REVIEW: BeFries, Brighton

by - February 01, 2017

a cone of fries at BeFries in Brighton

Is there anything better than a fried potato?*

BeFries has been quite a hit since opening, simply offering Belgian style fries with a plethora of sauces to dip them into. It's located right at the top of West Street (this is my third visit to this street in a week for dining, something I never thought I would say, but there we are - places change!)

Brighton champions the independent and it's great that BeFries have chosen to open here, run by a sibling team with a Belgian background and boundless enthusiasm for what they do. 

Amazingly, there is a ridiculous level of food geekiness with Belgian Fries that appeals to my inner dork. They need to be between 8mm and 14mm (they are 12mm here, for those that are interested), must be hand cut (seriously, they hand cut EVERY SINGLE POTATO), need to be of a certain variety (Agria - low water content, yellow flesh and fry well), be double cooked, and served in a paper cone. 

What makes BeFries so crisp is the double cooking. They are fried for a first time then blow dried (yup, really) before frying again to order. This take any excess moisture out and allows then the crisp fully without browning too much. Potato science innit. The centre is super light and fluffy too.

sauces  at BeFries in Brighton

Now for the other element - the sauces. Most of these are now made in-house and some are from boutique local sauce makers. You will probably only choose a couple, but I was given a huge selection, all of which I'd happily eat. Of course you have all the mayos - Belgian (slightly sour), Dutch (sweeter), garlic...and other classics like ketchup. The sate peanut sauce was particularly good with the fries as was the Sambal indonesian chilli paste. They also have vegan options - the vegan basil mayo was one of my favourites and there are specials on like the dill and gherkin fritte sauce. You can also have the fries served as you would have them on the street, with two sauces on top and finely diced white onion.

Looza strawberry drink at BeFries in Brighton

To wash down the fries they have a range of unusual European drinks - a welcome break from the Colas and Fanta cans.

The venue is a strange shape, long and thin with an imposing bar in front of the fryers and some small tables right at the back. It's not the most comfortable dining, but you'll only be propping up the bar for a short while as you will quickly demolish the fries. The flower arrangements on the wall are a surprising feature for a place like this but really beautiful. You'll also notice holes on all of the surfaces that the cones of fries are slotted into - smart!

staff working at BeFries in Brighton

Although niche restaurants that focus on one ingredient or dish can sometimes be quite tedious, I think there is definitely a demand for a Belgian Fries shop, especially one as good as this. I really enjoyed my visit here and will absolutely be back. It's hugely affordable (cones range from £2.80-£4), accessible and a delicious snack right in the centre of town to fuel a shopping trip or pit stop between drinks.

46 West Street, Brighton

I dined as a guest of BeFries. Words and thoughts, as always, my own. 


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