Eat This

An Open Letter to the Yuca Fries at ¡C. Señor!

Dear Fries,

I don’t understand how this happened. I’m not a chef. Will you help me? I’m confused about how you, Yucca, as you were once named on a ¡C. Señor! menu, of the kingdom plantae, became a fried thing. I looked you up on Wikipedia, and it says you have tough, “sword-shaped” leaves originally. That's what I thought you were. How in the Wolfgang Puck did you go from sword leaves to The Best Fries? I get potato. It’s wash, cut, salt, fry. But Yucca,: The road you took from arid scrubs, flourishing in the dry desert, to my mouth is baffling to me. It’s mind-blowing because you’re so damn good.

In front of me is a precious, papery sack, marked in fresh ink (so fresh my thumb smudged it) with the logo for the Cuban food stand ¡C. Señor! in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District. Jutting out the top of the sack is a cityscape of deeply golden fries, each one cut into a different shape and size, its rooftop dusted with chili and salt.

I feel like you might have been plucked from the ground, pulverized by something and then fried? That’s got to be it. That’s how you mimic the french fry, but taste so, so much better. But I really don’t get how spiky Yucca ended up tasting like salty, tangy butter-clouds. You're plant.

Wait, hang on? Are you plant? Now, as I understand it, you're actually a gnarly, woody root called "yuca." Or "cassava." You are plant! I mean, really, it’s great work. Did you hear me? I actually just put my face close to you and yelled “Bravo! Bravo!” really loudly so you could hear it. Haha, the guy next to me looked at me with concern. No, it’s fine — “Look away.”

Who knew this little paper sack would be filled with crispy on the outside, creamy-soft on the inside not-potato fries. You’re by far the best not-french-fry fry in Dallas.

Also, there’s the ketchup. Sweet Krampus balls, that house-made, mango-spiked ketchup is good. Like, victory lap good. Dipping the crispy, chili-lime-salt tang into that sweet ketchup is like taking a bite out of a bolt of Caribbean sunlight. Feet should be in the sand when eating you. Paired with a house Cuban sandwich, everything is damn fine. I feel my serotonin levels hitting the roof, actually. That guy who thought I was odd has left. This is my table, and I’m ordering another round of you, Yucca fries.

You’re also $3.50, which is probably expensive, but we can talk about that at another time. Actually, I just ordered. I have to go. Bye.


Nick Rallo