May 27, 2015 - Food and Drink

New Food Truck Alert: WhatTheFriesCLT bringing their gourmet loaded fries game to the streets

whatthefriesCLT Charlotte food truck

whatthefriesCLT Charlotte food truck

WhatTheFriesCLT is bringing gourmet loaded fries (and more) to the streets of Charlotte with their forthcoming food truck concept slated for a July 2015 launch.

Founders Jamie Barnes and Gregory Williams were friends, roommates and classmates at Johnson & Wales University and eventually coworkers in a handful of different kitchens throughout Charlotte before branching out on their own project six months ago.

Jamie Barnes and Gregory Williams

With startup funding from Jamie’s grandfather, the two expect to have their truck in this weekend and ready for action by July. In the meantime they’re catering and hosting pop-up events around town. (Last month they set-up tabletop fryers at Lenny Boy for an event.)

The WhatTheFriesCLT truck will serve gourmet loaded fries with inventive toppings like chili cheese Fritos and crawfish & andouille sausage for about $8 per basket. They’ll also have a plain fries-only option for $3 and a special mini $1 cup for French Fry Friday. (Writer’s note: French Fry Friday should be a weekly national holiday.)

#Repost @chefjbarnes757 with @repostapp.
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Chili cheese Fritos fries…. Handcut fries Topped with beef chili, Boursin white cheddar sauce, scallions and chili cheese Fritos 🍟 @whatthefriesclt @chefgwill28 #chilicheesefritos #PopUp #clteats #charlotte #fries #nom #pullup #cheesy #loaded #crispy #freshcut #food #foodxxx #mmmm #lennyboybrewingco #foodies #foodbeast #truecooks

A photo posted by What The Fries !?! (@whatthefriesclt) on

#Repost @chefjbarnes757 with @repostapp.
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Crawfish & andouille fries…. #PopUp #food #foodporn #fries #FriesAndWings #goodeats #foodxxx #wtfries #goodies #nom #crawfish #poutine #pullup @whatthefriesclt A photo posted by What The Fries !?! (@whatthefriesclt) on

In addition to fries they’ll have burgers, sandwiches and even milkshakes but fries will be the star of the show.

whatthefriesclt
The City Kitch
city-kitch-charlotte

I met up with the guys at The City Kitch to sample what they’ve got going on and basically just eat french fries for lunch. Game on.

whatthefriesclt-sampling
whatthefriesclt-tater-tots
whatthefries-homemade-ketchups

They plan to work with lots of potatoes (and assorted root vegetables like yucca) and will source locally whenever possible. Fry shape is a divisive issue among fry lovers but these guys stand firm on their decision to go with thick hand-cut so they can stand up to loads of heavy toppings. The fries are dredged in a cornstarch mixture and double fried for extra crispy-ness.

I had the original, sweet potato and homemade tater tots. The tots stole the show. Easily the best I’ve ever had.

banana ketchup
blackberry ketchup
whatthefriesclt sweet potato milkshake

Possibly the best thing about WhatTheFriesCLT is they make their own completely insane dipping sauces. I got to try: blackberry ketchup, garlic aioli, sriracha ketchup, marshmallow sauce and banana ketchup.

whatthefriesCLT founders

I pretty much lost my mind over the blackberry and banana ketchups, I think because they’re so unexpectedly excellent. I asked what on earth possessed them to make such weird flavors and Jamie said he got the idea for the banana one from an Indian curry dish and it just worked.

I cannot stress enough how good these are.

We didn’t have a chance (or the appetite) to dive into dessert but they’ve got a purple sweet potato milkshake up their sleeves and let me try the puree that goes in it. I think my response was, “That’s so southern.” Please believe I’ll get my hands on one of those when they’re ready.

Purple Sweet Potato milkshake! These will be getting cranked out of the food truck …. 😈 #purplesweetpotato #milkshake #sweet #purple #goodness #food #clt #clteats #charlotte #thinkoutsidethebox #ube #nice #cltfoodtruck #color #fresh #dope #truecooks #wtfries @whatthefriesclt @chefgwill28

A photo posted by Jamie Barnes (@jbarnes757) on

Jamie and Gregory say they have dreams of a brick and mortar fry shop but for now all cylinders are firing to get the food truck launched. I can already see this popping up outside breweries around town, slinging baskets of fries to hungry beer drinkers. I think that as long as they execute the operational side smoothly, the uniqueness of the concept and quality of the product will speak for itself. I suspect Charlotte will happily welcome WhatTheFriesCLT with open arms… and mouths.

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