20 Feet Serves a Whole Lot More Than Fish and Chips -- Really Great Fries, for Instance

Categories: Food News

20 feet Ramen Table.jpg
Catherine Downes
Surely you've heard of 20 Feet. The East Dallas seafood joint has been making waves since Marc Cassel and his wife, Susan Fries, announced they'd be opening a casual spot next to Goodfriend last year.

See Also:
- 20 Feet's Midas Touch
- Ramen Slowly Taking Over Dallas and the Rest of Texas

We had to wait a few more months than we expected to see what the pair would do with their sexed up clam shack idea, but now it's clear that wait was well worth it. 20 Feet opened about two months ago and has been consistently turning out some of the best casual seafood meals you can but in Dallas right now.

You may be sad to hear the french fries at 20 feet are frozen and not freshly cut on-site. Don't let that dissuade you from what are actually some pretty compelling spuds. I asked Cassel how he made them and he told me the whole technique was borne out of Joel Robuchon's technique for killer fries.

Robuchon scoffs at quick fry and double fry methods, electing to add the potatoes to a cold pan filled with olive oil. He then slowly bring the temperature up, cooking the fries at a snails pace until they shed most of their water and eventually crisp up. In addition to causing little splatter this method allows a cook to infuse that olive oil with garlic herbs and other seasonings.

Cassel flash fries his spuds like everyone else, but a home cooking session following Robuchon's technique lead him think about adding herbs to the mix as his frozen fried bubbled away. As soon as they emerge, he seasons them with salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and seconds later brings them to your table himself.

They're the most compelling food service spuds I've ever snacked on. Honestly, they're better than many of the hand cut french fries I've encountered in and around Dallas.


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13 comments
wescx
wescx

The fries are almost great - very similar to the fries at The Spotted Pig.  But, the main problem is that when served with fried fish on top everything in the bowl is so hot that it starts to get steamy, and before I was done with my first piece of fish there were some sogginess issues...

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Last two times we went there wasn't anyone dining(7-9) so we went somewhere else.

todd
todd

We ate there a few Saturdays back - place was absolutely hopping and Marc served every table.  He even spent a bit of time asking us how we liked the oysters.  The fries are every bit of awesomeness that Reitz described.  So is the pork belly bahn mi.  Cannot wait to go back and try that ramen.        

UrbanEpicurious
UrbanEpicurious

You write about a new seafood restaurant, saying its about more than fish & chips. You tease people with what appears to be a quite lovely and delicious bowl of ramen, but you don't mention that dish or even say what the heck it was. Instead you gush about the chips? Even Robuchon-esque fries, which I'm sure are quite good, can't be more intriguing than what's in that bowl.

I'm dying to know what's in that bowl?!?

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

I have been to 20 Feet several times since their opening;  I find it a great option.  Their fries are very good, and may be in the upper echelon of best in D.

BYOB (Sav. Blac/Chenin Blac), blue points, french fries, and Cassel chocolate pie !


Damn his choc. pie is amazing.  Now that is THE BEST in D.


Good Eating.  And Cassel is expediter; he brings food to tables all the time...


fartandfalldown
fartandfalldown

I've found the "fry twice" method is far less labor intensive with great results thus cheaper in the long run if costs concern you.  In a restaurant setting this slow poaching seems impractical in volume and ending up like the guy below experienced.  

Lochwoodian
Lochwoodian

I find them unremarkable. And maybe if you're a food critic Chef Cassel brings them to your table. The herb flavor is interesting, but the fries are limp and greasy - so if you're a fan of crispy fries, these are not your fries.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@UrbanEpicurious It would seem I'd forgotten the most important part of this blog post: a link to this week's review. Read 20 Feet's Midas touch to learn all about the rest of Casell's menu.

JohnNeelyBryan
JohnNeelyBryan

@Lochwoodian The first week they were open the fries were ok, since then I agree with Scott, they have been excellent. Marc doesn't bring every order to the table, but he does bring many of them.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

@Nictacular if you have to go to a empty restaurant fof great, prompt service, says a lot.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

@scott.reitz @UrbanEpicurious Link please...i looked but don't see it; does his technique include cornstarch ???????


BTW; no surprise Cassel turns out great "fries"; afterall he is married to Fries (Susan)........

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