To curl or not to curl? Boogie’s is feeling fried
Aspen has battled about everything from furs to trains to cell phones in cars and a lot of other stuff, but this may be the first time that locals have gotten upset over French fries.
A local group of gastronomical activists, calling themselves the Committee to Resurrect the Curly Fry, has mounted a campaign against one of Aspen’s most popular eateries, Boogie’s Diner, with the slogan, “Do You Really Want Your Side Dishes to be Ordinary?”
And, in the face of an onslaught of outrage and fearing boycotts, the management has decided to plumb the depths of this latest controversy and put the matter to a popular vote.
“I can’t even appear in public,” complained manager Reggie Barbour with a grin. “I’m concerned for my safety!”
You read right, by the way; we’re talking about French fries – those tantalizing little strips of potato, dipped in hot oil and served in a pile, that come with sandwiches and other fare at just about any local restaurant you can name.
The managers at Boogie’s, unaware of the maelstrom they were about to unleash, late last year switched from their 13-year staple of curly fries to the more traditional straight fries.
Barbour maintained this week that the switch was occasioned by complaints from customers about the taste and temperature of the curly variety. He said the straight fries apparently hold heat longer, according to taste tests conducted among the customers at various times last year.
“We had some quite strong opinions against it,” he said of the curly-fry tradition. So, they made the change.
Almost immediately, he said, complaints started coming in from the other camp.
The windows of Boogie’s Diner, at the corner of East Cooper Avenue and South Hunter Street, were plastered with small, handmade posters last weekend, demanding that the management bring back the curly fries or else.
“Straight Fries Suck,” reads one of the posters. “If you curl it, they will come,” declares another.
So now, Barbour and his co-manager, Roy Toomey, decided they’ll leave it up to the people.
“This is a democracy, after all,” said one employee who asked not to be identified.
“At least, it is around here,” he added, referring to the recent national electoral confusion in Florida.
“Hopefully, there won’t be any ballot-stuffing,” said Toomey. “And there’ll be no recounts.”
Asked if there are any registration requirements for potential voters, Barbour replied, “I don’t care. They can be aliens.”
The voting is to start Jan. 19 and continue for two weeks, he said, and voters will be able to sample both kinds of fries before making their choice.
“Anyone who eats can vote,” Barbour declared.
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has tested positive for the coronavirus. Polis and his partner, Marlon Reis, both have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic, the governor said in a statement Saturday night.