Monday, September 5, 2011

Potato Champion

(NOTE: Potato Champion also has a second cart near SE 2nd and Oak.)
(Please read part 2, posted March 2012)

Potato Champion is located at the corner of SE 12th Ave. and Hawthorne in Portland, Oregon. They are more than just a food cart selling French fries. They have a few French fry delicacies -- from  poutine to pulled-pork fries -- and numerous sauces to choose from.

Menu (as of August 2011)
Their sauces
Figuring out what to get, I tried their veggie gravy (which goes on their vegetarian poutine) and a couple of fries. It was OK, but didn't blow me away.

Sample of veggie gravy and fries (part of their veggie poutine)
Ultimately, the intrigue of PB&J fries called me. I got a small order of PB&J fries ($4): fries topped with their spicy peanut satay sauce and raspberry chipotle jelly.

Small PB&J fries
This interesting dish was good, but not breathtaking. It's not just peanut butter and jelly on fries, that's for sure. This meal will not be for people craving extra crispy fries. These fried potato sticks had a slight crunch, but had mainly shifted to the soggier realm. The peanut satay and jelly acts like a dressing on salad, and was in ideal quantity here. The fusion of Mexican (chipotle) and Thai (satay) flavors played games with my taste buds  and is something you can't get at just any ol' place. The pleasurable spice really took the dish to the next level.

Chipotle peppers are basically smoke-dried jalapenos. They hover between 10,000 and 50,000 Scoville units, but for me, this wasn't a burn-my-mouth spicy moment.

A big concern for me was the ginger; I thought it overpowered the other flavors. I would have put less ginger and maybe a bit of sweetener (sugar, honey, etc.) to balance the dish a little more. But still, a fairly successful dish.

Lovely food cart, average service. The guy running the food cart really pushed for me to try the poutine, so I may give that a go next time. Even the pulled pork fries sound amazing (yes, that's pulled pork and fries with BBQ sauce). Oh, and they have chili-cheese fries too. Heck, maybe I should just try everything else next time.

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