Sweet potato fries are sort of like dessert as a side dish. "They're awesome," said Bob Castle, manager of the 60-year-old Jack's Original BBQ. "We sell so many of them all day long, and people absolutely love them. It's one of those things I think they grew up with."
Besides a sweeter taste, sweet potatoes have lots of vitamins A and C. Their flesh can be white, yellow, orange or purple.
A handful of Tucson restaurants offer sweet potato fries as complements to burgers and sandwiches.
"A lot of people dip their sweet potato fries in honey," said Bumsted's owner Barbara Shuman. "Some customers just absolutely love it."
When Bumsted's new menu comes out in the next few weeks, Shuman will introduce fudgie wedgies for $4.95 - a combination of regular fries and sweet potato fries covered in chocolate ganache.
"The question is if it's an appetizer or a dessert," said Shuman, who prefers the ganache's flavor with regular fries.
Monkey Burger features a waffle-cut version of sweet potato fries that are fried in vegetable oil and include a "secret spice mix," according to executive chef Matt Stricker.
Interestingly, the sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato, and the orange variety often is called a yam (although it's technically different).
Here's a sampling of Tucson restaurants that offer sweet potato fries/wedges.
• Bumsted's, 500 N. Fourth Ave.: Get a mountain of sweet wedgies alone for $2.95; with a meal, $1.95.
• Coco's Restaurant and Bakery, 6095 E. Broadway and 7250 N. Oracle Road: This deep-fried goodness comes as a side option with meals and costs $2.29 separately.
Spoiler alert: Coco's Web site lists the nutritional content of its sweet potato fries - 310 calories, 310 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of saturated fat and 36 grams of carbohydrates.
• Cup Cafe, 311 E. Congress St.: Its thin-cut sweet potato fries cost $5 as an individual side, are cooked in peanut oil and come with sandwiches.
• Flying V Bar and Grill, 7000 N. Resort Drive: A side of Parmesan sweet potato fries costs $7.
• Irish Pub, 9155 E. Tanque Verde Road: A sweet potato basket costs $3.50. You also can substitute them in place of regular fries as your side for an additional $1.50.
• Jack's Original BBQ, 5250 E. 22nd St.: A 4-ounce side of sweet potato fries will set you back $2.25. The thin-cut fries are deep-fried in canola oil.
• Monkey Burger, 5350 E. Broadway: A side of waffle-cut sweet potato fries will set you back $2.75. From 3 to 6 p.m. daily, take $1 off all fries and other sides.
• ZinBurger, 1865 E. River Road: The $4 dish of sweet potato fries comes with yogurt dipping sauce. During happy hour, from 4 to 6 p.m. daily, all fries are half-priced.