No. 18: Twice-Baked Potato Purée at James Republic
Like Kasey Kasem, we're counting down the hits, except ours nourish your belly as well as your soul. Just a few weeks left in our listicle of listicles known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!
Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...
Served in a tall, quart-sized jar, the twice baked potato purée reaches about halfway up. At first I thought that this restaurant habit of putting things in jars has gotten out of hand here, but then when I started eating it, I realized this jar was actually the perfect vessel for the dish.
I can't think of a better way for the kitchen to show off that they didn't just make an ordinary mound of spuds. Any old bowl would've hidden the head of foam--yes, foam--and the strata of what's essentially a hot potato milkshake below. But the jar, the foam and the near-soupy consistency of the whipped starch were all by design.
It's supposed to make you think of that frothy, ultra-flavorful fluff right beneath the whipped butter on a hot baked potato. And eating it did remind me of exactly that, with every slobbery spoonful flavored by micro granules of bacon and toasted bits of bread crumbs floating in the suspension. The only time I questioned the use of the jar was when I realized my fingers weren't long enough to squeegee every last bit from the bottom.
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