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Sven & Evelyn De Ville
Frituur Tartaar

Sven & Evelyn De Ville

“I was undecided between a pub and a fries stand,” laughs Sven De Ville as he relates the start of his career as a chef. “My mother came to get me as I was playing football. She’d seen a fries stand up for sale. I changed out of my uniform and went over right away. The rest is history.”

Sven spent ten years frying 'fries' deep in the Flemish Ardennes, where the potatoes used to make this classic Flemish snack thrive in clayey soil. Between the potato fields, he learned his craft. After a decade, the city beckoned and he moved his shop to Ghent.

From the best potatoes to the best fries

One specific customer drew his attention. Evelyn was working at a sandwich shop around the corner and came by regularly for fries. Sparks flew and now the couple run Frituur Tartaar together. The sandwich shop has become their takeaway site. The potatoes are still from the Flemish Ardennes. “The taste is incomparable,” says Sven.“It must be something in the soil. I’ll only use those potatoes for my fries. I’ve been buying from the same supplier from sixteen years now. They are the distributor for local farms in the region.” According to Sven, the best potatoes for fries are Bintjes.

“Bintje fries come out crisp, don’t become too dark and are deliciously floury on the inside.” Sven likes to eat fries with spicy samurai sauce and a bit of Ghent pickle. Evelyn prefers an adventurous combination of sweet joppie sauce, satay spices, vegan stew and sour gherkins.


Only the highest quality

"While tasting the umpteenth flavourless vegetable burger, I thought, we can do better.We have since become known for our selection of homemade plant-based snacks."

Another prerequisite for good fries is fresh oil. “We change our oil daily; this is an area where we refuse to compromise. If we are going out for a snack and smell old grease, we turn around and leave. You shouldn’t reek of the chippy when you’re done.” Sven and Evelyn also set high standards for the other snacks they serve alongside their fries.

“We taste everything available on the market to find the best ones. We never skimp on quality.” That’s also why they currently make much of the food they sell themselves; from homemade stews and burgers to vegetarian broccoli beignets and vegan falafel. “Wholesalers’ vegan options are just not that interesting,” says Evelyn. “While tasting the umpteenth flavourless vegetable burger, I thought, we can do better.We have since become known for our selection of homemade plant-based snacks.In a progressive city like Ghent, demand for such items is high.”

Fries, essential Flemish food culture

The city is popular with tourists, who often come to their shop as well. “We hate it when foreign visitors ask for French fries,” laughs Evelyn. “We say, sorry, we don’t serve those here,” adds Sven. “Fries are an essential element of Flemish food culture. Everyone visits a fries stand occasionally, from all walks of life. Flemings of all sorts gather here to enjoy perfectly fried fries together.

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