By Alison Bailin Batz
Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food for any time of the year, especially during winter. They are so popular, in fact, that the average American eats more than 138 pounds of them each year! Read on to discover 12 of the most apeeling takes on taters by Valley chefs.
A “campy” take on the Canadian classic, this indulgent starter is comprised of fried pickles and French fries smothered with cheddar curds and elk gravy (yes, it’s actually made using elk!) and garnished with cilantro. 6107 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 480.750.0506; www.campsocial.com.
Grandma Sarah’s Famous Potato Pancakes, $11.49
Named for the owner’s grandmother, this traditional Hanukkah dish starts with hand-grated potatoes mixed with onions, salt, pepper, matzo meal and eggs. They are then hand-molded, fried to crispy perfection, and served three to an order with sour cream and applesauce on the side. Multiple locations; www.chompies.com.
Eddie’s Gourmet Black Truffle Tater Tots, $18.95
Start your meal with five housemade tater tots topped with flavorful black truffles and shaved Parmesan cheese, then served atop a dollop of chive sour cream with a garnish of fresh chives. 23207 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.699.0480; www.eddiemerlots.com.
Scalloped Potatoes, $8
Offered as a side dish, El Chorro’s scalloped potatoes are a must-have to complement the restaurant’s surf-and-turf fare. Ooey and gooey, the potatoes are loaded with a combination of heavy cream, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herbs, then baked to get a slight crisp on top. 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley; 480.948.5170; www.elchorro.com.
Sweet Potato Pizza, $13
Dig into a carb-loaded, wood-fired pizza at this award-winning midcentury modern restaurant. It’s crowned with sweet potatoes, sage and ricotta, and it’s also available with a gluten-free crust option. 5210 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.795.2520; www.federalpizza.com.
Lincoln, A JW Steakhouse
Garlic Lobster Twice Baked Potato, $28
This perfectly baked Idaho potato is topped with an entire lobster, making it a scrumptious side for the table to share or even a swoon-worthy entree on its own. Located at
JW Marriot Scottsdale Camelback Inn, 5402
E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale; 480.905.7979;
Lobster Mashed Potatoes, $38
This decadent dish – a signature of the steakhouse since its inception – features giant pieces of lobster folded into creamy, buttery house-mashed potatoes with a touch of salt and herbs. Multiple locations; www.mastrosrestaurants.com.
The Original Green Chile Potato, $6
To experience New Mexico without leaving the Valley, don’t miss this off-the-menu, twice-baked and whipped potato stuffed into a roasted smoky Anaheim – or New Mexico – chile, served with a tortilla on the side. 6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix; 602.265.5886; www.richardsonsnm.com.
Hangover Fries, $11
Hangover or not, this rich mound of crisp-fried Parmesan fries – complete with melted cheddar, jalapenos, tomatoes, bacon, sour cream and two sunny side up eggs – will cure what ails you. 3737 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.945.3353; www.rnrscottsdale.com.
Chef Watson’s Potatoes, $12
Steak 44’s executive chef Robert Watson’s namesake menu item is a dizzyingly delicious play on au gratin potatoes featuring caramelized onions, gouda and mozzarella. 5101
N. 44th St., Phoenix; 602.271.4400;
Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, $12
This best-selling starter is made by baking the potatoes with olive oil, paprika and pepper, and then topping them with shredded Parmesan, crisped rosemary and sage. For dipping, they’re served with a housemade lemon aioli and Mexican ketchup. 111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.200.8111; www.stfrancisaz.com.
Pork Belly & Potato Taco, $6.25 a la carte You might go loco for this innovative taco. Mashed potatoes are heaped onto a corn tortilla along with luscious pork belly, Oaxaca cheese, chopped poblano, chipotle salsa, queso fresco, and cilantro in this south-of-the-border-inspired potato dish. 6522 N. 16th St., Phoenix; 602.368.2708; www.urbantacos.net.