Last week, I visited a new kid in town: Frites Atelier. And I was not disappointed. When I heard that Dutch star chef Sergio Herman was opening his high-end fry shack, I just had to go and take a look. I wasn’t alone. There was a queue waiting outside and I prepared myself for some waiting. But after 15 minutes, I stood back outside with my fries with Flemish beef stew and an aspiration to start eating immediately.
I am not one of those foodies, I don’t know anything about haute cuisine, you will never spot me in fancy restaurants like the Jane (that other Antwerp restaurant by Sergio Herman). I’m a way too picky eater for that. But when someone says “fries”, I’m instantly down to party. And that’s how I became a big fan of the trend of elite fast food. A trend on which Sergio Herman picked up with his brand new Frites Atelier.
The menu was limited to three options: Flemish beef stew, Indo peanut sauce and Sergio’s seasonal special. I invited some friends and we tried all three with a lot of ooohhs and aaaahhs. I had no idea what furikake, sriracha and kimchi in the seasonal special were, but I liked it. As our personal favorite, we picked the Flemish beef stew, but it was a close race with the seasonal special. I also recommend the homemade iced tea; you won’t be disappointed!
What does all that cost, I hear you thinking. Well, not that much actually. Of course you’ll pay a little more than at a classic fry shack, but hey, what did you expect? There’s only one size, no small, medium or large portions, and prices range from €3.50 to €8, depending on the toppings you want. The experience is totally worth it: the thick napkin with a drawing of famous Belgian cartoonist Kamagurka, an old school wooden fork and a friendly smile of the staff are all included. And of course, the total experience is super instagrammable.
After my box was empty, I was fulfilled. I could have eaten a little dessert, but I didn’t go home hungry. Frites Atelier isn’t the best place to go if you want to wine and dine all night with friends. Seats are limited and when it’s busy, you will probably eat your fries standing up. Not uncommon for a frituur…
In short, everything in Frites Atelier is part of the story: the best potatoes, the stylish interior, the outfits of the personnel, the sauces with ingredients you can’t pronounce, the persona of Sergio Herman himself. All of that makes you want to come back again. On top of all that, the menu will change every now and then, so you’ll have no choice to drop by, every now and then.
Sergio, Frites Atelier is just perfect.
More Frites Atelier?
Just drop by the high-end fry shack at Korte Gasthuisstraat 32, Antwerp. Or check fritesatelieramsterdam.com for more information.
Text and pics by Anouk Van Tiggel