UPDATED: May 18, 2023: We are sad to report that What the Fries is closed at this time. The restaurant is closed due to food costs, and the food truck is off the streets due to an accident.
These are not your average loaded French fries.
I have always struggled to get excited about dishes like chili-cheese fries. They’re often soggy and unappetizing to me. The toppings mush the fries underneath to the point of being nearly inedible, especially if they sit more than a few minutes after being plated in a cardboard tray.
What the Fries delivers a different (and absolutely better) loaded fry. The potatoes are still crispy, not greasy and topped with cheesy, meaty, vegetable-y goodness, depending on which of their combinations you choose.
This place in an unassuming strip mall (and why are so many great restaurants in such places?!) started as a food truck project of two friends and business partners. And we have a history at #FoodieScore of enjoying a food truck that delivers deliciousness, including a few that eventually progressed to move into brick-and-mortar restaurant spaces.
When you walk inside What the Fries, you will feel the good vibe and know immediately that you’re about to eat something memorable. We sure did. The colors cheer Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers and the City of Charlotte as a whole. The artwork hanging on the walls, the rap and hip hop on the speakers, and the menu of nearly-impossible-to-pick-one delights proudly establish your presence in a successful Black-owned business that delivers a top-notch experience.
Unlike so many restaurants we’ve visited over the years across the United States, we were greeted at the front ordering counter with a smile, warm words and a welcome to take our time deciding what to eat. (That last one is a relief because we often struggle to pare down our options to one because we enjoy food so much!) Customer service is a challenging art, especially in the impossible-to-please-customers restaurant business, and on our visit What the Fries absolutely got it right.
We ordered a chopped cheese (beef burger chopped more like it’s ground, pictured directly above) and bacon loaded fries (pictured at top). Both hit the spot. As we said before, the fries were crispy, the cheese was perfect, and the other toppings were just enough to add to the flavor and texture.
The place was very clean, and we visited just after normal lunchtime on a Saturday. And one positive to the strip mall location is that there’s plenty of parking, which can be an issue at some restaurants in bigger cities.
There was even a working NBA Jam arcade game in one corner of the restaurant. I grew up playing that game on my Nintendo Game Boy, usually choosing my Charlotte Hornets as my team, so it was quite a blast from the past to see the 1990s antique here.
The only issue we had at What the Fries was the room in our stomachs! We could’ve ordered most anything on their menu, and we’re sure we’d have been delighted with it. But we can remedy our issue by returning, and we absolutely will!
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this place, support it and have a truly exceptional meal.