Pota-topia: Pinky’s Dream Come True

DSCN7031378 6th Avenue
New York, NY

What has this world come to!?!? A restaurant that only serves potatoes as a main course?!?! You heard it right, this place only serves potatoes… in all shapes and sizes, with whatever toppings you desire. Pota-topia initially started as kiosk in Menlo Park Mall in Edison, New Jersey. After much success and popularity, the owner decided to open one up in Manhattan, New York. Definitely, a great decision because it’s hugely popular in the city too. Did I also mention that Pinky absolutely LOVES POTATOES? You can also visit their website at here!

Fun fact: Victor gave Pinky a raw potato for her 20th birthday with a candle on top…and she bit it for a perfect photo op.

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COMATOSER
Skin Chips, House Salt and Pepper, Cheddar Cheese, Asiago Cheese, Pepperjack Cheese, Green Onions, Red Onion, Garlic, Cilantro, Jalapeño, Broccoli, Bacon, Melted Cheddar, Roasted Pepper and Ranch $7.75

CURLY SUE Curly Cut, House Salt and Pepper, Pepperjack Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Jalapeño, Garlic, Green Onion, Chipotle Ketchup and Garlic Aioli $6.50
CURLY SUE
Curly Cut, House Salt and Pepper, Pepperjack Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Jalapeño, Garlic, Green Onion, Chipotle Ketchup and Garlic Aioli $6.50

Victor says 4/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail

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Quite an interesting place in my opinion. New York City never ceases to amaze me in its wide variety of wacky and  unique restaurants. This dainty little place can be found near West Village in Manhattan. This restaurant can be hidden amidst all the other stores around it, but once you see it’s signature potato logo, you know you’re heading towards the right place.

The design of Potatopia reminds a lot like the Wafels and Dinges Cafe, even though they are different in their own  ways. They use very warm colors like yellow, gray, and white, as well using wooden decor and seats. Sort of a like urban eco-design I would say. The vibe and environment is also quite similar to Wafels and Dinges. The staff are all pretty young folk, but they are also very friendly and just seem genuinely happy.

This place like a fast food take out joint, so don’t expect it to be a quiet sit-down kind of place. If it was a busy hour, I think it would be hard to find a seat.  Upon arriving through its glass doors, there is a table against the window to your left and a long wooden table towards the middle with a couple of seats. To right of the entrance are the paper menus you can grab if you don’t want to wait on line yet.

DSCN7038If you forgot a menu and already walked in, you can always looks at the large TV menus above the cashiers and potato chefs.  The TV menus are bright and vivid with one of them showing tweets from fans!

Well, I guess I should start talking about the real stuff: the food.

On their menu, they have signature dishes and the possibility of creating your very own dish.Pinky and I decided to try the signatures, The Comatoser and Curly Sue.

The Curly Sue is made up of Curly Cut fries with House Salt and Pepper, Pepperjack Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Jalapeño, Garlic, Green Onion, Chipotle Ketchup and Garlic Aioli. Sounds like a mouthful, eh? Out of the two dishes we got, I actually really enjoyed this one more. I’m a big fan of curly fries and I just felt that all the ingredients went together wonderfully well. A big part of this were the interesting sauces. You don’t see Chipotle Ketchup or Garlic Aioli on fries normally, it made it so savory. The fries were absolutely crunchy and the scallions were a nice addition. I do feel that it was a little bit too much scallion, but that’s okay. Overall, I really enjoyed this signature dish and you should try it out too!

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Comatoser skin chip

The Comatoser is composed of Skin Chips with  House Salt and Pepper, Cheddar Cheese, Asiago Cheese, Pepperjack Cheese, Green Onions, Red Onion, Garlic, Cilantro, Jalapeño, Broccoli, Bacon, Melted Cheddar, Roasted Pepper and Ranch. A little pricier than the Curly Sue, but it also contains more stuff too! As you know, I’m a big fan of quality, not quantity. To me, the flavors just didn’t really stand out to me.  I’m not saying it’s awful or anything, I just liked the Curly Sue much more. It’s pretty much the suped-up version of a Wendy’s Broccoli, Bacon, and Cheese potato.

Overall, this place is pretty good, so check this place out. It’s not too relatively expensive with dishes ranging from $7-$10. If you’re daring and want to make your own special potato, go ahead, you potato connoisseur. If you don’t like potatoes at all, maybe this place will change your mind.

