Considering that I picked Hollywood Gardens as the place I would choose for my Last Meal in Beaver County, it’s probably not going to surprise anyone that I am a big fan of their French fries.
So I wasn’t the least bit disappointed when I realized I would have to make a stop there for a little “research” on the #9 Best French Fries in Beaver County.
It just so happens that my one night off during the week is also their “Thigh Night” special where they serve deep fried chicken thighs covered in wing sauces for 99 cents each.
Pair a few thighs with a basket fries and you’re going to be in a good place. Add in one of their world class burgers and you’ve got a meal fit for a king. (Corey is currently working on an article about burgers, and I’ve politely suggested that Hollywood is the best around.)
As much as I love the burgers and thighs, our task today is to focus on the fries.
French Fries at Hollywood Gardens
What is a french fry anyway? To most of us in the county, it’s basically a condiment, as we top off our salads or sandwiches with them. But every once in a while, the unexpected happens and we find a fry that we would just want to eat as a meal all by itself.
That is exactly what happened when I ate a Hollywood Gardens French fry for the first time. Crisp to perfection and superbly seasoned. Also the diverse choice of dipping sauces helps the “hollywood” fries from being a box office dud.” – David James
Located right behind Young’s Jewelry in Rochester, Hollywood Gardens serves a standard size, fresh-cut French fry that offers a very unique texture. Somehow, these guys have mastered the art of cooking a full size French fry to have the same crispyness that you would expect from a shoestring fry.
Hollywood has always had good fries, but according to owner Frank Elia, they have really stepped up their game in the last few years as a result of a secret ingredient that their culinary mastermind Steve mixes in with the fries as they soak in water waiting to be cooked.
Whatever it is that Frank and Steve are doing to those potatoes, I hope they keep doing it, because the result is absolutely fantastic.
The Power of Sauce
In my opinion, the thing that truly makes the fries at Hollywood Gardens spectacular is the selection of wing sauces available for dipping. I’m not a ketchup guy, so I have to get creative with my fry dipping…and Hollywood presents plenty of opportunities.
My go-to is their fantastic Rochester Hot Sauce. I’d rate this one as just a touch hotter than Frank’s Red Hot, but with a ton of awesome flavors that really taste great on both the fries and the Frank E Burger.
Another spectacular option is their Insane BBQ. (That’s not an exageration…spectacular is seriously an appropriate word here.) Take a really solid BBQ sauce and add a ton of heat and you’ve got this delicious combination of sweet yumminess and pure fire.
If you are really into the hot stuff, dabbling in their Nihilist and Abidance sauces are where you want to be. I love the Nihilist sauce, but have learned over the years that it’s just a bit too spicy to me to enjoy it in large quantities. I can’t say that I’ve ever had the guts to try the Abidance, but based on everything else at Hollywood, I’m sure it’s spectacular.
The Back Story
As I sat and talked to Frank about all things Hollywood Gardens, he began to give me some of the back story, which I found to be extremely interesting.
His dad started it as a “shot and a beer bar” all the way back in 1958. But after inheriting the bar in the early 2000s, Frank new that they were going to need to make some pretty big changes in order to stay relevant.
Since he has taken over, Frank has completely changed the business into his own vision, which includes a great selection of craft beer, a mind-blowingly good menu, and soon….very soon….they will be evolving into a brewpub with a full line of their own beer.
If you haven’t been to Hollywood Gardens for dinner in the past few years, you definitely want to check out the amazing transformation that is happening there right before our eyes. Be sure to tell them YBC sent you!
The Best French Fries in Beaver County
So let’s review our list to this point:
- Hollywood Gardens
- Bert’s Wooden Indian
Stay tuned for next week when I will announce the #8 Best French Fries in Beaver County.