January 07, 2014 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Friitz: Authentic Belgian Fries Since 1825 (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: 961 1 372 862

Address: Ras Beirut, Bliss Street Beirut, Lebanon

Website: http://www.friitzlebanon.com

Price Range: 8-14 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 6/10

Ambiance / Music: 7/10

Menu Choice: 3/5

Food Taste: 20/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 7/10

Service: 6/10

Value for money: Soon

A few months ago, four students from AUB contacted me for an interview. During the interview I found out that they were also working on an essay related to a new concept in town: "Friitz". What's Friitz, well... this is an international chain of restaurants serving authentic Belgian Fries since 1825.  Wow, I thought. This place was next on my list. I found myself around the area this weekend and decided to stop by for some French fries, I mean Belgium fries.
Yes, Bliss really boasts a large number of restaurants but one that stands out is Friitz with its flashy yellow colors, facing AUB's main gate. I first thought that I was entering Classic Burger Joint - the exact same design, the exact same colors and the exact same bar with a view on the street.
The menu:
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Waffles
  • Drinks
  • Potato world
  • Baked potatoes
  • Friitz poutine
  • Appetizers
Since their specialty is fries, my friends and I decided to order one of each on their menu. I also added the poutine so I can compare it to the ones I had at Lord of the Wings and Marky's, a sandwich and to end the tasting session, we ordered their waffles. The French fries come in carton cones, which can easily be enjoyed while walking the streets; the sandwich is nicely wrapped with a branded paper, as for the poutine, it is served in a plastic box and the waffles in a nice carton one.
The French fries at Friitz:
  • Bulgarian: These fries are reddish in color since they are seasoned with paprika, coriander and lemon zest. A local favorite, these fries have an interesting and rich flavor which tickles your tongue
  • Zesty: Covered with coriander, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest, these fries are gold in color. A bit too dry with a prominent garlic flavor, these were my least favorite
  • Traditional: I'll let you in on a secret. These were my favorite. As simple as they are, the rich thick fries perfect cooked and non oily
  • Cheddar Cheese: These are way too heavy. The layer of cheddar makes it hard for each to be grabbed with your hand and is somehow messy. I would suggest you order the cheese on the side and use as a dip at your convenience
  • Cajun: I enjoyed the salt and pepper seasoning. But these fires are better served with some dip. I think a Thousand Island is the best choice here
The sauces are not all good. I liked the cheddar and thousand islands... but the spicy ketchup felt like some bland red sauce you eat with crisps, while the honey mustard has a very prominent strong taste of mayonnaise which takes over the taste of honey.
Moving onto something else, we went for a poutine and a steak sandwich.
  • Poutine: This is a huge big no. Wikipedia can help you understand what a poutine is. I would suggest that you remove it off the menu. Salty, thick, heavy and the gravy covering the cheddar cheese that's not melted, is not tasty at all. Besides, Cheddar cheese for poutine?
  • Steak Sandwich: Wrapped in a branded paper and toasted to perfection, we received a perfectly round sandwich that looks mouthwatering. A great first impression. The baguette is awesome, emptied from its bread filling and generously filled with premium ingredients except for its main ingredient, which is the meat; It's too chewy and dry which only means that it's of low quality...
So the fries are good, the sandwiches are acceptable and the poutine should better be removed from the menu. How would dessert be? I can happily say that it was simply delicious.
  • Magritte Waffle: A superb quality of fresh crunchy waffle covered with premium ingredients was enjoyed with a smile. A big piece covered with bananas, chocolate, cream and nuts for $5 only; this is a meal on its own.

So the experience as Friitz was good but the place lacks some fine-tuning. Although they are tasty and not oily, their fries are not exceptionally unique, since many local brands offer crunchier and tastier fries. I was expecting to be amazed since their main specialty is 'fries'. PS:

  • Check the official Friitz website, where you'll discover a colorful logo and menu. So why copy Classic Burger Joint?
  • The original fries portions look bigger. Bizarre no? Comparing Europe to Lebanon where life is more expensive

All this is fine, but what is so special about this place? Five different seasoning? Or some ready-made sauces? I think that, for this place to sustain itself for a long time, I would suggest that they offer more variety in their fries section. How I see it: For a place that mainly serves fries I would expect: Perfectly cooked fries, a golden color, the possibility of ordering the fries peeled or unpeeled with a choice of ordering them thin of thick - a bigger variety, to sum it up. As for the sandwiches, they are almost close to being good with a few touches here and there. They say that they have a tasty burger; I would love to hear your experience on that.





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