Pinky says 4.5/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg2 coffee

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How can someone go wrong with a restaurant that serves so many different kinds of potatoes?!  I loved the COMATOSER better than the CURLY SUE.  I would have to disagree with Vic on his comment that it tastes like a glorified baked potato.  I felt that that texture of the skin chips was so unique and awesome.  The inside of the “chip” tasted like a mashed potato and the outside tasted like a potato oven-roasted chip.  I really want to learn how to achieve that texture with my potatoes at home!  (If someone knows the secret…please share!!!!!)  I loved the delicious veggies, scallion, red onion, broccoli.  Oh my, the sauce was even more delicious — I literally wanted to lick the whole bowl.  The bacon was so savory too.  THE CHEESE. THE CHEESE. Dang those cheese combos caressed my taste buds in a velvety dance!

The Curly Sue I felt that you can just have this texture in regular fries, but I did loved the combination of flavors — the chipotle ketchup seriously how can you go wrong?  I don’t think I ever had fries with scallions.  Level up from regular fast food fries!  However, I just wish there was more of it…and to it.  I could easily make this one — now that they listed all the ingredients!

Okay, Pinky of course you’re giving such a high score for a potato restaurant, but why the half point off? Honestly, the prices were pretty steep.  I get it that it’s in Manhattan but this was more like a snack than dinner.  Don’t assume you’ll be full after this “meal”!  It’s a horrible habit to develop, but if it was cheaper I would come every single day. (I’m a poor recent graduate!!) And get fat, of course.  There is so much cheese in the signature meals!!!!  These sig meals would be cheaper than the “build your own potato” meals.

Counter/ Register
Counter/ Register

Press 195: Are they REALLY “Sandwich Kings”?

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22 N Park Ave
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

This gorgeously decorated restaurant is a local favorite to Rockville Centre, NY.  They serve good selection of beers and has a full bar…as well as a wide variety of pressed sandwiches (hot or cold), fries, soups, burgers, knishes, and salads!

They even do free local delivery from Monday – Sunday 11:30am to 9:30pm.  If you’re in the area…you know to call 516-536-1950.

You cannot miss this place with the nicely designed sign “PRESS 195” and the floor to ceiling glass, where you can peer into the full-bar area.

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They also offer Lunch Specials from Monday -Friday 11am – 3pm for half a sandwich/salad AND Belgian fries/house salad/soup of the day FOR ONLY $10!!!

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#43: Crispy Panko breaded chicken cutlet, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, Monterey Jack and Press 195’s famous chipotle sauce $10.00

Victor says 4.25Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail3fish

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These sandwiches are delicious and savory.

Press 195 is an interesting, yet beautiful restaurant. It has warm colors and has a lot of windows for allow natural light. It’s aesthetically pleasing and this place is just nice to be in. The waitress we had was very nice, but she didn’t ask if we ever wanted refills or any napkins.

Now onto the food and drinks!

I ordered a root beer float. Pinky wanted an alcoholic drink, but sadly… it was happy hours… but not where we sat. The root beer float was okay. I’m pretty sure I could have made it myself. It was just 2 scoops of ice cream with Saranac Root Beer. Still… I really enjoy drinks from Saranac.

Repeating what I said earlier, the sandwiches are delicious and savory. I ordered a Hot Press sandwich #43. It contains Crispy Panko breaded chicken cutlet, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, and Press 195’s famous chipotle sauce sandwiched in between 2 slices of crispy Ciabatta bread.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… it sounds like something you may have had before, BUT ITS NOT. Its pretty freaking good…. and savory. I ordered the 1/2 Hot press sandwich with belgian fries lunch combo fo $10. If I could change something that day about the dining options, I would have just bought a whole sandwich without fries. It’s not that the fries were bad… it’s just that sandwich was so good. Remember… it’s quality over quantity!

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Getting back to the sandwich… Sandwich #43 just melted in my mouth. The flavors complimented each other well. It was sweet and also a bit spicy. The chicken wasn’t too dry and you can taste the seasoning on it. I loved every bite of this sandwich. I think what makes this place so good is their delicious ciabatta bread. It is so crunchy and that it doesn’t seem like ciabatta bread. Its like an English toast muffin with that crisp. It’s unique and I would love to eat these sandwiches again in the near future.

Definitely go check it out! Not very expensive and it’s quite good too!

