This week, we’ve been laser-focused on the fried potato in all its crispy, golden glory. We delved into its history, profiled some of its present-day champions, outlined its various incarnations and ranked each variety in terms of popularity. We even took a look at some shady dealings involving its greasy remnants. But greasy spuds and their dipping sauces aren’t the only things of interest lately. We also sought out some good Cuban coffee in Miami and some proper beers for springtime. Oh, and we called out this purported bar expert on TV for some things he should know better. All that and some cafés full of cats in this week’s Hot Topics on Food Republic.

  1. You might know Jon Taffer from the TV show Bar Rescue. But what does Taffer really know about bars?
  2. Yeah, it’s #FRitesWeek. Here are our definitive rankings for all the fries.
  3. The so-called french fry is really Belgian. Or is it Spanish? Either way, there’s a museum in Bruges where you can learn more.
  4. Patatas bravas are definitely Spanish. And oh so good. Here’s where to find the best kinds in Barcelona.
  5. It’s a burger shop, but Five Guys is really about the fries. Can you guess how many potatoes it takes to supply more than 1,300 locations?
  6. The French-Canadian gravy- and cheese-covered fry dish known as poutine is now an international sensation, much to the chagrin of our French-Canadian correspondent.
  7. Nostalgia for wavy freezer fries runs deep. Here’s why Shake Shack came back to the crinkle-cut.
  8. A year after losing her restaurant in a gas explosion, Belgian-style fry aficionado Suzanne Levinson’s Pommes Frites is reopening in NYC.
  9. You call it waste; crooks call it liquid gold. Here’s why thieves steal leftover fryer grease.
  10. A café society…for cats? Yes, here’s where to find the most finicky eaters in NYC (and maybe get some good dumplings in the process).