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

Bayou Staten Island; GATOR WHAT?!

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1072 Bay St
Staten Island, NY 10305
Menu

Once you come into this dimly lit restaurant, there is what it seems a mysterious aura it gives off…It would remind you of any high class restaurant located in the heart of Manhattan, although this place is in (out of all places) Staten Island!

The decor consists of many masks that remind me of masquerades and numerous mardi gras beads hanging against a brick wall.  Also, there are full-size old classic style movie posters.

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Near the back, there is additional seating and to the side the restrooms are not labelled “men” and “women”, but labelled something else. See for yourself!  Outside the restrooms, there are awards hung on the wall..but not very much room to gaze at them.

Apparently, they serve dinner 3-course prixe fix meals, however Vic and I came during lunch time.  It serves as a quiet romantic atmosphere and the staff are quite nice.  Once seated, the host gives you the menu and a drinks menu.

{What about their specialty though??? Read on!}

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sweet potato fritters (daily lunch special $8) dinner price; $9
sweet potato fritters (daily lunch special $8) dinner price; $9
gator burger $12 includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)
gator burger — yes a GATOR BURGER {mixed with pork} — $12 includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)

DSCN3891DSCN3895Victor Says:3.75/5

This was a rather interesting find for me.  After living on Staten Island for so many years, I didn’t think there would be any exquisite restaurants besides your usual diners. From looks of the exterior, you probably would have no idea what it would look like inside. For me, it was like stepping into another world.

Walking in, you already begin to hear the jazzy and soul music. On the left, you have this giant mural of Louie Armstrong with a bunch or awards and plaques.. and on the right, you have the bar before you even step into the actual restaurant section.

After being seated, you see a lot of things you won’t see in your typical restaurants: Mardi gra beads everywhere , Masquerade masks along the walls and lights, old movie posters, an alligator gypsy, and much more! It does seem a bit understaffed though because our waitress was also the bartender.

For the appetizers, I ordered sweet potato fritters. It was recommended by several people after reading some reviews on Yelp, so I guess I had to try it out! Basically, it’s a sweet potato ball with pieces of sausage mixed into it that’s deep-fried with spicy mayo sauce on top. I guess it’s bit pricey for something that seems simple, but they made it pretty good in my own opinion. I was actually completely imagining something else when I ordered it. I was thinking of little fritos or something. The fritters have a nice crispy texture, but once you bite into it, you get to the core of the sweet potato ball. Its smooth and not too sweet. It’s quite delectable and the spicy mayo makes it so much better. I definitely think that they could have added more spicy mayo to it because it was just so good. The pieces of sausage gave the fritter the salty taste it needed.

So for the entree… I ordered a Gator Burger. Before everyone gives me crap like “oh isn’t that seafood” or “alligators are endangered” or whatever…. IT’S SEAFOOD AND IT’S NOT ENDANGERED. I also know that it lives in the water most of the time and blah blah blah. Yeah…. I was well aware of what was going to happen after eating this burger.

So…. enough that… The gator burger was rather interesting, the least to say. It’s pork and alligator meat that’s been mixed and seasoned into a patty. It was put on a large toasted English muffin with lettuce and tomatoes with curly fries as a side. The burger had a crispy outer layer, but the inside of the burger was extremely soft and tender. It was like nothing I ever tasted. It was very salty and herb-y however. I had to add a bunch of hot sauce so it wouldn’t be as salty. It just had unique taste because I never had pork or alligator for a burger before. The burger was okay, but it was difficult for me eat it. Like as if my own soul was like fighting with my body as if broke some royal decree. Each bite seemed harder than the next, so I sorta ate the burger as quick as I could after the mid-point. I guess if I wasn’t really thinking about it that much, I probably would have enjoyed it bit more.

I guess if you want to try something different, you can check out it this place. I would still recommend despite my weird experience with gator burger. The atmosphere is quiet and romantic and food is decent. It’s not extremely expensive either. Give this place a go if you’re into Southern food!

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French Quarter $8.95; Grilled chicken, Brie,onions and roasted peppers — includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)

Pinky Says 3.75/5

This place was definitely a fancy restaurant and I kept thinking that Manhattan would be a better place for this kind of food.  Despite the fact that there were forks and knives falling everywhere in this place (clumsy busboy) — they were nice to us and were professional.  Despite its classiness atmosphere, they were using these — brown paper towel table linings beneath our plates.  Strange….Sorta drops the classy level down for me. When Vic told me that this place offered GATOR burgers I was like WHAT. HOW and WHAT.

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The fritters came by first though, as our appetizer — they were very very mushy inside like sweet mashed potato while simultaneously being very crispy outside.  However, I didn’t really like the fact that it was $8 a plate haha. I believe I could just make that myself! I actually wanted more of that spicy mayo it’s served with.  They were laid upon some strangely colored lettuce…

Okay, I ordered the French Quarter because I thought it was going to be healthy.  I was really being dumb because how can anything with awesome to-die-for brie cheese EVER be healthy? It was probably the most unhealthiest sandwich ever! Haha.  There were two pieces of grilled chicken NOT one.  The pieces were cooked to perfection, being STILL moist and not of cardboard texture.  It was of course not a very lady-like meal since the whole thing was covered in grease and I couldn’t get a hold of it because of its ginormous size.  I would have enjoyed some lettuce or any other vegetables other than the red peppers though.  There were overwhelmingly big pieces of red peppers and very few onions !! — The thing I dislike the most is soggy buns and the bottom piece of bread was SOAKED. It was crazy filling though…only could eat half of it.

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I did like the sweet potato fries though.  They were not mushy, but crisp and hot to touch.

I tried also a bite of the gator burger…was not very satisfied — as I encrypted an image of a baby gator with all its scaly skin pulled apart. Oh, no…It was strangely very salty.  Don’t think I could have handled a whole patty of that.  It was mushy..and salty..beglhlegeh.