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French fries have long been one of the basic American food groups, judged by sheer tonnage consumed in these United States. Why did it take so long for their intoxicatingly crispy potential to be properly exploited in Buffalo?

Hot on the heels of the news that Just Fries will open on Genesee Street, a second french-fry-centered eatery called Get Fried has announced that it will join the Walden Galleria food court in February.

Owners Chris Covelli and Garrett Green have already decided that Cheektowaga will be just the beginning. The partners also are pursuing a flagship location in downtown Buffalo. Then there are the franchise possibilities, which Get Fried will offer once the first stores are open.

“The toppings are what make our fries, and they’re quick,” said manager Dave Taylor, who has experience in managing fast-food operations. The fryer oil will be non-GMO and filtered twice a day, for a cleaner taste, Taylor said.

It’s the Chipotle model applied to fried potatoes. Customers will start with a choice of straight fries, waffle cut fries or sweet potato fries, and go down the line to build their order. Add pulled pork, shredded chicken, ground beef or chili. Then eaters can choose from 24 more sauces and seasonings such as sweet chipotle seasoning, Nutella, hummus or truffle oil – probably not at the same time.

There’s also specialty combinations including pepperoni mozzarella fries, fish and chips, and of course, poutine.

Indian opening: A new restaurant is giving downtown a dosa South Indian cuisine.

On Thanksgiving Day, Chennai Express opened at 452 Pearl St., across the street from the rear of Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

The 40-seat restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. It also offers delivery to downtown Buffalo addresses.

Unlike most of the Indian restaurants in Western New York, Chennai Express focuses on South Indian cuisine, said manager Karthik Nesan.

One specialty is dosas, savory crepes as wide as a cafeteria tray, which are a mainstay of South Indian meals. They’re typically made from rice and lentil flour that are served with spiced potatoes or other fillings, and chutneys for dipping, like coconut and tomato.

Chennai Express lists more than 40 types of dosas on its menu, ranging from $4.95 to $9.95. They include the butter dosa ($5.95), the spicy “gunpowder” masala dosa ($6.95) the cheese masala dosa ($7.50), which tastes like the best part of a toasted cheese sandwich, Indian style.

Dosas are “the best food in the world, and most people like them,” said Nesan. They’re also endlessly customizable. “If you like spinach, I can make it with spinach; if you like mushrooms, I can make it with mushrooms.” The menu also includes varieties with eggs, cheese, and grilled fish or chicken, but most are vegetarian.

Vegan eaters and gluten free people can enjoy them as well, he noted. Many varieties have no meat or dairy products, he said, and there is no wheat in the rice-and-lentil batter, making them gluten-free.

Send your restaurant news to agalarneau@buffnews.com.

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