Issue 28

Omaha Standard: Bronco’s Fries

Omaha Standard: Bronco’s Fries

My wife sometimes calls me a food whore. She means it in the nicest possible way. I hope. I hope she means that I am a fast friend of something that is agreeable to me upon first blush, no matter what it may do to me down the road. I hope she means that food holds some special power to make me do things that are shady, ill reputable and often down right naughty. Guilty, guilty, aaaand guiltyBronco’s Fries fit both definitions. They were quite likely the first French fries I ever consumed. I have a very specific memory of myself in sixth grade. Dan Lawler and I were walking home from school and we detoured to Broncos, split a chocolate milkshake and devoured a family French fries. I used to recall this memory because of Dan and I’s conversation that day: he was considering asking the supermodel Cindy Crawford to his slumber party and I was looking her up in the Omaha phonebook. We were cool, not smart. Anyway, our coolness has worn. We got smarter, Dan especially. But there is still an indelible connection to that day that lubricates my palate each time I pop one of their pommes frites-quality. Those are my halcyon days. And Broncos was there with me. Since then, I have taken many a short cut in my life. I have been busted for most of them. Broncos too has taken some ill-advised shortcuts that has cost them many stores in their once-powerful empire. Yet, two remain. And with pride, they still cut fries fresh every day from actual potatoes. I say “actual potatoes” not so much because other establishment’s fries don’t come from potatoes, but because their employees never know it. I have had a student in class that worked the fryer at a fast food restaurant for two years, and his eyes almost popped out when I told him that French fries were made from potatoes. I assume he thought they were made from French.

Bronco’s has held tough. There are some pretty high quality frozen fries available to restaurants these days, and I am sure that some of them are enticing to Broncos management: less labor, more consistency, etc. None of them can touch the product they have. Real fries. Some long, some short. Some with skin on them, some without. Some soft and velvety, some crisp and fluffy.  Some really crisp-the ones that swim over the top of the basket then miss the extraction only to swim back in to the next bath for extraction. Then, they salt them. Well. IMMEDIATELY after they come out of the grease. Then they overfill the tiny little bags that they must have ordered several million of in 1959 when they opened. Then they do the unthinkable, they throw away the ones that sit there too long!!! I am proud to call myself a fan of Bronco’s fries. They take no short cuts. They are an Omaha Standard and worthy of their own slogan “where quality rides”.

Brian O'Malley

Brian O'Malley

Brian O’Malley is a chef instructor at Metropolitan Community College’s
Institute for the Culinary Arts. A graduate from New England Culinary Institute and a member of the American Culinary Federation, O’Malley worked as the chef/owner of Spread. He was a manager/instructor at the New England Culinary Institute, head chef at Vanilia in Santorini, Greece, and BackNine Grille, assistant food and beverage manager at the Champion’s Club and opening chef at BOJO. Brian O’Malley can usually be found in MCC’s kitchens, teaching, creating works of culinary genius or debating the perils of out of season tomatoes.


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