Linn County’s newest snack spot is fun, whimsical and delicious — everything you’d expect from a restaurant called “Frydae.”
Tucked into Uptown Marion, the main entrance of Frydae is currently blocked off due to the more than $6 million renovation project going on. So we parked on the square and enjoyed our brisk walk through the Uptown Artway to get to the back entrance of Frydae.
But there was nothing “back entrance” about this route. We were greeted by quirky patio furniture and colorful chalk drawings on the concrete, with the patios of other restaurants and stores closely nearby. I’m sure every patio chair is full on a summer Friday night, but the chilly weeknight weather left the patio empty.
However, when we stepped into Frydae, it was bright and inviting and certainly not empty. For a small space, the bright lights and cheery green on the walls made it feel much bigger. There’s even a wall that is adored with artificial moss and greenery — perfect for your Instagram photos!
We had trouble narrowing down what we wanted to order as we perused the menu of their famous street fries, loaded shakes and ice cream. We decided to order three loaded fries — Buffalo Chicken Mac, Chicken Bacon Ranch and the Famous Fries — and one sundae, the Glampfire. All fry orders can be made with straight-cut, waffle-cut or sweet potato fries.
Our food was quickly brought to our table and I could still see the melty cheese bubbling. We dove into the Famous Fries first, Frydae’s take on KFC’s Famous Bowl. Think cream gravy, chicken, melted cheese and corn generously poured atop French fries. Delicious!
The Buffalo Chicken Mac fries had buffalo sauce, crispy chicken, cheese and macaroni and cheese on a bed of waffle-cut fries. Frydae’s house ranch sauce really made the dish, and brought a needed coolness to tame the buffalo sauce.
The Chicken Bacon Ranch fries had a healthy amount of crispy bacon, melty cheese, crispy chicken and Frydae’s delicious ranch. Despite the amount of toppings, all of the fry dishes we tried remained crispy. Their fries would have been delicious on their own!
We were stuffed to the brim, but as the saying goes, there’s always room for dessert. The Glampfire sundae is Frydae’s spin on the s’more, with layers of hot fudge, marshmallow and graham crackers sandwiched between vanilla ice cream, complete with chocolate whipped topping and toasted marshmallows. It was decadent, the smooth chocolate complementing the hand-scooped ice cream.
We left Frydae feeling full and happy, and giggled to ourselves about having had fries and ice cream for dinner. Whether you want to feel like a kid again, are looking for something different for dinner, or maybe just need a pick-me-up scoop of ice cream, Frydae is your place. You’ll leave feeling full and happy, too!