Lunch’er Jasmine Reports: Baked Potato King
For anybody who has ever been to England, it isn’t that hard to imagine baked potatoes being sold from a cart. Jacket potatoes, as they’re known there, are pretty commonplace in the UK- but who knew we had one right here in Midtown? The “Baked Potato King” has been on the corner of 39th & Broadway forever, and it felt like quite the coincidence that I saw it for the first time the week after I got back from London. I’m not a huge baked potato fan (sliced and fried is my preferred method of eating spuds), so I haven’t rushed over to try it- but luckily for those who are, Midtown Lunch’er Jasmine filed this report, complete with photos:
The Potato King sits on 39th St just west of Broadway, and the guy manning it is nice. You could tell he had a lot of regulars, as he seemed to know everyone in front of and behind me in line. All of the potatoes are $4.00 except for the two at the bottom of the menu which are listed at $3.99. I’m not sue what that’s about.
The potatoes are kept in a stand up oven with several shelves, sans foil or anything to keep moisture in, which left them a tad dry. You can pick regular or sweet potato and he’ll poke at them first to find the softest one. He doesn’t use gloves to pick them up so caution if you’re an “eat the skin” type of person. It gets thrown into a little styrofoam container, sliced down the center and smushed to make a pit in the middle. The ”mixed vegetables” were the frozen green bean/corn/lima bean mix that is common at the supermarket. The mushrooms are canned, and the broccoli is also frozen.
The lowdown on the cheese (clearly the most important ingredient), plus the bad news about Jasmine’s potato… after the jump.
I asked about the cheese and he said it was chedddar but it looked like Velveeta as he ladled it out of the heated container. I asked whether he added anything to the cheddar (he swore he didn’t) but i don’t think you can get regular cheddar as creamy as the stuff he was using as a topping. It didn’t taste wholly like cheddar or Velveeta and also didn’t congeal the way plain cheddar would have on cooling (think cold nachos), so it’s a mystery- but it was still pretty good (and i’m not a fan of processed cheese). I would have wanted fresh tomato but he didn’t have it, nor did he have brown sugar for the sweet potatoes.
My potato had a huge rotted spot in it which rendered 1/4 of the potato inedible but the potato was big and I was full by the time I got to the bad spot. So for $4.00 it was all a little “meh” to me. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t try it again if I were craving a baked potato because there’s definitely no place you could get one faster.
Nice… thanks for the report Jasmine. Got your own info on a Midtown Lunch that hasn’t been covered yet? Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org