No. 2: Avocado Fries at El Almacen
Will El Almacen's avocado fries ever replace french fries in your affections?
El Almacen is a very good restaurant in Williamsburg that combines elements of an Argentine parrilla (a place that specializes in grilled meats) and a Spanish tapas bar. When I visited soon after it opened, the thing that impressed me the most were the avocado fries.
You'd think deep-frying avocado would be difficult. That when the strips were dumped in the bubbling oil, the fruit (yes, avocado's a fruit) would simply dissolve or fall apart.
To begin with, the fries are made with a firm avocado, which forestalls the strips falling apart. Breading holds the pieces together, too. And when the slices are fried, they get admirably crisp on the outside, and imperially creamy in the interior. They're served with a yerba maté ketchup, which you don't really need.
I believe El Almacen was the first restaurant to introduce avocado fries in this area, or maybe I just never encountered them before. But the fries linger in my imagination as a pleasant alternative to french fries -- as if one ever gets burned out on french fries. Still, there's no better accompaniment to a link of blood sausage, a rare steak, or a serving of yellowtail ceviche.
557 Driggs Avenue