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Seattle Dick's vs. Spokane Dick's & McDonald's Fries

Joe | Jul 30, 200110:08 AM

I live on the east coast but visit Seattle every year for three or four days as well as Spokane occasionally. I just finished reading a thread on here from a year or so ago about Dick's and Seattle hamburgers. Well, I know Dick's reputation as well as being voted best in Seattle year after year by Seattle magazine. I've been to three different Dick's at least a half dozen times over the past ten years and every time felt disappointed. While I absolutely loved the atmosphere that has survived from the '50's the food really wasn't very good. Especially the french fries.
My first time in Spokane I stopped at their Dick's which I understand was originally called Panda when it first opened. It was TOTALLY DIFFERENT. The hamburgers similar but their french fries! Spokane Dick's has McDONALD'S ORIGINAL FRENCH FRIES FROM BEFORE 1966!!! (Until the early 1980's these were still available in in the original McDonald's in Des Plaine, IL along with their original milkshakes. Today that restaurant has been gutted and replaced. Only one original store (but not the food) survives and that is in Downey, CA.)
McDonald's originally cooked their fries in 70% animal fat after the potatoes had hung on a wall after being blanched overnight. I know this because I made them 35 years ago. The Downey store which also has a museum confirms this with photos in a "McDonald's museum" which is adjacent.
1. Why are the two Dick's so different?
2. Does anyone know the background of the Spokane Dick's, when it opened, etc?
3. Has the Seattle Dick's changed over the years? Did they once make french fries the same as Spokane and, like McDonald's changed them?
4. Does any place in Seattle make french fries like the Spokane Dick's?

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