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

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

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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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