When you're at Crow Burger Kitchen, nursing a cold beer just poured from the tap and mulling your choice of meal, it will be hard to decide to get the green bean “fries” over the duck fat fries and the onion rings. It's unnatural to want anything except what's fried and potato-y or fried and onion-y to stuff in your face along with the juicy burger you will surely order. First of all, the quotes around the word “fries” all but ensures that it isn't fried. These green beans are just green beans. They're served naked. Not fried. No crunchy batter surrounds them. But you want them. Yes. You do.
The spears are grilled, or at least looks like it has been, and served upright, the same way the fries are. They possess a whiff of smokiness, an almost burnt sweetness that's similar to what a hot wok imparts to a properly-made Chinese stir fry. Are they healthier than fries? Yes, probably. But these green beans taste as though they aren't. Oil slicks the surface to add just a touch of flavor and as something for the salt to stick onto.
You eat them with your fingers, dragging the spears through a tasty olive tapenade aioli, each pod tender but still snappy. In fact, they are so crispy, if you had a decible meter, these green beans would register a louder crunch than the fries.
Besides, haven't you always wanted to eat green beans with your hands at the dinner table? Of all the green vegetables on Earth, it can be argued that God intended the green bean as the perfect finger-food ideally paired with a burger. Why else would He make them the same size and shape of a French fry?
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.