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Potato skins in Cambridge and/or Boston?

jpalmer Sep 11, 2010 04:50 PM

We moved to Cambridge about a year ago, and have been frustrated in our efforts to find good potato skins. A couple of pubs had them, but have stopped offering them in the past year (Tavern in the Square in Porter, for example). The Fours near N. Station, mentioned in a 2008 thread here, has them but they aren't to our taste. . . any recent recommendations? Thanks!

  1. j
    jpalmer Nov 11, 2010 04:04 PM

    We've tried Spirit (in Porter Square) potato skins twice since originally posting this. They're not traditional potato skins, but pretty good - more like exterior potato slices, treated sort of like nachos, with bacon and cheese for topping. I've never had potato skins prepared this way, but for craving-time, more than adequate. We haven't done much with the rest of Spirit's menu, though. Mooo, Newtowne and RF O'Sullivan's on the list next. . .

    15 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpalmer
      hiddenboston Nov 18, 2010 12:15 PM

      O'Sullivan's has some good skins, though whenever I get them, I always wake up with night sweats later. I have no idea why.

    2. c
      catsmeow Sep 17, 2010 02:27 PM

      In Milton, Newcomb Farms serves a really good breakfast version filled with eggs, cheese, and bacon. There's a Newcomb Farms in Wollaston, but whenever I've eaten at that one, none of the food has been as good as the original one in Milton.

      1 Reply
      1. re: catsmeow
        Jolyon Helterman Sep 18, 2010 10:28 AM

        If I am sitting at J.J. Foley's (South End) playing trivia, I often get them. They're fine.

        J.J. Foley's
        117 E Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02118

      2. o
        observor Sep 17, 2010 02:25 PM

        Potato skins aren't bad, but there always seems to be too much or too little potato left in the skin. Also, you kind of have to eat a lot of them, and one can't help but think all of the potato taken out that is going to waste. Seems like loaded hand cut French fries kind of accomplish the same thing and more efficient. Or, just a loaded baked potato.

        2 Replies
        1. re: observor
          newhound Sep 18, 2010 04:35 AM

          Going to waste? Hopefully not--I imagine that the innards are going towards mashed potatos served elsewhere on the menu.

          1. re: newhound
            observor Sep 18, 2010 11:38 AM

            You might think, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of places just throw the innards out.

        2. g
          gwendolynmarie Sep 15, 2010 10:50 PM


          In Boston, Moo, the Pour House, Green Dragon/Paddy Os/Mr Dooley's/Hennesey's (same ownership), Lansdowne Pub, Whiskey's, Tommy Doyle's.
          In Cambridge, you have Spirit, Asgard, and Grendel's Den.
          In Allston, if you're into variations of the norm, sister establishments Sunset Grill, Sunset Cantina, and Big city have five different versions each.

          Sunset Cantina
          916 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          Pour House
          907 Boylston St Ste 21, Boston, MA 02115

          Tommy Doyles
          349 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

          Sunset Grill
          916 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          4 Replies
          1. re: gwendolynmarie
            yumyum Sep 16, 2010 10:56 AM

            Yeeps. That list of restaurants is really the worst of the worst. Yikesy.

            1. re: yumyum
              gwendolynmarie Sep 16, 2010 06:51 PM

              Agreed, and none of those restaurants I'd recommend in a general sense. But this is not about overall quality, right? They have the skins, and some unfortunate nights out have had friends inform me they fit the bill for that specific craving. Who am I to judge?

              1. re: yumyum
                hynespb Nov 18, 2010 11:26 AM

                That's because most of them are primarily bars, with food as an afterthought. Potato skins are best when inebriated.

              2. re: gwendolynmarie
                MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2010 02:11 PM

                I would never think to order them, but I imagine the skins at Mooo.... are pretty tasty: Yukon gold skins, cave-aged Gruyere, what I would imagine to be high quality bacon ($10).

                It's actually a good place if you: a) like luxury steakhouses, and b) can get past the idiotic name. It's one of the few in Boston that is a bit romantic looking, not the typical wood paneled, marble, brass rail, leather banquette kind of boys' club.


                15 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108

              3. itaunas Sep 14, 2010 10:42 AM

                The Paddock in Somerville still does them, I think RF O'Sullivan's too, I can't really speak to how good either is. Its not a stuffed potato skin, but you might like the fries at the Newbridge which they would probaby melt cheese over, but probably no bacon bits. (I am not a huge fan of that style of fries, but like how the Newbridge does them and good potato flavor like decent skins. R.F. O'Sullivan's does similar fries, but not very well.)

