BY NUHA ISLAM
Baked, mashed or waffle fried potatoes take center stage at Potatopia, a small novelty restaurant located in the heart of the Tower Shops plaza of Davie, Fla.
The concept of Potatopia is one like Chipotle, Menchies or Subway- to craft your very own bowl of food. A wide variety of potatoes cooked different ways compose the base, which can then be covered with protein, sauces, cheeses and aromatics. The idea is to “build your own potato.” This system lends itself to many different combinations of potatoes and toppings, so there is always something new to try.
Aside from an endless array of unique bowls, Potatopia also offers “Smash Hits,” a list of six well-curated potato bowls, which take the guesswork out of crafting a good meal.
This system lends itself to many different combinations of potatoes and toppings, so there is always something new to try.
Walking into the place is similar to walking into an exhibition- the whole store, from potato shaped footprints on the floor to photograph-ready cardboard cutouts, is carefully crafted branding that works extremely well. The store’s playfulness brings out the inner child in even the most mature people. A visit to Potatopia is more than just getting dinner, it feels like an adventure.
Small elements all around the store, such as iPads for placing orders and do-it-yourself dipping sauce dispensers work together to help the store function more efficiently and the food arrive faster- something that is especially nice during times of high traffic like the lunch rush.
Bright lighting and upbeat music assist in forming the relaxed and casual atmosphere the restaurant maintains. The convenient location of Potatopia makes it a great place to grab a bite after shopping in the surrounding plaza and nearby mall.
A visit to Potatopia is more than just getting dinner, it feels like an adventure.
However, despite the vivid yellow potato decals that catch the eye, the most encouraging advertisement for the place were the smells wafting around outside. The aroma of garlic roasted Idaho redskins and sirloin steak is enticing enough to lure customers inside.
And while the sights and scents alone will get a customer through the door, the food will be what convinces customers to become frequent visitors. The flavor profile is that of upgraded comfort food, with the menu items perfectly cooked and seasoned.
Potatopia also has vegetarian menu options, albeit not as enticing in smell or flavor. Rather than getting the designated vegetarian combos, it’s advised by the employees to get a normal dish and simply omit the meat.
Many of the best items are derived from seemingly strange combinations, such as yogurt honey sauce and barbecue pulled pork layered over tater tots.
On the same token, the staff working behind the counter were extremely friendly and available to make suggestions for good potato combinations. Many of the best items are derived from seemingly strange combinations, such as yogurt honey sauce and barbecue pulled pork layered over tater tots.
The health-conscious potato lover should tread carefully around the menu; Potatopia is not a diet-friendly dining option. Even the “Slim Hits,” menu items which give combos under 500 calories, often have high sodium, sugar or fat, more than the daily recommended amount.
Along with food, Potatopia also has an array of drink options ranging from smoothies and teas to alcoholic beverages.
- Playful design/branding
- Great tasting food
- Fast service
- Not diet-friendly
Photo by Abbie Tuschman