Bonjour, mes petits choux! It's that time of year again when America celebrates Bastille Day, which means men dressed up as French maids running around in heels and baguette relay races. While we're not sure if that's exactly how they celebrate in Paris, this isn't the first time Americans have put their stamp on something French. In fact, sometimes it works the other way around and we stamp the word French on things that are uniquely American. In honor of this cross-cultural osmosis, here's a list of some popular non-French French items and where to get 'em.
Although historian claim the first deep-fried potatoes were served up in Belgium in the 17th century, it was Thomas Jefferson's cook who first associated them with France when he had "potatoes served in the French manner" on a White House menu.
Great fries in the District:
Bourbon (2321 18th St., NW in Adams Morgan)
Waffle cut and never soggy, these fries are basically as addictive as illegal drugs.
Granville Moore's (1238 H St, NE in H Street)
Twice fried for maximum flavor and texture, these fries are made for dipping in GM's homemade sauces. Don't miss the curry mayo.
Old Dominion Brewhouse (1219 9th St., NW near the Convention Center)
Although the food menu here is a bit chaotic, the seasoned waffled fries here are always an excellent choice. Come on Tuesdays and hit up pub trivia.
Best French Toast
Recipes similar to French toast date back to the 4th century. However, it was the English who first decided to associate French words with the dish (in the 15th century, they called it pain perdu, or "lost bread"), which may have later led to it to simply being known as French toast.
Stellar paid perdu in DC:
Estadio (1520 14th St., NW in Logan Circle)
The French toast dish here is actually a Spanish dish called torijas. Served up with almond butter, this brunch item doubles as an excellent dessert.
La Fourchette (2429 18th St., NW in Adams Morgan)
Made with baguette instead of regular bread, this egg-coated toast is fried then served up with lots of butter, syrup and powdered sugar.
Cedar (822 E St., NW in Penn Quarter)
Five words: French toast made with banana bread. It's so flavorful on its own, you don't even need syrup. Instead they coat it with some nuts for a nice protein-packed crunch.
Best French 75
This cocktail of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar actually originated in France, but at an American establishment called the New York Bar during World War I. Named after a French 75mm gun, this drink packs a pelting punch.
Get a well-made French 75 here:
Napoleon (1847 Columbia Rd., NW in Adams Morgan)
Done the classic way with Bombay Sapphire, fresh lemon juice and champagne, this cocktail, is served up in a classic French-themed environment.
Poste (555 8th St., NW in Chinatown)
Although not on the cocktail menu, this sleek bar still mixes up one of the best French 75 drinks in town. It's a great one to order then sip outside on the large patio.
One Lounge Kitchen + Cocktail Bar (1606 20th St., NW in Dupont Circle)
One of the most creative French 75 cocktails in town, the mixologists at this Scoutmob-approved lounge shakes brandy, simple syrup and lemon juice before topping it with a Spanish cava and adding lemon zest.