Charlotte’s cheese fry game is strong. I know because I’ve been eating them all week.
Through diligent research, I set out to find our city’s top cheese fries.
If you’re not the slightest bit hungry for a warm batch of gooey cheese fries after reading this story, there’s a 110% chance you might not be human. OK, let’s cut straight to my deep investigation into the Charlotte cheese fry scene.
#1 Crepe Cellar Pesto Brie Fries
How served? Hand cut and twice fried. Can get small or large.
Analysis: These are the holy grail of cheese fries. They melt in your mouth and the fact that they’re covered in brie, of all cheeses, speaks for itself. The use of pesto and tomatoes is original. They tasted fresh and made me feel a little better about eating fries, which were just the right amount of greasy. I have nothing bad to say, except I wish they offered free refills. Oh, and if you think my taste buds are biased, y’all voted these fries as Charlotte’s “Best of the Best” in Charlotte Magazine.
#2 Midwood Smokehouse Pimento Cheese Fries
Price: $6 (plain) or $9 (w/ meat)
How served? Crinkle-cut fries topped with homemade pimento cheese, and your choice of chopped pork or beef brisket
Analysis: You can order these plain, but you’re at Midwood, so of course you need to add the brisket. The crinkle fries were perfectly cooked and the crispy fries on the outside provided just enough leverage to balance the melted pimento cheese and meat. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the volume of cheese and the fact that the outside had that crisp flavor while the inside cheese was warm and gooey. The diced green onions were a nice touch.
#3 Kickstand Pimento Cheese Fries
How served? Hand cut, topped with house-made pimento cheese and chives
Analysis: Best bang for your buck out of all the contenders. The plate was huge, and there was a sufficient amount of cheese on all of them. I will say the pimento cheese wasn’t very pimento-y. It just tasted like regular cheddar cheese to me. The fries were just the right amount of crispy, and even the ones that didn’t have much cheese tasted good plain. The ranch complimented them nicely.
#4 Pinky’s Pimp’n fries
Price: $6.95 (add chili/veggie chili for $1 or bacon for $1.50)
How served? Homemade pimento cheese melted over crispy, seasoned waffle fries.
Analysis: I love the fact that these are waffle style. Think high-grade Chik-fil-A fries doused in pimento cheese. Which brings me to my next point: The cheese is amazing — even better than Kickstand’s. But these come in at #4 because I was disappointed when after eating the top layer, there was barely any cheese left. I broke out the ketchup for the rest of the fries because they needed it. Overall, really good.
#5 Duckworth’s Smothered Fries
How served? Hand cut, topped with applewood smoked bacon and melted mozzarella/cheddar cheese blend. Comes with a side of ranch for dipping.
Analysis: I appreciated the fact that the cheese wasn’t cheese wiz and the bacon wasn’t bacon bits. These were the real deal. They weren’t overly cheesy or bacon-y. And usually I go for ketchup, but ranch was definitely the move. My complaints? Portion size and topping coverage. For $8 I wanted more volume, and the cheese and bacon really only touched the fries in the middle.