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Reader picks from Lafayette, San Jose, Santa Rosa

“I like them French fried potaters.”

Who knew that those words, unforgettably croaked by Billy Bob Thornton in “Sling Blade,” would apply to so many readers across the Bay? After we published our “11 fantastic eateries for incredible French fries” story in early April, our inboxes were flooded with recommendations for other folks’ favorite fries – from Ben’s Burgers in Livermore to Lazy Dog in San Jose to the Spinster Sisters all the way up in Santa Rosa.

Fortunately, nobody said In-N-Out. But here are 16 other notable places for French fries, as chosen by our readers, complete with their special fry-ordering instructions.

Ben’s Burgers, Livermore

Livermore resident Laura Gong loves this burger spot so much, she adds two exclamation marks to the name — Ben’s Burgers!! — and describes it as “a completely unassuming hole-in-the-wall spot for diner burgers, dogs and fresh-made ice-cream shakes. Fries are always crisp, hot, soft inside and plentiful! Support your local little shops!”
Details: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 777 Rincon Ave., Livermore; 925-449-3124

Boulevard Burger, San Leandro

Richard Katz from San Leandro is a fan of this retro-style diner with specialty burgers like lamb or Kobe beef and thick, whipped cream-topped milkshakes. “Great fries and incredible burgers,” he says. One of his tips: Ask for them “extra crispy.”
Details: Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily at 1027 MacArthur Blvd., San Leandro;

Oak + Violet, Menlo Park

The fries at this upscale restaurant in the Park James Hotel have stolen the heart of Morgan Hill’s Patricia Crone. “Skinny fries perfectly done, with bits of potato skin attached here and there,” she reports. “Not being a fan of truffle oil, I order the plain variety, which come in a generous bowl that includes ketchup for dipping.”
Details: Open for dinner 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday at 1400 El Camino Real, Menlo Park;

Beer Baron, Oakland

The Oakland outpost of this whiskey-themed Bay Area chain (with outposts in Pleasanton and Santa Rosa) cooks up Belgian-style fries in vegan, duck-fat and loaded versions. “The duck-fat fries at Beer Baron are so good that when we go there for happy hour, the first person always places an order for two,” says Sara Holderfield of Oakland. They can be dipped in sauces ranging from herbed yogurt to chipotle barbecue to garlic aioli. “My favorite is the curry aioli, but my friends like the smoky ketchup.”
Details: Open noon-10 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends at 5900 College Ave., Oakland;

The Baron burger with duck fat fries and a pint of Speakeasy's Big Daddy IPA are photographed at the Beer Baron Bar and Kitchen in Pleasanton, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
A fully loaded Baron burger with duck fat fries and a pint of Speakeasy’s Big Daddy IPA at Pleasanton’s Beer Baron Bar and Kitchen. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 

San Rafael Joe’s, San Rafael

This Italian-American institution in Marin, founded all the way back in 1947, has killer steak fries, reports Ginny Jozwik of San Anselmo. They’re so good, they leave the rest of the meal as an afterthought: “I go there for the fries and then decide what I want to eat with them.”
Details: Open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday (closed Monday) at 931 Fourth St., San Rafael;

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, San Jose

This tail wagger-themed chain restaurant – which indeed does have a doggie menu – left a lasting impression on Joan Illers of Campbell. Specifically, Illers calls the fries in the Almaden Plaza location the “most flavorful, crispy French fries I have ever tasted.” Also, the chipotle-ranch sauce for dipping them in “is delicious!”
Details: Open 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday-Sunday at 5305 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, with additional locations in Concord, Cupertino, Dublin and Newark;

The Spinster Sisters, Santa Rosa

You might have to drive a bit up 101, but the offerings at this Sonoma County joint make it worth it, says Irene Seales of Los Gatos. The restaurant “has long won the contest for best fries, in my opinion, sprinkled through with crisp sage and rosemary leaves,” Seales reports. “On Burger Night, you can get Kennebec fries mixed with sweet-potato fries along with their great Wednesday-only burger. Perfect indulgence with their aioli or ‘SOFA sauce.’”
Details: Open 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday) at 401 South A St., Santa Rosa;

Britannia Arms, San Jose

Oy, what’s all this about leavin’ out the Brit’ish? Folks who want to savor a proper chip ought to visit this English-American pub, according to Danielle Wheatley of San Jose. “These thick steak fries make sure you know they were once a potato,” she says. “They are golden and crispy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious on the inside. I can’t get enough!”
Details: Open 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-midnight Sunday at 5027 Almaden Expressway, San Jose;

French fries are photographed at the French bistro in Lafayette, Calif., on Tuesday, May 3 2016. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)
Pommes frites at Lafayette’s Reve Bistro. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group) 

Rêve Bistro, Lafayette

What do you know – one of the spots on our Bay Area’s Best 50 Restaurants list has great fries. Or rather, frites. The kitchen’s pommes frites are “very crisp and crunchy on the outside and molten on the inside,” says Brett Foster of Lafayette. “If you are into steak frites, it is a deadly combination. You can also order them à la carte.”
Details: Open 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday at 960F Moraga Road, Lafayette;

And here are still more:

Arbor (Recommended by Suson Bonet of Martinez)
384 Hayes St., San Francisco;

Los Gatos Cafe (Recommended by L.D.L. Hirschklau of Monte Sereno)
340 North Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos;

Hayes Street Grill (Recommended by Fred Smith of Menlo Park)
320 Hayes St., San Francisco;

Bistro Jeanty (Recommended by Susanne Pierce Dyer of Green Valley)
6510 Washington St., Yountville;

MOOYAH (Recommended by Steve Macdonald of Walnut Creek)
Various locations, including 1815D Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek and 255 Vineyard Town Center in Morgan Hill;

Falafel Corner (Recommended by Shannon Villanueva of Brentwood)
7351B Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood;

Zuni Café (Recommended by Mark Johnson of South San Francisco)
1658 Market St., San Francisco;

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