Eating for a living isn’t much of a chore but there are times when it feels as gruelling as going down the coal mines in the 80s. Even dream jobs have elements that yank your chain on a daily basis.
The list of things that grate with me the most are probably similar for most people: waiting ages for the bill (infuriating), being served lukewarm food (you had one job) or not using plates when they are by far the best serving dish for centuries. Hardly up there with Trump or ISIS as existential threats to humanity, but when repeated on a daily basis they can bring you close to having a Falling Down moment or two.
Of all the restaurant trends, by far the worst has to be the introduction of the “thick cut chip”. I like to think of it as the Bertie Ahern of the of the potato world. Has had some success, remarkably some people still like them and they just refuse to go away no matter how many bad experiences we’ve had at their hands.
Lets start with the facts and no matter how big of a fan you are, these are all facts…
- They nearly always arrive cold in the middle
- They are often soggy
- They are the driest thing known to man
- They seem to absorb vinegar like some sort of magic sponge
- The portion size is always capped at 5
The worst part is when you don’t realise you’ve ordered them. There you are sitting with the guilty excitement at the anticipation of a nice bowl of chips when suddenly you see the five dreaded lumps coming to the table – invariably on a chopping board.
Fuck, it’s one of those places, you think, as your heart sinks. You still taste them expecting them to – maybe just this once – be amazing but alas it’s that usual cold, wet, greasy deflating feeling reminiscent of your worst teenage kiss.
At least some places are now giving you a choice of regular or thick-cut chips, but the really smart places don’t entertain them at all.
The premise of them was probably a good one. Slow cooked in goose fat, perfectly seasoned and arriving to the table piping hot, crispy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy on the inside. The reality is that chefs are lazy and just whip out a bag of pre-peeled spuds, quarter them and throw them into the fryer.
Good chips are hard to make and the lazy chefs of this world would rather take the easy option, which is why we all accept the brown scud missiles masquerading as a garnish for our steaks and burgers.
So I propose an outright ban. Anywhere than serves them should be picketed by groups of Instagramming foodies; any chef that cooks them, sent to Brazil and locked up next to Pat Hickey; anybody praising them, immediately shackled and sent on prison ships to the USA where they’ll be harshly dealt with in the land that has perfected deep frying potatoes and which would never tolerate this nonsense.
Thick cut chips are evil, rotten, putrid and deserved to be stamped out.
It’s time to “Make Our Chips Great Again”.