Midterms Got Your Mind Fry-d?

PC: Danica Eylenstein

PC: Danica Eylenstein

Danica Dishes


With midterm season upon us, you’ll likely see a fun blend of emotions and actions as you walk across campus: some students tiredly cramming for tests, others who are just now realizing how much they should be cramming for their tests. There’s many with multiple group projects due this week, and yet still others who aren’t skipping a beat on their television binging. Whatever your midterm mantra is, I find it fair to say it’s a time in the semester when “self care” becomes especially important. 

Let’s be honest, we all stress eat during midterms. Really, just me? Doubtful. If you refuse to acknowledge the fact that your caffeine consumption has spiked in the past week or you can’t remember the last time you ate a fresh vegetable, it’s okay. Your secret is safe with me. 

To ease your troubled, stress-ridden mind and save you some much-needed potential study time this midterms week, I’ve compiled a detailed breakdown on the french fries at six fast-food restaurant chains across Lincoln. You can thank me later. 

A small fry was ordered from the drive-thru at each location and eaten hot out of the bag as soon as it was received–for fair and quality testing purposes, of course. Each order was judged on the following: 

Texture: A good fry is all in the texture, amirite? 

Flavor/Saltiness: Because a bland french fry is basically just a baked potato. 

Price: Was it worth the dollars? 

Freshness: Did they taste fresh-out-of-the-fryer or like they’d been sitting for quite some time? 

Time: Was my order speedy-quick, or at least worth the wait? 


My first stop of the day was Wendy’s. In preparation for this fry run (crawl?) I hadn’t eaten all day, so I was pumped. A small order of fries came to a total of $1.89 and for the price, I received what could easily be considered a medium at some other chains. The flavor was light, but salted well and the fries were served fresh, almost too hot to eat initially. Overall, it’s a simple potato with a good crunch. The only downside was the 2:34 wait time. 


What I’m about to say may come as a surprise, and maybe it’s because it was a lunch rush, or maybe just a bad day for Freddy’s, but the fries I was expecting to win the flavor category were, in reality, pretty bland and pretty light on the seasoning. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t to die for either. It was a solid three minutes before I received the order, so that wasn’t ideal either, but they were fresh and hot … just not quite up to par for the $2.39 I spent. 

Burger King 

I grew up as a Burger King kid, so I may be admittedly a bit biased, but the fresh, warm, satisfying, salty crunch that I was expecting didn’t disappoint. I received my order in just two minutes and two seconds, and paid $2.06. No complaints here. 


I’ve never enjoyed McDonalds and have only eaten there a handful of times in my life, two of which being when I was out of the country, so take that as you’d like. I wasn’t excited to include them in my review, but I figured it was only fair for the readers. Oh, the things we do for The Clocktower. The fries may have only cost me $1.84, but they were even worse than I remember. 

I even brought along a friend who frequents McDonalds regularly, planning to share the order with her, and even she was unimpressed. The fries were overly crunchy and far too oily, like they’d been sitting around for awhile. Yet somehow, they still were piping hot–maybe they were double fried? Who knows. Regardless, neither of us could finish them, so they went in the trash. It wasn’t worth the money or the 2:14 wait time. 


Sonic is often, in my mind, a hit or miss. It’s someplace I go when I’m wanting a greasy french fry. Not only was Sonic the chain to give us our fries in only 1:06, but they also came in at the cheapest, a small fry being only $1.52. Count it as a win, right? Eh, maybe not. 

While the fries were HOT, thus definitely fresh, they had an odd crunchy, yet simultaneously soggy, texture to them. On top of the strange texture, this particular batch had a very green taste. I felt almost as if I was tasting a raw potato, despite these fries being well-cooked. This was not it, Sonic. This was not it. 


Chik-fil-a was my final stop of the day and, as usual, they didn’t disappoint. The fries had that typical slight waffle fry crunch and were sufficiently salted. They were served warm and were clearly fresh. My wait-time came to 1:16 and a small fry cost me $1.69. What surprised me the most was how quickly the drive-thru lane moved. I had probably three-four cars in front of me when I finished my order, and I still managed to get my fries in under a minute and a half. That’s service. 

There you have it—a comprehensive review of six of the top fast-food french fry options in Lincoln. If money, time, my newfound (albeit temporary) distaste for french fries and my sensitive, acne-prone skin hadn’t stopped me, I would’ve added a few other spots to the list. But, alas, I decided to stop at six. Care to share your go-to locale for fries in Lincoln? Shoot us a tweet!

Danica Eylenstein is a senior studying communication.