At first glance, Lord of the Fries is your typical burger joint. With huge banners when you walk inside for Chick’n Snack Packs, Hot Dogs, Parma burgers and of course french fries. But as soon as you scratch the surface, you start to realise what is going on. Not only is Lord of the Fries meat-free, but it’s almost completely Vegan.
All of the sauces are vegan already and the fries are definitely not cooked in beef tallow, which was one of the driving factors behind Amanda Walker & Mark Koroncyk’s vision of starting Lord of the Fries.
Amanda and Mark met in 2001 while teaching English at the same school in Taiwan. After discovering they had a great deal in common, like both being vegetarian, a love of foreign films, the same music and even Mark having Amanda’s favourite book on his desk. Their love relationship started to grow and as all relationships go, they were eating out a lot. With a love of French fries, they had the continued trouble of finding great fries that were
not cooked in beef tallow. As we all know, most of the great ideas are born out of a need that is not being met.
When Amanda and Mark moved back to Australia, with not enough funds for a restaurant they bought a tiny food truck and actually started with a Crepe Van idea. Wanting to travel the festival circuit selling vegetarian food to the masses, but the Crepe Van didn’t work. The next idea was called Run VMC, in the same small food van, selling healthy soups, sandwiches and all things organic. Again, there was not enough interest to maintain this. Which brought them back to their original love, the classic French Fry.
One of the most popular dishes from Amanda’s home country, Canada, is Poutine. French fries covered in cheese and gravy, which needed to be a part of this new venture and this was only the beginning. Their ideas grew from country to country and through different cuisines with various dipping sauces like Indian, Parisian, Belgian and many more.
So now they had this amazing idea, but how do you name it. The way we should all name things. With a group of friends throwing names around until one sticks. There were many options being tossed around like, The best fries guys and Fries in the Sky, but it was Mark’s brother Sam who threw out the name Lord of the Fries and it just stuck.
We asked Amanda if there was any point through this process when they thought it just wasn’t going to happen?
We don’t really think like that. We avoid these definitive end thoughts. We started to make fresh fries which were hand cut, and we knew that wouldn’t work big scale, but in an idea grows we kept changing with the times to make it work.
Lord of the Fries has been vegetarian since the beginning, what has brought about the shift to just vegan?
The reason we changed to vegan, is that Mark and I are both eating vegan. Mark has been for a long time now, but it’s also the way of the future. It’s the way things are heading right now and we try to stay on top of the movement.
How long does it take most people to realise you are vegan?
That’s very difficult to answer because a lot of people don’t realise at all. So it could be an infinite amount of time. Sometimes it just takes a friend to say try this and then they say ‘don’t you know it’s not meat?’. Vegan’s all tell each other though.
Personally, I don’t think it matters, I mean it does to me, but it shouldn’t to them. We like to put the emphasis on the food tasting good, and the experience being great. A cool place to eat and have good vibes, and it just happens to be vegan. Which is the super bonus in there.
What’s the most popular item on the menu?
There are so many popular items, but we change our menu a lot. Right now the fries are flying out of the fryer, the poutine is always very popular, the cheese and gravy one. People still love fries and ketchup as well. The fish burger is back too, which is amazing, it tastes just like it’s from the ocean, which is strange but wonderful. We also have the chicken and fries which are crazy, the chicken drumsticks are delicious.
What is next for Lord of the Fries?
I like this question. World domination is what we are working towards. We have our fingers in India at the moment and I dream of the day we can open in London. We are also thinking of selling some of the products outside of the store, to bring the Lord’s bounty closer to people in their homes and supermarkets. But really just growing, thriving and serving good food.
This seems like a silly question, but your favourite veggie?
I am a bit fan of the potato. It is the best.
We definitely knew that one.