By far, one of the biggest perks of living in North District is having The Market downstairs. As much as I try to restrict myself from spending all of my dining dollars in less than a month, I can’t help but rope in a friend on the weekends to grab some boba at the Lollicup. Recently, UCR Dining started implementing various food locations at The Market. Alongside Lollicup and the frozen yogurt area, students can now visit Fry House, a new eatery selling bowls of loaded french fries with various toppings. They opened on Sept. 25, and last week, I grabbed a couple of friends to check the place out and to gather their “tots” on the matter.

Fry House’s stainless steel counter is nestled between the chilled grocery shelves and the check-out desk. The prices range between $5 and $15, with the exception of the Regular Seasoned Fries at $2.99. I wanted to go for a couple of savory fry choices and a sweet one and settled on the Cheeseburger Fries, the Chili Cheese Fries and the Funnel Cake Fries — the only dessert option available. Unfortunately, the Funnel Cake Fries weren’t available when I first went, but the student worker quickly packed the other boxes and I got to pay at the counter instead of having to walk to the general check-out desk.

We sat around a shaded patio table outside and snapped a couple of photos before digging in. I ordered the spuds right after they opened for the day to make sure they were at their freshest. The first box had the Cheeseburger Fries, which was topped with a crumbled, well-done hamburger patty, jalapeño cheese sauce, shredded cheese, crinkle-cut pickle slices, chopped green onions and Thousand Island dressing. There was some debate on what color the meat was; I would have described it as a light brown, while others said it was gray. The beef seemed unseasoned, and I couldn’t taste it clearly amongst the other toppings. Although most of the fries ended up being somewhat drenched, the ones on the surface were pleasantly crispy. What saved this dish for me were the pickles. I liked the crunchiness and acidity of the pickles amongst the other relatively greasy ingredients. Overall, our scores averaged out to a 5.5/10. If a lack of pickles could make this a dill-breaker for you, I recommend asking for extra.  

The second option, the Chili Cheese Fries, had their taters blanketed in dark red chili, shredded cheese, more jalapeño cheese sauce and chopped green onions. Since we had this second, a good majority of the fries were unfortunately soggy from the chili and cheese sauce. A friend noted that it tasted like canned chili. While I don’t know what this tastes like, the chili wasn’t something to write home about. There wasn’t that much of the stew in the box either, but this could have been so the fries didn’t get too soaked. I couldn’t taste any meat in this order, but seeing that it’s a common ingredient in chili, I would ask the workers there before getting this as a vegetarian option. The score average came to be a 4.5/10.

After that lunch, I learned that other apartment residents had commented their own opinions on social media, stating that they thought the food was alright but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m inclined to agree. I’m open to visiting in the future to try the other fries on the menu and change my views accordingly. Otherwise, I’d rather keep my eyes peeled for future concepts at The Market whenever I stop by for my weekly boba drink.