What’s Bad Is Good: Potatoes

What's bad is good: Potatoes

Food lovers will welcome any word that things once thought to be bad for your health might actually be GOOD. Serena Altschul has news of exactly that:

Allen Dikker has potatoes in his roots. He eats at least one potato a day.  “It was a staple on our dining tables every night when I was growing up,” he said.

baked-potato-with-butter-promo.jpg
Spuds are the star of the new restaurant franchise, Potatopia. CBS News

So when he opened up a restaurant in 2011, guess what theme he had in mind.

Every item on the menu is potato-based. “You can’t come here and say, ‘Can I have chicken, cilantro and jalapenos?” Dikker said. “You gotta have a potato.”

The humble potato isn’t so humble anymore: It’s a star! Dikker says he serves about a thousand customers a day at his four East Coast locations of Potatopia.

He explained: “Basically you pick a potato, add a protein. Then you have unlimited veggies. You add a cheese. And then they finish it off with one of these sauces.”

“So the potato becomes the blank canvas for your imagination?” Altschul asked.

“Correct, exactly.”

White potatoes are now the single most-eaten vegetable in the U.S.  But back when carb-free diets were all the rage, potatoes were forced to go underground.

“The problem is not the potato,” Dikker said. “The problem is what you do with the potato -- the technique, the way you cook the potato, and then what you add to it.”

Seeming to back him up, the most recent USDA dietary guidelines recommends eating starchy vegetables, including potatoes.  Having it plain is best for your health. 

But flavor-wise, “There’s so many different techniques that you could cook the potato in,” Dikker said. “It’s mind-blowing, it really is.”

Take French fries, for example.  Back in the early 1800s, legend has it that Thomas Jefferson introduced them to America at a White House dinner. Now Dikker is poised to launch something equally revolutionary: A croissant dough with a creamy mashed potato filling.

Altschul asked, “So do you feel like the potato’s ready for a comeback?”

“Absolutely,” he replied.

Betcha can’t top that!

potatopia-potato-dishes-620.jpg
Spuds are the star of the new restaurant franchise, Potatopia. CBS News

Recipes from Potatopia:

      
Check out: 

      
For more info: