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Restaurants & Bars

Great fries, decent burgers - Classic Beef

Ed Fisher | Aug 23, 200311:19 PM

I was cruising down grand, heading from Harlem to River Road, and out of the corner of my eye saw, on a sign full of other wares, "fresh cut fries". I did a U-Turn, and a few moments later was stepping into Classic Beef.

Classic Beef, whose phone number or exact address I am without, is about two blocks east of River Road on Grand Avenue. I think it may be at the corner of Grand and Oak St, but I'm not positive.

Inside are a few booths, a few tables, two stand-up arcade games (a golf game and a 2.5d version of pacman (has perspective, and you can "bounce", but it's otherwise flat)), and a TV. When I arrived, the TV was showing a "roseanne" rerun, but one of the employees switched it later to a spanish-language game show.

Two deep-fryers, with four fry baskets, were clearly visible by the cooktop behind the counter, all four filled with par-cooked fries (clearly they double-dip the fries, a good sign). I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger, fries, and a coke, paid, and went over to take a closer look at the pac-man game.

Anyway! Food came. The fries were wonderful. Cooked through, just crispy on the outside, not at all greasy in any way. The potato used was clearly not an idaho russet, but was a waxier kind, perhaps a yukon gold. The texture of the potato inside the fry was similar to the fries from Demon Dogs. The fries, though, were significantly better than Demon Dogs', which are often a little undercooked and undersalted. Classic Beef's fries were nicely cooked and just salty enough to eat them straight happily.

The burger was good, but the patties were prefab, so it was nothing special. The bun was s. rosen. It was certainly edible, and above average as prefab burgers go.

Classic Beef also sells Scala beef/sausages, gyros (although the autodoner's spit was virtually devoid of meat, so they may not have had any available today), vienna beef polish/hot dogs, and a standard diner breakfast line up. Daily "homemade" soup specials, italian ice, and a wide array of prefab deep fried goodies (mozzarella sticks, pizza puffs, etc) round out the menu.

I did see two other guys enter later, and the hot dogs they ordered looked like a good chicago rendition, complete with sport peppers and tomato slices (not diced). I imagine it was a pretty standard vienna dog, though.

In any case, the fries were a standout, and alone made the u-turn worth it. Since I live so close to a Parky's, it's unlikely I'll return frequently, but when I'm in the mood for a waxier fry, I'll definitely head to Classic Beef before Demon Dogs.


Classic Beef
In Elmwood Park, on Grand Ave., a few blocks east of River Road.
Nothing I could find online listed the address or phone number, and I lost the carry-out menu I grabbed.

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