#38: Grilled sliced steak, avocado, sweet onion jam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy roasted pepper dressing (Originally $11.00 for full; however as shown 1/2 sandwich with Belgian fries $10.00)
#38: Grilled sliced steak, avocado, sweet onion jam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy roasted pepper dressing (Originally $11.00 for full; however as shown 1/2 sandwich with Belgian fries $10.00)

Pinky says 4.5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg2 coffee

DSCN5576This place is so amazing.  I just wish it was a lot closer for me…Even though they have a second location in Bayside (I hate riding the bus) I can’t even head out there.  I was first impressed by their front door and all the mirrors and shiny decorated walls.  It has a lot of natural light and can be seen as very trendy and modern.

I was really excited to go to this place because of all the good ratings on Yelp.  Yes, they are indeed true! I want to come back here often, as they have soo many sandwiches to try.  I actually had one in mind, then the waitress came and asked me what I wanted.  I answered, but in actuality I later realized I forgot my first choice and ordered a random one, #38.

The steak was so tender!! I’ve never had onion jam — It was delightful, however I still would like more physical pieces of onion, not just them mushed together.  It still worked really well with the avocado though.  THE BREAD was the most fantastic thing on earth.  Cripsy, crunchy, and most important delicious.

I initially wanted the #29, Grilled marinated sliced steak, tomato, Provolone cheese, onions and homemade Chimichurri sauce.  That is definitely on my first choice, once I step into this place again.

AND CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE?! $10 lunch special with BELGIAN FRIES?! AND THAT MANY?! I almost fainted.  You loyal readers know I’m a sucker for fries.  They were hot to touch and fresh to taste.  There were some burnt ones on my plate though..I was a bit bummed out that they charge more for their Chipotle dipping sauce.  Good thing I got a taste from Victor’s sandwich.  Mwahah. Again, to die for.

Note: My half star off was because I was bummed that they don’t offer the same happy hour price for their alcoholic drinks if you sit in the dining area.  You have to be sitting at the bar if you want those prices.  BIG BUMMER.

Other than that, this place…..heavenly.

Extra shots.

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August Favorites!

Hey there peeps!

We are going to start a new thing on our WordPress called August Favorites.  This can be ranging from food products or even simply our month highlights.  This is going to be our first monthly posts of  our favorite things!!!

In our previous post, we had a little guessing game of what our new favorite is…whoever guessed it, here it is!

Pinky loveeessss it...maybe a little too much.
Pinky loveeessss it…maybe a little too much.

Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Greek Yogurt Dip: Made with Feta Cheese and Zaatar Spice — Tangy kick addition to any of your favorite dippable foods!

Although we added it to some salami, cheese, and cracker, this dip was already made out of cheese.. (Pinky missed the cheese part of the label and bought extra brie cheese — not that tasty that’s why it wasn’t featured) you can probably add it to a sandwich gyro or eat with some veggie sticks!! Yumm-oh.

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We tried it on these Multi-grain Crackers also from Trader Joe’s. First recommended by our dear friend Becky!!!

cheers

Trader Joe’s Sparkling Pomegranate Flavored Juice Beverage

Texture of soda, but also juice! Adds a bit of class to your party or gathering if you walk in bringing this bottle!  Non-alcoholic, so we brought it to the beach!! AND drank it out of the bottle…how much more classier can you get? Cheers, everyone!

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Also our final favorite of this month, (No, Trader Joe’s is not paying us to post this, although they should cough*) Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate covered Raisins. Pinky is ADDICTED to these things.  They’re sweet and just so perfect when you want a boost to your day.

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend!!! The matching green was unintentional -- how corny.
Happy Labor Day Weekend!!! The matching green was unintentional — how corny.

All these items can be found in your local Trader Joe’s and as you can see, we brought these most of these things to the beach to have a romantic (poorly planned, but still awesome) picnic!!!

I hope everyone can still enjoy these items, even though Summer season is coming to a close…HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND by the way!

As always you can let us know YOUR recommendations of restaurants or food products at our email at pinctoradventures@gmail.com.  Please feel free to send us anything!

Stay tuned for more monthly favorites as the Fall months start rolling by! (Pinky LOVES FALL!!!!)

 

We had some fun with the seagulls…

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Stromboli craze and how Pinky wished she attended Rutgers University

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49 Easton Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This very unique pub is very popular among the students who attend Rutgers…and I clearly see why.  Upon arrival, you have very nice waitresses who put you first! She was kind enough to suggest a bigger table for our party of five, even when we had no complaints of a regular table!

