This week, a fries place: Susie's Drive Thru.*
Health is a priority.
This place is nuts. It's a little yellow shack, covered in signs/menus and neon signs that scream "FRIES" and "BEEFS." There are several hundred individual menu items with all kinds of crazy names ("Baboon" milkshake; "Confused Chicken" sandwich). Due to a weekend heavy on the fried-foods consumption, I wasn't really up to a representative meal (if any single meal at a place like this could even be called that), so I took a shot in the dim--this week's LTHforum shout-out goes to Steve Z., a proponent of Manny's with whom I've always felt a certain bond. Z. recommends the Western Burger, which I finally found listed on the menu after about ten minutes. Adam went with a Polish w/ everything; a detailed sign by the register explains what constitutes "everything" respective of what's being ordered.
Fried only in Butcher Boy oil, the fries come in sizes small, large, and "pound," and are available with several permutations of cheese (sauce), chili, and bacon. The pound size is served in a taco salad-style tortilla bowl to contain whatever you choose to have glopped on there. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a fan of fake cheese, and Adam just makes it his modus to eat reasonably, so we each got large orders of plain fries.
We ate in the car and tried to think of adjectival things to say about french fries. With a burger, you've got at least three main aspects to address (bun, patty, toppings), and with fries, it's potatoes and salt; maybe oil, if you want to bore everyone to death. We grimly agreed that we're going to have to use the word "spuds" more often than we'd otherwise like.
Anyway, Susie's fries are good. They're skin-on, were served very hot (as are most of the better fries), and appropriately salted (Susie's uses some kind of additional seasoning that looks like reddish-brown salt, but it's such a trace amount that I couldn't pick up any distinct added flavor). So, while really, really good, I wasn't blown away, because these are essentially the same fries sold by Hot Doug's, Boardwalk Fries, Five Guys, and probably several other establishments I've eaten at over the years, which is not meant to be a dig. Fries, good as they are, just do not a destination make.
This is the Western Burger.
I think they made it wrong. (I overheard the staff conferring on what made up a Western Burger, and there was some disagreement.) Z.'s description mentions Russian dressing, and I just got ketchup in addition to the totally unremarkable patty, American cheese, grilled onions, and Texas toast. The thing took me way back to a pre-bar mitzvah age when I ate American-on-white grilled cheeses, ignorant of pumpernickel or the concept of sharpness. Anyway, it wasn't my thing, but it may suit others' needs perfectly.
Adam's grilled Polish, on the other hand, had me jealous: that's grilled onions, a pickle, a tomato slice, a cucumber, a green pepper...damn.
He rated it highly (although still "no Jim's Original").
Even though Susie's is near absolutely nothing, I'll definitely be back (open 24/7 makes this place a must-know). They're doing their thing very well.
*Not Susie's Drive-In, as TOC listed them.