National French Fry Day: Deep-fried deals and finding your new favorite fries around Orlando

Wednesday is ‘fry day,’ so eat it up

Parmesan truffle fries at Eden Bar, pictured here as a side. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s National French Fry Day on Wednesday and that means it’s time to decide which Central Floridian-accessible fries are your favorites.

There usually are some relevant deals to take advantage of on any given national “day,” but these little observances are always handy as conversation starters, and once you inform someone that it’s National French Fry Day, what else is there to really talk about besides the best fries in town? French people? Or, perhaps the Belgians who actually invented French fries?

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First of all, let me apologize up front that National French Fry Day is not actually on a Friday this year. The last time that seems to have happened was in 2018. If any of you feel like starting a petition to observe the day Easter-style and hold it every second or third Friday in July from now on, be my guest, I would sign that. Otherwise, I’ll see you in 2029 for the next Friday fry-day.

Oh, what’s that? Checkers and Rally’s have already called for National French Fry Day to take place every second Friday of July? How about that.

Getting back on track, this is not a guide of where to find fries in Orlando. It cannot be. I would have to compile a list of virtually every single restaurant.

Instead, I’ve collected a few deals for you to munch on, as well as a few recommendations of my own:

  • McDonald’s - App users can get a free medium-sized order of fries on Wednesday, simple as that.
  • Burger King - Using the restaurant’s app, you can get free medium fries on Wednesday with a minimum purchase of $1.
  • Checkers/Rally’s - With the chains’ passion for National French Fry Day already made clear, it should be no surprise that they’re offering any size of their unique fries for $1 on Wednesday.
  • White Castle - Should Hollywood choose to reboot Harold and Kumar, again, specifically on Wednesday, the duo could receive a small-sized order of fries with any purchase. They would have to remember to bring a coupon with them though, which will be made available on the chain’s social media accounts and/or website.
  • Smashburger - Some days you just want a cheeseburger, and this restaurant is a pretty good option for that. On Wednesday, customers can get a regular-sized order of Smashburger’s seasoned “Smashfries” for $1.
  • Del Taco - We have a few locations around here, and if you use the chain’s app, you can buy a small or medium order of crinkle-cut fries for $1 on Wednesday.
  • Wendy’s - I wouldn’t say that this chain is necessarily well-known for its French fries, but some people do seem to enjoy dipping them in a Frosty first. On Wednesday, app users can get a free large-sized order of fries with any purchase.

When it comes to giving recommendations, I’m fairly up-front and I don’t do much explaining. Can’t a guy just tell you where to find delicious fried potatoes without being quizzed on it?

Steak ‘n Shake - If you know, you know. And if you don’t, there are still plenty of locations in Central Florida to find out.

Steak ‘n Shake’s hours are very kind to the night owl. The cheap, thin fries arrive on a hot little plate and are either immediately shoved into one’s mouth or left to cool as a terrific late-night conversation gets thrown around across the table. That’s not even to mention the seasoning, always sat there next to its fellow spices and condiments. I could go on trying to make you understand my affinity for these things, but just know that if you see locals saddened over the closing of their nearest Steak ‘n Shake location, it’s likely because that’s where they’ve had many memorable midnight snacks of their own.

Marlow’s Tavern - I worked at the now-defunct Winter Park location for some time, but I assure you there is no bias in my following statement: Marlow’s Tavern makes the best French fries.

That’s right. These things are perfect. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and tossed in a wonderful, sweetish seasoning. It goes understated there. The fries are made in modest batches, kept warm under a flame in a metal bowl and scooped onto plates as necessary, but the humility of it all is what impresses me. They aren’t shipped frozen, the restaurant receives the Idaho potatoes whole in order to clean, cut and fry them in-house. I recall there was a lot of side work like that involved at Marlow’s, much wrapping of silverware and toasting of crème brûlées, and though the restaurant on Mills has now been empty for some time, you can still get a taste of that thoughtfulness out on International Drive.

Eden Bar - Did you click on this story looking for the fries pictured up top? Well, you’ve found them.

Those are the parmesan truffle fries sold at Eden Bar, a restaurant attached to Maitland’s revered Enzian Theater on Orlando Avenue. You get a touch of class with these things. They’re offered both on their own and as a side item for a cheap “upgrade,” as can be seen next to my “upgraded” cheeseburger there. I’ll also mention but not focus on the great fact that you can order food and drinks from Eden Bar while you watch a movie at Enzian, so it really is the place to be if you need a break from streaming, or from conventional theaters. Good luck making them last more than a few minutes though, because in spite of the efforts made by the rich truffle oil and excellent shaved parmesan to slow you down, it’s almost impossible to let these fries sit long enough to get cold.

Stardust Video and Coffee - Did I just bring up a coffee shop in my story about French fries? Yeah, I did, but we’re taking a last-mile detour to Stardust in order to briefly discuss tater tots.

There are quite a few items on Stardust’s menu, but I’ve only ever seemed to order the tots. The kitchen normally has one, maybe two people in it at any given time, so it can take as long as 20-30 minutes to get the tots cooked. The point is, you normally don’t go to Stardust just to eat. You’re there to meet with friends, to get work done, to read or write, to see an event and so on, and when a mound of tater tots finally shows up, it’s like a surprise. The wait is no problem because, as I’ve implied, you really aren’t waiting at all, you’re busy enjoying yourself and doing other things. With its photo booth, weekend market, books for sale and liquor bar back in action, Stardust is a favorite hangout spot for many Orlando folk.


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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.