Would you like fries with that? When it comes to these potato-heavy dishes, the answer should always be "yes."
Cultivated in the Andes over 5,000 years ago, potatoes thrill taste buds all over the world, whether mashed, roasted, baked, or fried. Take advantage of National Potato Day, which falls on August 19, to treat yourself to one of these innovative and unexpected spins on classics that bring spuds into the spotlight.
Sardine Chips at Rich Table in San Francisco
Seafood “a-fish-ionados” should begin a meal at the convivial Rich Table with the sardine chips appetizer. In the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, Chefs Sarah and Evan Rich interlace the raw silvery fish into potato slices, then fry them up golden. The oil-rich sardine gives depth and savory oomph to the potato chip, which serves as a perfect scoop for horseradish crème fraîche.
Patatas Bravas at Ataula in Portland
Chef José Chesa upgrades the classic Spanish tapas dish—patatas bravas—at Portland’s urban-casual Ataula, which features Catalan cuisine from Chesa’s Barcelona roots. Vacuum-packed with chorizo oil and pimento peppers, the sliced potatoes cook slowly until soft in a sous-vide water bath for two hours, then are fried until crisp and topped with spicy tomato sauce and a garlicky, milk-based aioli.
Poutine at American Poutine Co. in and around Gilbert, Arizona
A decadent snack in French-Canadian territories, poutine is typically fries smothered with gravy and cheese curds. But Arizona’s American Poutine Co. serves up creative variations from two traveling trucks and their first brick-and-mortar in Gilbert. Hungry diners tuck into Buffalo chicken poutine with hot sauce and blue cheese-drizzled breaded chicken, fries, and local curds, then follow it up with apple pie poutine—a heap of cinnamon sugar-dusted fries topped with pie filling and whipped cream—for dessert.
Fries at Boise Fry Company in Nampa, Idaho
Have it your way at the newest location of Boise Fry Company. Here, cooks cut six kinds of savoy and sweet Idaho potatoes into styles from shoestring to curly, and fry them to crisp perfection in GMO-free sunflower oil. Customers then shake on their favorite seasoning salts (Cajun and rosemary garlic are popular choices), and dip in myriad sauces, such as chipotle or sour Thai. The fry joint also has four more locations in Boise and Meridian, and one in Portland, for all your French fried cravings. Oh, right, and don’t forget to order a burger to go with!
Baked Swiss Egg Rösti at Konditorei Bakery and Café in Sun Valley, Idaho
Before a you crest Mt. Baldy or hike to Pioneer Cabin, carb load at the Konditorei Bakery and Café, a bustling alpine-inspired breakfast and lunch stop in Sun Valley’s village. Their classic Swiss-style rosti, essentially an oversized hash brown laced with gruyere cheese, arrives at the table with eggs nestled in the middle that baked gently in the heat of the potatoes.
Potatoes in the Style of Ham Hock at Lion and Owl in Eugene, Oregon
Delightfully surprising Lion and Owl in downtown Eugene serves seasonal brunch dishes in a modern dining room complete with its beloved vintage Airstream trailer open for seating. Regulars who frequented the trailer while it was Lion and Owl’s only location can still climb aboard and order two items always on the menu: a glass of bubbles and a plate of the signature vegetarian “potatoes in the style of ham hock,” which are brined, smoked, and served crispy with seasonal sides to cleverly reimagine braised ham.
Love on a Plate at South Restaurant + Coffeehouse in Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage’s popular New American South Restaurant + Coffeehouse may be a short drive out of town on Seward Highway, but diehard fans go gaga over the brunch dish dubbed “love on a plate.” Who wouldn’t adore mounds of roasted, smashed spuds with herb-infused onions and mushrooms, capped by a cheesy mornay sauce, bacon, and tomatoes?
Potato N’ Eggs at Over Easy in Kailua, Hawaii
If an open-faced breakfast sandwich of soft-boiled egg and bacon slathered with tomato jam weren’t already enough, Over Easy bistro’s chef and co-owner Nik Lobendahn sauces it with a puree of creamy potatoes. Paired with a lilikoi (passion fruit) mimosa or Hawaiian coffee, potato ‘n’ eggs starts a lazy seaside weekend in Kailua off right. Even better, family-friendly Kailua beach is a 15-minute walk away from the modest spot.
Mormon Burger, Fat Jack’s Burger Emporium in downtown Salt Lake City
Utah natives often bring “funeral potatoes,” a cheesy potato casserole, to family gatherings. Only Fat Jack’s Burger Emporium in downtown Salt Lake City fries them up as patties and serves them atop their wittily-named Mormon burger made with locally raised beef as a tribute to the community that loves this classic dish.