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

Souvlaki GR …and Pinky’s Worst Nightmare

DSCN6164116 Stanton St
(between Ludlow St & Essex St)

Menu and Prices

This nicely decorated place was very intriguing to me (Pinky) — I was won over by their whole Greek-inspired decor, at first sight.  On the side once you enter, they have the latest magazines hung on a wire, as well as some snacks from Greece (I am assuming).

DSCN6166OKAY, an important note: BEWARE when you sit down at a small circular table.  Victor almost destroyed the restaurant because the tables are so badly designed.  The legs of the table STICK out, so when you put your own legs under the table, you will most likely hit it and therefore attempt to turn the table (and glassware) on its side…Seriously, be careful — it happened three other times to other people and that all during our visit.

So what is a gyro anyway? How do you even pronounce it? “EURO” should be a close enough pronunciation guide.  As we all know how Wikipedia is entirely legit, here is how they define it:

gyro (/ˈjɪəroʊ/yeer-oh,/ˈʒɪəroʊ/zheer-oh;[1]Greek: γύρος, [ˈʝiros], lit. ‘turn’) is a Greek dish of meat roasted on a vertical spit. It is commonly served in a sandwich with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, wrapped in pita or sandwich bread.

I also learned from Wikipedia and Souvlaki GR that sometimes they add fries to your gyro…strange!

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Souvlakia Kalamaki Paketo– Your choice of six Chicken or Pork skewers with Tzatziki & Pita … $14 (Individual skewers … $2.75 each)

Victor says 2.5/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail2 fish

DSCN6176Save your money and go else where.

Souvlaki GR isn’t that good and you can definitely find better Greek food around. This place can be a tourist trap with the bright lights and nicely painted walls, but don’t fall for it! It’s quite expensive for the portion you get and it just tastes… okay.

By first impressions, this place looks sorta nice. They got these dangling lightbulbs in front their restaurant. We also saw their food truck across the street. The decor inside was nicely painted. It had a very Mediterranean feel with the white and blue colors with fake doors and windows. There’s also one table that’s elevated from everyone else. Honestly, I think that’s just silly because the stairs take up space to get to that one table. The restaurant itself is not very spacious either as noted from my close call of destroying the tableware.

SGR Pita Souvlaki -- (Tomato, red onions, fries & Tyrokafteri-spicy feta dip) pictured with pork $6.50
SGR Pita Souvlaki — (Tomato, red onions, fries & Tyrokafteri-spicy feta dip) pictured with pork $6.50

Time to talk food. First off, it’s expensive for something that’s not very spectacular. We ordered a chicken and pork skewer. The chicken tasted a bit raw. It wasn’t seasoned very well and it just didn’t appeal to me. The pork one tasted a little better and had more seasoning. It also came with a cup of tzatziki sauce with slices of pita bread. Majority of the time, I found myself spreading the tzatziki sauce to make it taste better.

The SGR Pita Souvlaki I ordered was basically a pork skewer gyro. It’s the same amount of meat as the skewer wrapped with two french fries, tomatoes, red onions, Tyrokafteri (spicy feta dip) in a pita.  It’s such a small portion and I feel like you can get more for your buck at other places. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by other Greek restaurants, but this place didn’t live up to it’s hype.

Probably won’t be coming here any time in the near future.

Bifteki Pita Traditional Greek Burger -- Tomato, red onion, feta & tzatziki ... 6
Bifteki Pita — Traditional Greek Burger — Tomato, red onion, feta & tzatziki … 6

Pinky says 2/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

DSCN6177Okay here goes..scroll back up to that picture above for a minute.

Carefully inspect the picture..and come back after.

Alright…


There is a piece of hair nicely tucked into the warm pita bread near the top-left side of it.  Delicious, right? No, that was not listed on the menu as an ingredient.  I was so appalled by the little new friend peering at me.  Thank you Jesus, that I did not bite it on that side, but bit the right side.  I did not even notice it at first, while I was taking the picture.  By the way, we apologize for the blurry dark pictures — bad lighting in there.

However, what…kind…of… hair, do you ask? Beard hair.  Not even head hair, which I don’t think I would mind as much?  I’m not sure, what do you all think? What’s worse: Beard or head hair in your food?

I have to say that the manager was alright with my complaint and gave me a new gyro, but they probably did spit in my food. Hahaha.  I should have actually cancelled the order because it wasn’t even worth the $6. I thought it would taste completely amazing, but it was just normal gyro that I can get from a food cart, and possibly those food cart ones would be bigger and more filling.   The only special thing was that it had massive amounts of feta cheese.  BLEGH, which only made it extremely salty.  I only asked for it to be re-made because we were already so hungry.  While eating it, I kept imagining that I had a hairball stuck in my throat.  I’m not even sure why we waited longer compared to the other people around us, despite the fact that we sat down first.

DSCN6168On the topic of seating, I was sitting right next to an ACTIVE doorway, with the employees coming in and out.  During the whole night I was scared to move an inch because it can result in total chaos.  I could not move my arms or I can hit a waiter holding food and could not move my legs or I can flip the table and all of its contents over.  For me, I get stressed easily in social situations, so you can already tell I was not having a grand ol’ time.  Being that I watched the documentary film, Objectified, there is seriously no reason for a chair to be uncomfortable…and there should definitely be no reason why a table should be unstable.  I understand those tables are cute, but if I am eating a legit meal and not having a tea or coffee break, I would like to have my table to hold more than three small plates.  It was pretty hilarious to knock the table over then see others do the same though.

DSCN6170And being the silly girl that I am, I was not aware that there can be fries put inside a gyro.  When it said “fries” on the menu, I thought it would be on the side, and being the big potato girl I am, I was so excited.  Then I fell into deep depression, as I only saw two fries sticking out of it.  The more entertaining fact was that since both of Vic’s and my gyro were plated on one plate, I thought both of them were one order.

The skewers were also nothing special — I can’t believe they were $2.25 each. I can grill them myself, thank you very much — there was no real flavor to it.

I miss Akropolis

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