In honor of National Potato Day, here’s my bracket in order to determine the ultimate potato side-dish!
Up first, Steak Fries vs. Waffle Fries – Steak fries are great and hearty, but the texture, crispiness and surface area for dippability of waffle fries put them in a league above. Gotta hand it to team Waffle Fries for this one.
French Fries vs. Curly Fries – Now this matchup is way too broad, I’ve had some amazing french fries (shoutout The Smith, shoutout McDonald’s) however I’ve also had some absolute crap French Fries. Therefore, if we’re gonna judge on an average of the fries we’ve had… more often than not, the curly fries I’ve been lucky to enjoy have been heavily seasoned and slap way harder than the average french fry I’ve had. Therefore, for our first upset of the bracket, I’m handing this one to Curly Fries.
Mashed Potatoes vs. Baked Potatoes – Baking potatoes?!? Are we in a nursing home? Didn’t think so. Mashed Potatoes for the win (with some gravy, too please!).
Scalloped Potatoes vs. Stuffed Potato Skins – Scalloped potatoes are creamy and delicious (especially if they’re finished off in a broiler and charred. to shit), but I have to hand it to the versatility of Stuffed Potato Skins. No other side dish/appetizer can serve as a VEHICLE for additional accouterments (bacon, sour cream, cheddar!!!). Easy win for the skins.
Hash Browns vs. Latkes – UPSET ALERT! As much as I love breakfast food and hash browns in all their various forms… Latkes sneak in and do everything a hash brown tries to do, but better. It’s a million times crispier and the fact that it somehow blends fantastically with applesauce makes it a versatile side dish for breakfast or dinner.
Potato Chips vs. Tater Tots – Tater Tots – Again, with such a broad range of chips to deal with, it’s hard to judge what these tater tots are up against. Kettle cooked, ridged, plus they are just way too greasy. Nobody’s ever felt “clean” after eating a bag of chips for a reason. Tater tots can be enjoyed on their own, bite by bite, or easily forked and dipped, into various sauces and for that reason, these mini bits of fried potato goodness easily take round one.
Hasselback Potatoes vs Potato Salad – To be honest, I don’t know what hasselback potatoes are , but they gotta be better than whatever God-awful potato salad is being served. Hasselback Potatoes, FTW.
Potato Soup vs. Raw Potato – Potato Soup…. because you’d need to be a damn near psychopath to enjoy a raw potato.
Waffle Fries vs. Curly Fries – Both are phenomenal choices for a side dish, however when confronted with the option, I’d argue that curly fries are more often than not frozen, whereas you’re more likely to get a set of “fresh cut” waffle fries. For that reason, I’m giving the win to team Waffle Fries.
Mashed Potatoes vs. Stuffed Potato Skins – Mashed potatoes are the ultimate homestyle side dish, but they just do not compare. to the versatility and general sluttiness of stuffed potato skins. Skins for the win!
Latkes vs. Tater Tots – Tough, tough choice, both are good. And If done right, tater tots could essentially be like a ton of little mini latkes. While it’s close, I think we all could’ve figured Latkes Cinderella story would come to an end when faced against an all star contender. Tater Tots advance.
Potato Soup vs. Hasselback Potatoes – Still don’t know what a Hasselback Potatoes is but all I know is that it’s gotta be better than soup. Hasselback advances.
Waffle Fries vs. Stuffed Potato Skins – Again, we’re calling into question the versatility of Stuffed Potato Skins. Have em for apps, have em for a snack, have em for a full meal! There’s no denying the raw power and prowess of these skins. To the final they go.
Tater Tots vs Hasselback Potatoes – Surprised the Hasselback made it this far, but there’s just a massive lack of competition coming out of this division. I finally looked up what they are and it appears it’s just thinly sliced swirly potato on a stick. Tater tots sweeps this one easy and waltzes its way into the finals.
Tater Tots vs. Stuffed Potato Skins – God it’s so close. Little heavenly tiny bite sized potato pieces vs one giant behemoth of a potato app. While tater tots are a child’s snack, Loaded potato skins are a man’s dish. I too can appreciate when an appetizer contains most of your day’s entire calories. Plus the cream, the cheddar, the bacon and even the chives…. you just can’t replicate all that fatty, potatoey goodness in your standard tater tot. Especially if the skin is double fried instead of baked (shoutout Texas Roadhouse). Stuffed Potato Skins for the win.
Honorable mentions who didn’t make the tournament include… roasted mini potatoes, home fries, and traditional Belgian pommes frites. Let me know what your favorite potato dish is in the comments below!