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Potatopia

Potatopia 378 6th Ave (near 8th Street) 212-260-4100
potatopia.com

Looks like another plastic vaguely Asian-ish zippy fast food joint. Food frankly doesn't look great. But it's KILLERKILLERKILLERKILLERKILLER.

If you're into potatoes, as I am, you won't need much convincing to go try a potato-oriented restaurant. A good start is the smashed hit (fried, not mashed) with chicken. Add some tabasco. Ignore the fast-food-ish-looking squeeze sauces. Just eat and be delirious.

I drifted out in a trance state. May look for a sublet nearby.

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  1. FASCINATING! I went by there recently, and would never have thought to go in given the plastic fast food-y feel. I've been on the lookout for places my five year old would like that aren't ice cream/gelato: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/919476 This'll go on the list!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rose water

      If you try it, please report back...even if you disagree!

    2. Hey, Jim -

      It's your piano-playing, joke-loving old pal (I think you know who). Potatopia is in my neighborhood, and being a spud-a-holic, I was STALKING the place leading up to its opening a few months back.

      Only went in once, on its 1st or 2nd day. I SO wanted to love this place, but I was underwhelmed. Not that the food was bad - I had the "Au Gratin" and my son had the shoestring fries with a couple of different cheeses on top. It's just that I was hoping to be more blown away by the flavors, and I didn't think the portions were especially generous. I'd always rather spend MORE money to get a satisfying amount of food, than to feel that I've overspent for a meager portion. Call it "The Carnegie Deli Principle." ;-D

      Service was a bit addled and pretty slow, but I'll certainly cut them some slack on that, since they had just opened.

      Of course, I respect your opinion, and the quintuple-KILLER-with-no-spaces-in-between rating will force me to give it another try.

      FYI - currently stalking Empire Biscuit on Avenue A. Do you know about it? Looks promising, but they don't have it together yet.

      Hope all is well - don't be a stranger - I'm still at the same number and address, if you want to grab some chow sometime!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Rodan

        I love the idea behind a lot of these types of novelty food joints, but it seems like they almost always run pricey for what you get. I guess I'll pass on this one. Empire Biscuit, too: $4.50 for one (probably) small biscuit?

        On a vaguely related note, anyone tried Taquitoria on the LES yet?

        1. re: Humbucker

          Extreme deliciousness for $9 in the middle of the Village? Geez, I appreciate a deal as much as the next hound, but I have trouble seeing this as pricy.

          It's impossible to calculate cost/quality value if all you know is cost. If you defiantly refuse to EVER eat anything over $8.99, period, well, my hat's off to you for your commitment!

          1. re: Humbucker

            Have eaten at Taquitoria a whole bunch of times now: pretty much perfectly executed flautas, but to be honest, l can't make out a whole lot of difference between flavors of filling; one's as good as another, imo. lt's all about the gestalt of crunchy meat-filled thing with the toppings they pile on. Go "Cheesy" or the all-out option [l forget what that's called]. lt's great drunk food or a quick snack.

            Brad, the owner, who's there almost all the time, is also a really nice guy.

          2. re: Rodan

            Not sure who you are, but always great to hear from an old pal!

            Listen, expectations count. I'm not sure what you were looking for from this place, but it clearly missed that. Me, I just went in as an open-minded potato-lover, and I left the place feeling like I was floating in the air. I texted another spud-loving friend the following: "You could stab me in the arm with an ice pick right now and I don't think I'd flinch."

            There's a lot of things this ISN'T. For one thing, if a person takes a gourmet attitude toward food, examining ingredients and probing for subtle flavors, this will not delight. And portions aren't huge, but I think they're conceiving these as snacks. And I long ago dropped expectation of value in this part of Manhattan, even in snacky places (yet I can't imagine anyone thinking of this as a rip-off).

            But their stuff comes together into deep, deep gestalt for me. I feel, for once in my life, like somebody here truly loves spuds and isn't just pressing comfort food buttons. It's fun and quick and zany, the spuds are crispy AND chewy and not overwhelmed even by the zillions of depressing-looking (but not tasting) toppings. What can I say.

            Even Difara's Pizza and Spicy Mina and Kabab Cafe disappointed people. And this will disappoint far more, because you've got to be a potato person. But for me? I'll raise it a KILLER to KILLERKILLERKILLERKILLERKILLERKILLER.

            JIM

            PS - Oh, ok. Just grokked the nametag. Drop an email to jimleff.ny@gmail.com

            1. re: Rodan

              Sietsema on some of the other new single item focused eateries:

              http://ny.eater.com/archives/2013/11/...

            2. Given the potato topic, there is a cookbook "A Passion for Potatoes" that will be happy reading for potato lovers

              1. Went there with a fellow potato lover last night. I orderd smashed hit with bacon and he got the frequent friers. It was potato bliss.

                The potato powers that be might be reading here or tweaking the idea because both portions were big and almost too much to finish.

                One thing we missed we saw other people getting was Mashed Pie. It's not listed on the signature dishes section and it's buried in the Pick Your Potato section of the menu (though missing on the website). Looked great.