivation. This is the worst one for me. I have loved deep-fried, crappy foods that tastes great and are super bad for you my whole life. To the point that I should probably be the size of a small country. (Through the miracle of portion control, I managed not to succumb).
Sadly, most restaurant deep fryers are cross-contaminated from other glutinous foods being fried in them. Think of gluten like sugar in coffee: once it’s dissolved into the oil, there’s no getting it out. Everyone who knows me knows that this is a big sore point with me, and that Five Guys are the only fries I can have because nothing but potatoes go in their fryers.
So imagine my shock when a colleague on a business trip to Edmonton told me that we should go grab a bite at this great fast-food French fry place for dinner. I though he was just messing with me. We’re friends, so that kind of gustatory torture wouldn’t be completely out of line. But he was being sincere! He even suggested that I text a fellow Celiac from his office and ask her for reassurance. When she got back to me with an enthusiastic recommendation, I knew that it was for real. Time to get my fry game on!
Upon arriving at a strip mall at 107 Avenue (there are 2 locations), we entered into the French fry heaven called MyFries in all it’s industrial-minimalist decor glory. But wait! These golden, crispy, tender-on-the-inside delights were….NOT deep fried? They’re….baked? Thoughts of blah-tasting oven-baked fries flooded my sensory memory. No so, assured my grinning dinner date, they taste amazing. Ok. Let’s check it out.
The place was extremely clean, which was inpressive since it was the end of the day. Behind the counter, mountains of perfectly crisp-looking, flawlessly golden-brown fries were being baked by a machine I’ve never seen before to service the waiting orders (the fries are baked fresh per order).
I can only describe the sleeve that the fries come out of from inside the machine as looking like a bingo ball cage. (Not because I play, but because I watched the first season of “Better Call Saul”). The fries smelled amazing but not like French fry oil, which might sound kind of weird as that’s the smell we usually associate with fries.
(Fry cage not shown. They were too quick for me to get a shot, but it goes into the right hand side of the machine). Anyway, I stepped up to the counter to place my order. Do I go plain fries or a meal? I (of course) asked what was gluten-free. Turns out the WHOLE MENU IS. Let that sink in for a moment. Yes. We cannot get glutened here. It’s like Celiac paradise.
Since it was dinner time, I went with the Veggie Fries. I almost went for the classic poutine, especially when they said that had vegetarian gravy! Yay! But since I was on a business trip, I decided that more veggies were probably a better choice. This is what I received:
Sweet baby Jesus. (Do I sound like an old southern woman when I say that? I hope so, because old southern women are genteel and I’m a sarcastic potty-mouth). Are those fries not AHMAZING??????? This was a “regular”. They had small, but I was hungry. And a glutton. So on a generous bed of these fabulous baked fries, I got probably 2+ servings of fresh veggies and some good-quality shred cheese.
I was stuffed. But I definitely didn’t feel greasy or weighed-down. And yes, I did take the opportunity to eat a couple of my fries au natural. They were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and delicious. They do not taste like oven fries at all. They do not taste like Tfal Acti-fry fries at all. They are like a normal French fry without the oiliness. They are low in sodium so you may want to add more salt (I did).
But I can’t wait to return! Apparently they are looking for franchisees. All I can say is please, please someone in Ottawa franchise for this company. I need MyFries in my life, and not just during business trips to Edmonton!