Here in beautiful Thurston County we have many options for food. Included in those are quite a few places to get my favorite food, French fries. How important is this yummy cuisine in my life? It was my first word. Really, you can ask my mother. My first word EVER was fry.
My focus is not merely on any fries in the Olympia area, however. I wanted to research local spots. I stretched a bit with one place that has its original location in Tacoma, but that is it! I even stayed away from the beloved Cajun tots at McMenamins due to their multiple locations in the Pacific Northwest. I will be getting some once this article is completed though.
At each location I ordered a large fry and sauce if they did not already provide it.
The “DIY” Fry
My first tasty bite was from Eastside Big Tom’s on 4th Ave in Olympia. As I drove away, I reached into the large bag and quickly learned that they do not salt their fries but instead provide salt packets. This is great if you are one of those folks afraid of the new distracted driving laws and need a reason to wait until you get home to dig in.
Their fries are large and crinkle cut. They are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and after a liberal amount of salting, taste great. Unfortunately, I made a misstep and instead of ordering their coveted “goop” fry sauce, I bought honey mustard. I have had the goop before, and I would highly recommend it. Eastside Big Tom’s fries came in just over $4. Sauce is extra.
The “Special Occasion” Fry
Norma’s Burgers off of Martin Way has been my go-to in the past for special occasions. At over $5 (not including sauce) these were the most expensive fries I tried. Straight-cut, thick with a medium crunch, these goodies were well-seasoned and ready for munching on right out of the bag they came in.
I did purchase their fry sauce for an extra fee. It was very strong, and I would only recommend it for those who like that type of condiment with a kick. While tasty, the fries can easily be enjoyed without the sauce or with a simple ketchup you have at home.
The “Affordable” Fry
Out on Yelm Highway I visited DaddyO’s for the first time. I actually passed it twice before arriving. The location is tucked behind another business, and there was construction to deal with as well. These were the most affordably priced of the list at just under $3, but they were considerably smaller that all the other options.
Thin, crinkle-cut and crispy the entire way through, these fries reminded me of diners I used to go to with my parents as a child. They were very lightly-seasoned. I purchased their fry sauce, and it was powerful with tastes of egg salad and pickle.
The “Out Of The Way For Everyone Except Those In Tumwater But Worth It” Fry
The only reason I know about Red Wagon is due to a co-worker years ago taking me there during our lunch break. Situated next to the airport, this spot is worth the trek. At just cents over $4, you get a large helping of golden brown, thin-cut fries with a thick, battered crust that is soft inside. They are well-seasoned and can be devoured with or without ketchup.
If you are a fry fan, put this spot on your list. You will not be disappointed.
The “New Kid On The Block” Fry
Johnny’s is so new that there are still balloons outside with a large “now open” sign inviting people inside. They opened so recently that my receipt still had the previous business name on it! It is located in Olympia on Pacific next to Puget Sound Energy.
These were very small and thin-cut crinkle fries moderately-seasoned but surprisingly fluffy inside. Although I had great service at every location, it was at Johnny’s that I experienced a full and delightful conversation with the staff. If you would like a similar experience, I would get there soon because I do not think they will have the ability to talk as much once word gets out. Fries there will only set you back a little under $3.
The “Vegan Friendly And Really Tasty” Fry
Downtown in the heart of it all is The Voyeur Café and Lounge. The fries are vegan- friendly due to being fried in a separate fryer than the carnivorous meals they offer. These were the most unique of all, and that is not a bad thing.
Fried with the potato skin left on, they are long, heavily-seasoned, thick cut and have garlic added. The concern I have with such a large fry in such a huge portion is consistency throughout, but the cook was perfect. A bit of ketchup with these was tasty, but for those adventurous few they also provide (free of charge) a delicious, but very hot, habanero sauce. After a few fries in that sauce, I decided to mix it with ketchup and enjoyed every bite. They will cost you $4.25, but remember the sauce is FREE!
The “Where’s The Bottom Of This Basket?” Fry
On Martin Way by the animal shelter the speed limit drops. I used to think that was because of all the potholes they are currently trying to fix. Now I am thinking it was to keep people from missing the fries at Fatso’s Bar and Grill.
Straight-cut, dark, golden, soft inside and slightly bendable, these fries have a moderate amount of seasoning and are very soft inside. They have a noticeable grease taste that adds to their good flavor. They offer a large portion, so bring your appetite or a friend.
I had heard from multiple friends that this was the place to go and not to miss the “fat” sauce. The sauce tasted egg-y with a light pickle afterthought. I did not understand my friends’ love for the sauce until I mixed it 50/50 with ketchup and then, “BOOM,” the perfect sauce pairing. I would return just to pick up the sauce. With sauce I spent $4.61 on a basket.
The average between all locations was $4.15 with the most expensive over $5.00 and the most affordable just under $3.00. We have a great diversity of fries in Olympia and Thurston County, yummy, potato-filled diversity.