By Declan Varley
I have always been partial to a dressed fry, feeling the naked chip alone is just crying out to be dressed up, dolled up and given star billing. For too long the humble chip has always been that reliable partner to all of the other goodies on offer. The reliable sidekick, the wingman to the array of burgers, and fish and luscious chicken. There have been many late work nights when I would fall into the arms of a hot chip dressed with colesaw as if it were some sort of illicit encounter.
It is as if the combination of some sort of accompaniment to the wonderful Supermac chip was a secret to be kept to oneself. The favourite Irish chip is the Supermac chip, a chunkier version that has claimed an undefeated title in Ireland for generations, and now, it is to be adorned with a variety of savoury toppings to give it new life.
The Supermac chip was on good ground before you put anything on it, but lest we think that Dressed Fries are a new foodie fad, let us remember that it is now more than four decades since Pat McDonagh introduced us to the joys of the curry chip in his very first outlet in Ballinasloe. You can imagine how it was that first time Pat combined the two wondering if it would work...and the rest is history.
Imagine the impact that had in the late seventies and for decades, it has blown the taste buds of millions, and inspired many pale imitations. But it has stood the test of time, and it is fitting that it takes its place among the new Dressed Fries lineup that the company has rolled out across its outlets.
Earlier this year, to promote the impending new range, anyone named William or Kate was entitled to a free Dressed Fries during the royal visit to Galway, back at the end of normal times, but as we head into autumn and winter looking to be bolstered by warming and stilumating fare, the Dressed Fries provide an ideal line-up to choose from.
I opted for a taste test this week, sampling them all with friends, and they are all taste-bud smashing. From the taco, to the cheese, to the garlic cheese to our old friend, the curry, the new flavours have given life to the naked chip, and offer foodies an option other than just adding "and a chips" to the end of their order.
It will change the way people think about chips.
Supermacs are delighted with the reaction to this new range. One staff member told me they are proud that dressed fries have been with them since Pat combined the classic Supermac’s Chip and some Curry Sauce in Ballinasloe in 1978 and that this new line-up is proving very popular.
"Pat has always said that we made our name on the chunkier chips we used to serve compared to anyone else and now we have a serious Dressed Fries offering with Taco, Cheese, Garlic, Garlic Cheese and, of course, Curry," she told me as I departed with a feast for a king.
Try them for yourself and see how the naked chip is enjoying its new wardrobe.