Vitamin fries.

Taters from Idaho are supposed to be the real deal, right? And if I had to choose between rice and potatoes, it’d be a close, tight race. I’m like a tater lover in Bubba Gump style–I like them fried, sauteed, baked, au gratin, boiled, curly, hashed, you name it.

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So when I heard that the Boise Fry Company recently moved to Portland, I was ready to take the plunge into tater splendor. But after my experience, I’ve come away changed. Not all taters are blessed.

Boise Fry does have a unique, hipster concept of making the fries shine as the main dish and burgers are served on the side. Their menu boasts probably seven different kinds of potatoes and various styles of serving. Not to mention that there’s about eight different kinds of ketchup and sauces (with vegan kinds, too).The horde of options may seem rather overwhelming, but I easily remedied that by asking the staff member what I should get.

I toyed between sweet and savory, but decided to go with sweet and the employee insisted that I try the Okinawa sweet potato.  The homestyle fries had a light, delicately sweet taste, and they had a brilliant purple hue. But besides that, the fries disappointed me in all honesty. It was like trying to swallow the tater version of Gummy Vites–the teddy bear vitamins for kids that people buy in bulk at Costco. Sweet, harder to chew, and disappointing in comparison to the indulgent version.

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Okinawa potatoes are apparently laced with a ton of antioxidants and are extremely nutritious, which I don’t doubt because these were probably the healthiest, scrawniest fries I’ve ever eaten. But if you’re a health nut dragged along to BFC for whatever reason, I think these potatoes are an alluring choice.

At the same time, dipping the fries in ketchups eased the experience. I tried the chipotle fry sauce, spicy ketchup, marionberry ketchup, and garlic aioli. Out of the four, the chipotle fry sauce was the most delightful, possessing a generous spice kick that blended well with the Okinawa potatoes’ sweetness. Curiosity propelled me to try the marionberry ketchup, which looked rather ghostly with a pale purple color. The taste was more sugary than berry-laden, so in the end the chipotle sauce won me over.

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I also ordered the habanero burger on the side, which included a thick layer of blueberry salsa. Unfortunately, that didn’t pair as well with the meat as I’d hoped. It’s an innovative idea, but it didn’t entice me much because it transformed the bun into a soggy wad and the meat was lost in the sauce. There was definitely a fiery flavor, though.

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Still, I hold out hope that BFC can redeem itself in my eyes. I snagged a couple of my friend’s fries, who got the regular cut Yukon gold taters, and those crackled with a delicious crisp. I realized that I’d simply missed out on the better options that suited my palate and taste more. BFC has these bourgeoisie fries that are fried in duck fat and topped with truffle sauce–now THAT sounds like a greasy but elegant dish.

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