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Does your restaurant have a "State Fair" Worthy Potato Menu Item? Should it?

Q:

Does your restaurant have a "State Fair" worthy menu item? Should it?

A:

While on a recent trip to Tampa, FL I stopped at a favorite restaurant called Datz, www.datztampa.com.  You may recall that the Idaho Potato Commission featured them in one of the foodservice print ad campaigns a few years ago for their back of the house fresh made potato chips made from Idaho® Russet Burbank potatoes. Sometimes they are served plain as a side to burgers or sandwiches and other times as an appetizer with blue cheese crumbles and a Buffalo wing sauce . The printed menu is like a newspaper. Opening it up to the left side were photos of three featured selections. One of the choices peaked my curiosity - a hamburger patty with lettuce, onion and tomatoes served on two bacon jalapeño mac n' cheese "buns".  

Then a wait staff person carried an order of this past our table to a customer upstairs. My first reaction was "Wow, what was that?" If nothing else, it was Instagram worthy of a picture, so naturally I ordered one. Here's what it looks like:

So, going back to the original question, does your restaurant have a "State Fair" worthy menu item? Should it?" Could it be potato focused?

This menu item could be easily modified to replace the bun with fried mashed potato pancakes. Or, hash brown patties for an interesting breakfast item. How about skipping the meat altogether and making a veggie version such as this food blogger's potato sliders:

Loaded Idaho® Baked Potato SlidersLoaded Idaho® Baked Potato Sliders
Jonathan Melendez of The Candid Appetite

What if you took a BBQ sandwich, typically paired with coleslaw or potato salad and made a State Fair worthy "fried Idaho® potato salad" such as chef Susan Goss did? She took a chilled potato salad, scooped a portion into a ball, rolled it in breading, buttermilk and fried it just long enough to have a crispy hot outside and a cold, tangy pickle spiced potato inside:

Fried Idaho® Potato Salad
Fried Idaho® Potato Salad

Next time you quickly scribble today's specials on the blackboard, thing about "State Fair" worthy options. Your customers will love ordering it and talking or posting a picture, just like I did.