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Nathan's Famous Potato Change Leads To French Fry Hysteria

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Nathan's Famous hot dogs are fine, but the fries are a whole different matter.

A shortage means the restaurant had to swap potatoes to make its crinkle fries, leaving a bad taste in some customers' mouths, CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez reported Tuesday night.

There's an apparent French fry fiasco happening on Coney Island.

They certainly look like Nathan's Famous crinkle cut fries, but some loyal customers say these chopped potatoes just don't cut it.

1010 WINS' John Montone reports


"The insides are not as they used to be. A little more … maybe starchy," said Debra Hoffman of Geritsen Beach.

Nathan's admits these fries aren't the same trademark ones that have been satisfying customers for nearly a century. It's a whole different potato.

"The Nathan's customer can rest easy.  Nathan's is not changing the French fry," Nathan's spokesperson George Shea said

The restaurant said it did have to temporarily change its potatoes. The Katahdin potato crop it normally use matured too early.

"Ideally, what Nathans wants is that perfect ideal mature potato that delivers a very sweet, delicious French fry, but they weren't getting that from this harvest so they had to switch to the Russet," Shea said.

Russets are a little drier.

"Murphy," an apparent French fry whisperer, normally devoured Nathan's fries, but later sensed something was amiss.

"Normally he'd eat 'em like crazy? Oh definitely. He knows the difference," one person said.

Most French fry fans said they didn't notice a difference.

"They still taste as good as ever," Steven Hoffman said.

"I just thought these were the same fries. I was like these are good," Iliana Braithwaite added.

"I wouldn't have known if you didn't say anything," another person said.

But for those who did notice, there was good news.

"We're going right back to the Katahdin as soon as we can get a new harvest," Shea said.

So you'll just have to take a hiatus if you're picky about potatoes. Just don't be a tater hater.

Nathan's will be back to their famous French fry ways in about three weeks.

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