Here at Granular, we’ve read countless articles and have had many heated discussions about who has the best French fries in Milwaukee. Being data-driven individuals, we always took issue with the methodologies we read about from other sources. So naturally, we had to take matters into our own hands and bring you the definitive list of who actually has the best fries in Milwaukee.
(disclaimer: this research was done before Osgood’s went out of business, so they’re included in this analysis as well. Don’t worry, they didn’t come close to winning)
Everyone on the team had a chance to contribute to a list of restaurants in the area. We collectively wrote up a list of 22 restaurants to enter in the contest. Any type of restaurant was included, from fast food to local cafes to local burger joints, etc. The only requirement was that the place sells fries.
We then set out one day over lunch to bring back an order of fries from each place. Everyone visited 2-3 restaurants within proximity to each other in an attempt to preserve warmth and freshness (to various levels of success). We set out each order of fries, then everyone went around and tried a couple from each restaurant, ranking each on a 1-5 scale. There were no criteria based on taste or crispiness, the only question was, “On a 1-5 scale, how much do you like these fries?” We left in intentionally vague to allow each person the ability to score them based on the merit of their taste buds.
To answer your next question, yes, that was a horrible idea and we all felt terrible for the rest of the day.
Again, since we’re very data-centric, we broke down the results by a few different categories. Individually, we ranked them overall and by type. We also ranked them categorically based on their restaurant description (according to their Google My Business listing) and by type of fry.
- By Type:
- Get ready to be taken to Flavortown! No, we didn’t visit any Guy Fieri restaurants throughout this contest, but it was clear that everyone’s favorite fries were spiced in some way, earning the highest average score of 3.6/5. Apologies to all of you who enjoy the simpler things in life, as plain, standard fries scored the lowest, with a 2.2/5.
- By Restaurant Description:
- As you may expect, higher-quality restaurants mean higher-quality french fries. Sit down restaurants like sports bars (3.6/5) and burger joints (3.5/5) outscored their fast-food competitors, who came in last in the rankings (2.3/5).
- You’ve made it this far, so it’s clear you really need to know who is the undisputed champion of Milwaukee french fries. Without further ado, here is our official ranking:
It was fairly clear that 5 Guys Cajun fries were by far the favorite among nearly everyone in the office. Congratulations to Sobelman’s and The Mecca for coming in a close second as well. I would apologize to Burger King for coming in dead last (by far), but I can honestly say their fries were terrible and every single person in the office gave them 1/5.
You Get What You Pay For
One other interesting note that came from our analysis was a somewhat positive correlation between cost & taste. While the Mecca garlic fries were by far the most expensive, they also had one of the top scores. All of the low-priced fast-food fries scored relatively low. The best value? We have to give that honor once again to 5 Guys, who are not only reasonably priced and had the highest average score, but have you ever ordered fries from 5 Guys? There’s nothing “medium” about those portions whatsoever!
While I can’t in good conscience recommend you go try the fries from any of these restaurants today, you now have a post-social distancing to-do list of restaurants to try out (or avoid), especially if you’ve never been!
Any places we missed that should have made this list? Reach out and let us know!