Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The Frying Dutchmen is a Pommes Frites wannabe. Pommes Frites is a well greased (pun intended) machine dominating the french fry market. I give The Frying Dutchmen credit for capitalizing on the success of Pommes Frites and blatantly stealing such a successful enterprise idea and taking it mobile, but it needs some serious revamping.
I often struggled with the concept of eating only french fries for lunch. I spent many minutes that should have been used stomping around my office and power walking to and from the water cooler to amplify just how much busier I am than my colleagues, instead debating if I really could eat just a plate of fries and call it lunch. This is probably extremely surprising as my eating habits are unparalleled and display how concerned I am about health and wellness, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.
Naturally, I began to casually date the truck. I’d find excuses to walk past it and steal a secret glance at my crush. What was really going on with this mystifying creature? After courting the truck for awhile I finally saw “chicken tenders” scrawled in untidy handwriting on the menu, at which point I decided chicken fingers and fries was a socially acceptable lunch.
This brings me to my next point, which is that The Frying Dutchmen is a disgrace to social media. On their website and Facebook page it says “Our Current Location - we will be back on the street soon!” The website has said this since about April. So if you didn’t stalk them for a hobby like I did, you might think they have been under repair for months. The menu on the website also said nothing about chicken fingers. So I could have initiated my relationship with the truck and eaten there about three months earlier than I actually did, but instead I was forced to agonize over the inner turmoil of whether it was appropriate to eat a lunch consisting entirely of french fries.
While the menu on the website looks like it offers a treasure chest of sauces, the truck only had four when I went, one of which was already sold out. Weaksauce. I was sure to check in on foursquare to unlock the “Newbie Special” which allegedly grants customers one free dipping sauce. Allegedly being the operative word. I only got one dipping sauce which came with my combo, even though I made a point of proudly displaying my phone to the bro taking orders and announcing “I get a free sauce because of foursquare right, so that’s two total!” Now that I have already checked in once, I am no longer a newbie, so I am disqualified and can’t unlock this special on foursquare ever again. I’d been duped.
To unleash my dismay, I tweeted my disappointment at them, but got no response. This is foolish because I’m sure it’s no trouble to either 1. apologize 2. offer me a free sauce 3. offer me a free meal (the chance that a normal customer, and not a weirdo like me, would actually find the truck again and remember to get their free meal is probably slim). Instead I just got no response, which made me bitter and resentful as evidenced in this forum. Gorilla Cheese answered my tweet within an hour when they accidentally gave me the wrong sandwich. Just sayin’.
The bros (and I don’t use the term lightly but this really was a truck full of bros in BU t-shirts playing with deep fryers) on the truck didn’t have a system down. The charismatic front man tried to pep up his crew and fake out the crowd by urging his french fry creators onwards and upwards, but it was literally transparent as you could see the crew mosey around the back of the truck unperturbed. I think it’s safe to say the moseying crew was where the ball was dropped and the failure to pack my second sauce occurred, as ringleader bro did in fact write the names of two sauces on my bag.
As for the food itself, this was your average chicken fingers and fries meal. Certainly tasty, but I’d only go back if I happened to walk past and there was no line. The fries were a little dry and nothing special. I’ve had better at plenty of other restaurants. The Sweet and Spicy mayonnaise sauce was decent, but there certainly was not enough of it to properly coat each french fry and chicken finger, leaving my needs unsatiated. Therefore, I found myself resorting to ketchup, although this was also because they forgot my extra sauce I was promised via foursquare. Did I mention I’m bitter?
The Frying Dutchmen recently added burgers and chicken sandwiches to their menu. Good for you guys, but that really defeats the purpose of their tagline: “FRYING DUTCHMEN: the best fries you can find, with some INSANE and DELICIOUS dipping sauces!” You mean those dipping sauces you only have three of and casually forget to give your customers? Perhaps it should read “Frying Dutchmen: moderate fries with enough semi-interesting dipping sauce for half your plate of fries at which point you’ll have to move on to ketchup.”
The Frying Dutchmen is on the outside looking in. When I go to Pommes Frites, the friendly employees give me a napkin of fries and let me try each and every sauce like a hobo trying to manipulate them into a meal. These fries are of a high enough quality that they can stand alone and don’t even need sauces. Pommes Frites is the jock quarterback sitting at the coolest lunch table dating the cheerleader. The Frying Dutchmen is that chubby waterboy who didn’t make the team, but desperately wants to sit at the cool table. The quarterback is a good guy, so the football team lets the waterboy sit at the cool table because they don’t have the heart to say no. A nice effort, but The Frying Dutchmen will always be second string.