Chickie’s and Pete’s wins the best fries

The Crabfires are on Best Foods of South Philly event menu

By Bill Gelman

Photo Provided by Chickie’s and Pete’s

Here’s a challenge — try going to Chickie’s and Pete’s, 1526 Packer Ave., without eating the Crabfries. The item is so popular, they’re trademarked. Readers love them, and the Packer Park establishment’s first-place finish in this big fry competition confirms it.

Owner Pete Ciarrocchi is honored by the news.

“For them (readers) to recognize us means so much more,” he said. “After all of these years they are not just a novelty. People love the Crabfries, and I am glad that they do.”

The story behind this hard-to-resist item is an interesting one. Back in the days when Chickie’s and Pete’s was a little corner bar in Northeast Philly, Pete had purchased a lot of seasoning to make crabs. But the crabs were not being sold during the winter months, so it was time to do a little experimenting. Pete decided to come up with a special recipe (only Pete knows it) featuring a secret blend of seasonings. After playing around with it for seven to eight months, the Crabfries were officially born. They’re now available across the country — in Kansas City, Florida, Ohio, the Carolinas, the Jersey Shore and numerous other places.

When asked if he ever envisioned this huge level of success, Pete responded “absolutely not.”