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Mr. Fries Man says Hellloooooooo!!! to Pacific Beach

Viral loaded fries maker from Gardena brings its heavy, saucy fare to town

A pound and a half of chili cheese fries
A pound and a half of chili cheese fries

Okay, so my go-to chili cheese fries spot wound up closing due to last year’s shutdown. Obviously, that’s a bigger bummer for the owners and staff of the departed Sister Ray’s restaurant than it is for anyone else. But it did leave a hole in my regular cravings calendar. And nothing else came along to fill it; I might resort to dumping a can of Hormel chili over a reheated bag of frozen waffle fries. Nobody wants that.

Place

Mr. Fries Man

4508 Cass St #D,, San Diego

Fortunately, back in 2016, some guy up in Gardena spent his last 400 bucks to cook up a bunch of loaded fries in his backyard and market them over Instagram. Thanks to a little love from late Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, Mr. Fries Man went viral.

I wouldn’t have thought of a stand-alone restaurant, dedicated to nothing but loaded fries. But five years later, the dude’s got six locations throughout Southern California and Las Vegas, plus 13 on the way as far flung as Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. All marketed with a sneaker-wearing, anthropomorphized box of fries, and the world’s simplest slogan: “Hellloooooooo!!!”

The most recent Mr. Fries Man location to open was here, in Pacific Beach, in a plum location near the pier, just off Garnet Avenue (4508 Cass Street). I found it to be just another small counter shop, in a strip of similar brick storefronts, but its $9 chili cheese fries knocked it out of the park. We’re talking a good pound and a half of fried potato, savory stewed beef, and melted cheese.

Mr. Fries Man enters San Diego by way of Pacific Beach.

And it’s not even the star of the menu. In fact, it’s the cheapest item by a whole six dollars.

See, Mr. Fries Man goes way beyond chili fries. Even beyond other familiar loaded fries concepts like carne asada fries or poutine. They may get titular billing, but the fries here are merely a vessel for what gets piled on top of them.

The Mr. Fries Man cartoon logo

For customers willing to shell out $25, that means a combination of crab and shrimp, smothered in lemon garlic sauce. For $21, you may opt for honey garlic sauce poured over shrimp and steak. And for anyone feeling creative, a $14 and up “build your own fries” option lets you pick your protein or proteins (including Beyond brand meat alternatives), to be drenched with a choice of sauces including BBQ, jalepeño ranch, and mango habanero.

For a few bucks here and there, you may even add more toppings to that! It can get a little pricier than I would expect from a French fry-oriented restaurant, but I can’t stress it enough: the portions are quite hefty. I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered an eatery where sharing an order makes more sense.

I couldn’t come close to finishing my chili cheese fries, and the same goes for a second Mr. Fries Man effort: buffalo chicken ranch. Any chicken order on the menu works with your choice of grilled or fried chicken. Eyeing the Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurant up the block, I opted for fried, and was please to find a large volume of crispy, bite size nuggets heaped over my fries, the whole pile doused with free-flowing ranch and buffalo sauces. There was so much going on up top, that the fries beneath served a surprising yet vital purpose: thinning out the flavor a little bit.

Fried chicken nuggets slathered in ranch and buffalo sauces, served over fries

Those potatoes can absorb a lot, and I suppose all this time they’ve been doing so for chili and cheese, and carne asada, and whatever else people think to dump on them. It’s shouldn’t be a tough concept to pull off, and I hate having to jump on the internet bandwagon, but I’m going to go ahead and buy into the Mr. Fries Man hype. These sodium-rich eats are about as good as low brow food gets.

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A pound and a half of chili cheese fries
A pound and a half of chili cheese fries

Okay, so my go-to chili cheese fries spot wound up closing due to last year’s shutdown. Obviously, that’s a bigger bummer for the owners and staff of the departed Sister Ray’s restaurant than it is for anyone else. But it did leave a hole in my regular cravings calendar. And nothing else came along to fill it; I might resort to dumping a can of Hormel chili over a reheated bag of frozen waffle fries. Nobody wants that.

Place

Mr. Fries Man

4508 Cass St #D,, San Diego

Fortunately, back in 2016, some guy up in Gardena spent his last 400 bucks to cook up a bunch of loaded fries in his backyard and market them over Instagram. Thanks to a little love from late Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, Mr. Fries Man went viral.

I wouldn’t have thought of a stand-alone restaurant, dedicated to nothing but loaded fries. But five years later, the dude’s got six locations throughout Southern California and Las Vegas, plus 13 on the way as far flung as Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. All marketed with a sneaker-wearing, anthropomorphized box of fries, and the world’s simplest slogan: “Hellloooooooo!!!”

The most recent Mr. Fries Man location to open was here, in Pacific Beach, in a plum location near the pier, just off Garnet Avenue (4508 Cass Street). I found it to be just another small counter shop, in a strip of similar brick storefronts, but its $9 chili cheese fries knocked it out of the park. We’re talking a good pound and a half of fried potato, savory stewed beef, and melted cheese.

Mr. Fries Man enters San Diego by way of Pacific Beach.

And it’s not even the star of the menu. In fact, it’s the cheapest item by a whole six dollars.

See, Mr. Fries Man goes way beyond chili fries. Even beyond other familiar loaded fries concepts like carne asada fries or poutine. They may get titular billing, but the fries here are merely a vessel for what gets piled on top of them.

The Mr. Fries Man cartoon logo

For customers willing to shell out $25, that means a combination of crab and shrimp, smothered in lemon garlic sauce. For $21, you may opt for honey garlic sauce poured over shrimp and steak. And for anyone feeling creative, a $14 and up “build your own fries” option lets you pick your protein or proteins (including Beyond brand meat alternatives), to be drenched with a choice of sauces including BBQ, jalepeño ranch, and mango habanero.

For a few bucks here and there, you may even add more toppings to that! It can get a little pricier than I would expect from a French fry-oriented restaurant, but I can’t stress it enough: the portions are quite hefty. I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered an eatery where sharing an order makes more sense.

I couldn’t come close to finishing my chili cheese fries, and the same goes for a second Mr. Fries Man effort: buffalo chicken ranch. Any chicken order on the menu works with your choice of grilled or fried chicken. Eyeing the Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurant up the block, I opted for fried, and was please to find a large volume of crispy, bite size nuggets heaped over my fries, the whole pile doused with free-flowing ranch and buffalo sauces. There was so much going on up top, that the fries beneath served a surprising yet vital purpose: thinning out the flavor a little bit.

Fried chicken nuggets slathered in ranch and buffalo sauces, served over fries

Those potatoes can absorb a lot, and I suppose all this time they’ve been doing so for chili and cheese, and carne asada, and whatever else people think to dump on them. It’s shouldn’t be a tough concept to pull off, and I hate having to jump on the internet bandwagon, but I’m going to go ahead and buy into the Mr. Fries Man hype. These sodium-rich eats are about as good as low brow food gets.

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