Trekking our way through familiar streets of the West Village has never been met with the appetite for a potato loaded menu, but there we were. Potatopia, pronounced pota • topia, welcomed us with zigzag prints, modern art, and of course, a few delicious takes on serving up the spud.
New York is jam-packed with fine eateries and the New Jersey native restaurant has become a fast casual food sensation in NYC topped with organic and gourmet dishes. Allen Dikker, founder of Potatopia, has garnered attention from BuzzFeed, The New York Times, and Thrillist. He took some time out from his busy schedule to give us the back story.
YHM: What makes Potatopia a New York must-try?
Allen Dikker: Potatopia offers something for everyone –including adults, kids, carnivores, vegetarians, and even gluten-free eaters. Potatopia’s menu features customizable options, including ten different potato styles and premium toppings, which include oven-roasted chicken, marinated sirloin steak, BBQ pulled pork, vegetarian chili, a variety of vegetables and more, as well as signature items, such as Curly Sue and I Think Therefore I Yam.
YHM: How do you and your staff come up with new items for the menu?
AD: Being that potatoes are so versatile and fun to create unique dishes with, ideas can come from me or employees. When it comes to new ideas, we prefer that it’s not difficult to execute and that it’s no more than 5 ingredients.
YHM: What made you choose potatoes as the main ingredient to start a restaurant?
AD: Everyone eats potatoes. Every culture and every place. By choosing the Potato, we wanted to show people how to eat the potato as a meal, and not just as a side dish
YHM: Potatopia is all about a meal for everyone. As a customer, how would you build your own entree?
AD: Curly Fries with chicken and bacon, scallions, garlic, roasted mushroom, fire roasted corn, cilantro, smoked gouda cheese and savory bacon aioli.
YHM: Sounds amazing! What’s coming up next for Potatopia?
AD: As the fast casual restaurant industry continues to boom, we are planning to open 15 more locations around the tristate area in the near future.
Similar to the ordering process of Chipotle and Subway, I opted for a customizable bowl filled with Cajun shrimp, scallions, fresh garlic and roasted jalapeños all smothered under a layer of heavenly mashed potato. Karen Meredith, YHM’s lifestyle writer, got her first day on set with a complimented Nacho, Nacho bowl! Another customer recommended the Bacon Overload for all you bacon-obsessed eaters. Fresh vegetables, the perfect mashed potato and fries quantity, and inexpensive prices; yupp we’re coming back until we try it all.
Oh, did I mention tater tots. I mean where else are you going to get that when it’s not on a breakfast menu? Think about it.
By Yegide Matthews | Store Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Priest, All Other Photos; YHM Magazine Archive