Forget the fast food joint with the big yellow arches, the capital is now being taken over by some top drawer fries with a much more European flavour.
Poor Belgium. It really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. For a country that invented fries and has the best beer and chocolate in the world, there’s a distinct lack of praise aimed their way. Added to that the food they’re most proud of constantly gets called “French”. Some say the name was coined by American GI’s returning home after WWII, the truth though is somewhat less exciting with the name coming about because in days gone by “to French” something meant to cut it length ways.
Whatever the history of the name it seems in Warsaw ‘Belgian’ fries have at last achieved some overdue fame. It all started with the opening of the depressing Chez Fred on Jana Pawła II (now Chez Dead after closing at press time). Since then the last 12 months has seen a major boom of Belgian frite eateries across the capital, with Fabryka Frytek and Okienko the best of the current bunch. Okienko has some great tasting fries and an eclectic range of sauces (tzatziki, sambal, samurai) but during the current winter season, the fact that it is a hole-in-the-wall joint is a major disadvantage unless you’re ok with shivering your timbers whilst standing on a step.
On the other hand Fabryka Frytek, the city’s most authentic Belgian venue, has room inside to sit plus
the biggest portion of fries in the city: order the hardy 600g option, and match it with any one of approximately twenty sauces. And there’s several fries to try, including curly fries, wedges, ‘PRL-style’ and happy face shapes for the bairns. According to the owner the idea came from a chip shop in Brussels she used to frequent called Maison Antoine. “After I came back home that was the thing I missed the most and it became the inspiration to open my own place.” Judging by the queues, her version of the legendary Antoine’s shouldn’t be dismissed as small fry.
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ul. Hoża 42
ul. Polna 22