                1. o
                  omarba Sep 14, 2010 10:20 AM

                  A good potato skin is hard to find. I LOVE the skins at the Sailloft!! Can't get enough of them.

                  1. StriperGuy Sep 12, 2010 04:32 PM

                    Potato skins. Wait, am I in a time warp back to 1992. Honestly, what is GOOD about potato skins?

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      viperlush Sep 12, 2010 04:38 PM

                      Potatoe, cheese, sour cream, and bacon. I ask you, what's BAD about potatoe skins?

                      1. re: viperlush
                        jpalmer Sep 12, 2010 05:35 PM

                        StriperGuy, I hear you - potato skins aren't exactly tops on my list of nuanced cuisine either. But when you have a retro comfort food craving, what can you do? :) Plus, it's not like the other pub food alternatives around here are more subtle - deep fried cheap mozzarella, for example. . . . and the bacon does cure many ills. Thanks for the reccs, twentyoystahs.

                        I have located several potato skin recipes from Gourmet so I'll be trying those too. Will post back if they work decently. Although part of the joy of pub food is not having to make it yourself, but rather sitting back and enjoying a drink. . .

                        1. re: jpalmer
                          StriperGuy Sep 13, 2010 08:36 AM

                          Soitanly. And understand the basic idea: cheese, and assorted junk, etc. etc.

                          Guess I just go for other bar food more: wings, fries, onion rings, fried calamari, etc...

                          I guess of bar snacks, potato skins have just always been a tremendous mystery to me. Scraps of cardboard, or old newspaper with the same prep would probably be every bit as tasty. ;-)

                        2. re: viperlush
                          southie_chick Sep 13, 2010 06:15 PM

                          Ah, potato skins - an Irishman's ......... dream. Fried potato ........ & cheese ........ AND bacon. All you need is a beer for an almost perfect meal (sorta like an Irish 7 course meal - a 6 pack & a potato!). Unfortunately, it's been a while since I had a good 'skin. Most places scrape way too much potato out, leaving just the brown skin. You need to leave some potato on it for the flavor - I'd rather have too much potato than not enough. And, don't fry them soggy.
                          Then, there's the "crappy cheese" issue - Velveta is OK but NOT American. Don't even get me started on "facon" - use real bacon!
                          Can't remember the last place I got good ones, but I do remember that they were more like potato "cups", plenty of potato on the skin, fried until crispy outside & potato cooked soft inside, cheddar, & real bacon. Too bad I just can't remember where they were!!!!

                          1. re: southie_chick
                            twentyoystahs Sep 17, 2010 02:05 PM

                            Agree completely!

                          2. re: viperlush
                            djd Sep 16, 2010 08:22 AM

                            Oh God, back when I was a kid in the NY suburbs a local pizza place started serving "pizza skins"—personal-size deep-dish crust filled with mashed potatoes and topped with potato skin toppings. My sister and I ate them for I don't know how many Saturday nights in a row. SO GOOD.

                            1. re: djd
                              Spenbald Sep 16, 2010 03:53 PM

                              Uno's, *shudder*, still does this. But, for as awful as Uno's is, this is about the one thing I find crave-worthy.

                            2. re: viperlush
                              invinotheresverde Nov 12, 2010 09:18 AM

                              Amen, sister/brother! Sister, I think, right?

                              1. re: invinotheresverde
                                viperlush Nov 18, 2010 09:09 AM

                                Yup, sister.

                            3. re: StriperGuy
                              FoodDabbler Sep 12, 2010 07:58 PM

                              Potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.

                            4. t
                              twentyoystahs Sep 11, 2010 06:52 PM

                              I LOVE potato skins. and I agree it's tough to find good renditions around here.
                              The Sail Loft has some pretty good ones --their secret is a layer of Velveeta- which may or may not turn you on/off....but they are actually surprisingly tasty, I think.
                              As I recall, Buff's Pub in Newton used to have some good ones too....of course the wings are the focus here but years ago I used to get an order of both.
                              Had them at JJ Foley's recently and didn't think they were so great. A lot of cheese and skin and too much of the potato actually scooped out.
                              Sports Depot used to have my favorite version in Boston,but they are no longer :(

                              Buff's Pub
                              317 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02458

                              Sports Depot
                              353 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: twentyoystahs
                                suzysue2 Nov 13, 2010 08:06 AM

                                I am going to second the endorsement for Buff's skins which I have had recently. The potato skins are crisp with a creamy interior topped with lots of cheese and bacon, yum!

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