'"What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow." ~ A.A. Milne
Unless you count things like French fries and roast beef gravy po-boys or a dollop of potato salad in your gumbo, potatoes (aside from sweet potatoes) don't play a huge role in local cuisine. The main starchy staple is almost always rice, with French bread taking a close second. But that certainly doesn't mean you can't find spud-tastic bliss in our local restaurants from time to time, in forms other than the ubiquitous fry.
Take, for example, the potato salad at Avery's on Tulane. Though Avery's has a knack for familiar New Orleans po-boy fare, they like to mix it up with their own creations like tempura-fried mushrooms with a remoulade sauce or a Buffalo shrimp po-boy with bleu cheese dressing. The same goes for their potato salad. Nothing like your average car-temperature picnic fare, this potato salad contains smoky bacon and is rolled in Leidenheimer bread crumbs, deep fried, and drizzled with horseradish cream. Now that's a hot potato! At less than $5 a pop, you can add a roast beef debris po-boy to that order, and you're good to go.
If you're looking to get a German perspective on the local potato scene, look no further than Bratz Y'all, the brick-and-mortar incarnation of your favorite festival brats. Located in the Bywater behind Pizza Delicious on Piety Street, Bratz Y'all is serving up schnitzel, bratwurst, soft salted pretzels, and roasted pork, plus a plethora of potato side dishes. Sure, there are mashed potatoes with gravy and French fries, but they've also got Oma's Potato Salad—warm German potato salad with vinaigrette, onions, and bacon—and potato dumplings with rich beef gravy. At only $4 each, you can try them all in one shot!
In the same part of town, there's another potato dish at a spot a bit more schmancy than the backyard atmosphere at Bratz Y'all. Paladar 511 is a California-inspired Italian eatery with house-made pastas and pizza that opened to much ado a few years ago. Yes, you should get their raviolo with egg yolk, ricotta, and porcini cream, and yes, you should definitely score some pappardelle or chicken roulade, but one of the stars on their starter menu is a yellowfin tuna conserva (a.k.a. pickled) with heirloom tomatoes, green beans, and buttery fingerling potatoes in a basil aioli. The dish is tangy, cool, and surprisingly hearty, and at $14, it could easily be your main dish.
Lastly, if you head back Uptown to Freret Street, make a potato pit stop at the Freret Beer Room. Touting American cuisine paired with craft beer, they would obviously offer truly spud-tacular plates. Though the menu changes frequently, if you're lucky, you can score their beer room gumbo with roasted chicken served atop potato salad, or the crispy chicken confit with new potatoes and mirliton. But it's best if you go straight for the prize with their potato and turnip gratin made with leeks and gruyere. What else goes better with an ice-cold beer?