By the entrance there is a huge decorative version of their “mascot” boli the kid…very humorous, I’m sure!  It was even more humorous when we saw the “Fish Bowls” which are 60 ounces of their specialty cocktails (Horny Hawaiian, Blue Bang, Island Escape, and Blue Flamingo).DSCN4577

What else makes this place special? Their strombolis… These are specialty hand-made “wraps” made out of pizza dough and have your favorite Italian meats, cheeses, sauces and vegetables as delicious fillings.  They also offer not only one or two types of stromboli, but have a whole menu of 30 different types! Can’t commit to having one type? They even offer you an option to make your own…so take some flavors from here and there!! As if you didn’t have enough options, you can also choose to have a baby-size (small 4.5 inches), regular (9 inches), and a huge (18 inches).  You can check their menu ahead of time here.

Their decor looked very college-esque.  Reminded me of a frat house! Here are some pictures of the interior.
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Here is Stuff Yer Face featured in Man Vs Food!

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my favorite boli of onions, peppers, mozz cheese, tomato sauce, (+5 more) pepperoni, steak, mushrooms, spinach, brie super size $12.15

Victor and friend..posing with strombolis
Victor and friend..posing with strombolis

Victor says: 4/5

Our quest for Stuff Yer Face began after I remembered about the eateries around New Brunswick on Man vs. Food. I originally wanted to try the Fat Sandwiches there, but stromboli’s just seemed like the more sensible choice on a rainy day.

Also, their mascot looks like a really freaky version of Quagmire from family guy, but still a fun little mascot I guess.

The interior isn’t the prettiest. Like Pinky said, it almost looks like a college frat house with all those posters. The tables look a little sticky and the windows look like they haven’t been washed in forever. Even though it doesn’t look very nice the room we were, the food was amazing and waitresses were really attentive to us.

Their bolis are typically around 7 dollars for the large (9 inches) or baby combo ( 4.5 inches with soup or salad) or 11 dollars for HUGE one (18 inches). Pinky and I ordered a huge boli and split it. You must have a large stomach if you want to finish the huge in one sitting… like Adam Richman from Man vs Food.

We ordered the My Favorite boli, which allows you to pick any 5 stuffings (meats, veggies, cheeses, and sauces) with tomato sauce, onions, and mozzarella cheese.  We ordered ours with pepperoni, steak, brie cheese, spinach, and mushrooms. Taking our first bite was simply amazing. I thought it was wonderful blend of ingredients, but it definitely could have been better with  the addition of a sauce. The tomato sauce alone was really watery and it was mouth burning hot when the juices gushed out of the boli. They are also generous with their ingredient portions. It’s pretty much a pizza burrito.  I would definitely like to come back here and try out their other bolis one day.

For you party animals and drinkers, you can give their fishbowls or drafts a try 😛

Check this place out! I give it two thumbs up!

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Pinky says 4/5

If I were to go attend a college…for their offered food, I would definitely go to Rutgers.  How incredibly lucky they are to have this place near them!   I loved the feel of the place and how chill everyone is.  Can there be a motto better than, “Get stuffed…” ?! The area around Rutgers seems to be such a beautiful one! Such a college town, it reminded me a bit of Boston..strange!!!

Myself, Vic, and some friends definitely had a good time over our fresh strombolis.  It brought me back to our college days!  Before this I’ve actually never eaten one, so I have been definitely missing out.  I really enjoyed having a crispy pizza dough wrap rather than the traditional soggy ones.  Although, I regret not ordering another sauce since the tomato sauce was more watery tomato juice than anything.  Other than that I couldn’t stop eating it!!!

As for the fishbowl, I thought it was an amazing idea — I had a bit too much fun with the extremely long straws.  I can’t imagine finishing the whole cup though.. 60 ounces of crazy! That’s why they limit one per person, I’m assuming.  We had the Horny Hawaiian and it tasted more like pineapple juice! Very fruity, but don’t underestimate rum!

Just found out that Mario Batali used to work here…dang!!! Read more about Mario Batali here.

pitcher of water comparison to Horny Hawaiian fish bowl ($14) 60 ounces!
pitcher of water comparison to Horny Hawaiian fish bowl ($14) 60 ounces!

S’Mac

345 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

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pretty small area to dine
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note this restaurant, although they serve the food to you at your table — you have to clean up yourself!

Not to confuse this place with the MAC BAR (which Pinky did) this place was on a lot of television shows and has gotten a lot of publicity.

Sometimes, it works for the place and sometimes it doesn’t…for this place i would say, it hasn’t worked out too well.  With more publicity, comes higher expectations and harsher judgments.

The plates are pretty pricey {for college kids like us} considering it’s just pasta and cheese and very little of anything else. However, since we weren’t planning on coming back anytime sooner we decided to try the $16 platter that had a little bit of everything.

That place has really no room to do anything.  We were practically sitting on top of each other.  Once you go in there’s already so many tables in front of you.  For a saturday night, this place was bustling!!! Many young adults.  Some were on dates or just casual chilling.  Probably not a good place to stay if you are planning to chat for a while though…Or for any reunion.  You will definitely receive many death glares for your seats!!!  Once you order, you get a number to put on the table you are seated.  When your order is done, no need to get up..they bring it to you! But that’s all the service you’re going to get!  They do NOT clean up after you.  Do not be a party that gets yelled at for not cleaning up after yourselves!  The people working there aren’t particularly friendly but perhaps, it’s all because of how chaotic it is over there.  No one can blame them.

ImageVictor says: 3/5

After I saw this place on the Travel Channel, I had a sudden urge to eat some mac n’ cheese. I mean, if a place is on television, it must be good, right? In the case of S’Mac, it was just alright. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t horrendous. I’ve made my fair share of mac n’ cheese throughout the years, but I have never thought about deviating from the norm. That’s what S’Mac does.

This place is awfully small and awfully cramped at times. Not my liking. The colors of this little restaurant are bright and “fun,” but the attitudes and the atmosphere certainly isn’t (only unless you were one of the few lucky ones that obtained a seat)

We ordered the sampler because I didn’t want to only try one type of mac n’ cheese. It was a hefty $16, but I guess that’s the price of trying multiple things in one sitting. If you are interested in getting the sampler, then expect to wait some time because you can only order the sampler if you are eating in the restaurant.

The sampler consists of a variety of flavors ranging from Cheeseburger to Cajun. Each type has unique blend of ingredients. Some are good, others are bad, and the rest may be in just okay. My favorites were the 4 Cheese, Cheesburger, Napoletana, and the Cajun. 4 Cheese and Cheeseburger are pretty self-explanatory, but they just tasted exceptionally well when mixed into mac n’ cheese. Napoletana was very herby, but it tasted delightful. It had a consistent flow of cheese with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and basil. The Cajun consisted of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, andouille sausage, green peppers, onions, and some celery and garlic. I personally liked it, but I can’t say the same for Pinky.

The other types were okay. I wouldn’t recommend the All-American unless you are big fan of Kraft cheese. It tasted a bit bitter. Parisienne was interesting, but didn’t exactly captivate me. There were figs in and mushrooms in it. It was sweet from the figs and cheesy at the same time, which was a rather strange combination.

All in all, this restaurant is alright. It certainly isn’t something to go crazy for, but its definitely worth a shot. If you are an avid mac n’ cheese enthusiast, go ahead and try your luck here. This could be what your heart desires. Other than that, I don’t think I will be coming here a second time.

Image Pinky says: 3.5/5

I would go to this place once but probably not again.  The place is too cramped to really enjoy the atmosphere.  If I was really depressed and really need of that comfort food, I would make it myself lol. I wouldn’t come out all the way to the city to have some of it.  If you’re like me, I wouldn’t even go outside for ANYTHING if i was actually sad.  My favorites were the Cheeseburger and the Napoletana! The Cheeseburger was extra cheesy and tasted just like what it was called! …how would i describe this? burger pasta?! The Napoletana was very interesting, the basil really overwhelmed the cheese and I never had tomato with my mac and cheese. That was quite a delight! My least favorite was All American, probably because I don’t really like American cheese.  For the Perisienne, the rosemary flavor was a bit too strong for me so it wasn’t one of my favorites either. I had a lot of trouble using the plastic forks for these mini pasta dishes.  If they’re baked in, they should at least offer us metal spoons to scrape off the cheesy goodness.  The sampler is like a special off to the side above the menu.  Keep a look out! I’m glad we didn’t order just one flavor dish.  I would have wanted to try more flavors and probably would have bought more than one dish LOL. that would have been horrible because these are really really really filling.

gooey goodness!
gooey goodness!

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and it's gone!
and it’s gone! not really.. haha