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Seeking that ‘Chicago’ flavor

McDonald's is testing garlic fries in San Francisco. What flavor says 'Chicago'? | Getty Images

What would turn a pile of french fries into “Chicago” fries?

This isn’t a mustard-or-ketchup debate. What is a flavor that’s quintessentially Chicago?

McDonald’s is testing garlic fries in four restaurants in the San Francisco area with an eye toward offering them at 250 stores as a regional menu item. The fries are made to order with garlic grown in Gilroy, California.

McDonald’s doesn’t have any regional flavor tests underway in the Chicago market. Spokeswoman Jessica Rau said select Chicago restaurants will sell Horchata Frappes beginning later this month, but it is a limited-time offer rather than a test.

Rau also noted some restaurants in Milwaukee sell Johnsonville brats.

What could a regional flavor be around here?

In the Sun-Times newsroom, there was a vote for sprinkling fries with celery salt. Another vote for drizzling Italian beef juice over them. (OK, maybe drenching them.)

Chili cheese fries are popular, but maybe not Chicago-centric. And what about flavoring fries with duck fat?

How about serving fries with loose sausage meat? Rib tips? Or topping them off with pizza sauce and cheese?

Sun-Times staff had some ideas for other parts of the menu too: a Frango mint shake, a sundae flavored with Garrett’s CaramelCrisp popcorn or maybe just some cheesecake.