Potatoes are a starch that can be found in any type of cuisine. It's estimated that there are as many as 4,000 varieties, and they can be boiled, baked, stewed, pan-fried, deep-fried, scalloped or steamed. I went on a mission to find some of the most delicious potato dishes at restaurants in and around Richmond.
Mom's Potato Salad
Ettamae's Café serves a classic potato salad, but instead of choosing between a mustard or mayonnaise base, it incorporates both. I don't often find potato salads that I actually enjoy, but this one proves that tasty salads do exist. 522 N. Second St., 888-8058.
Hot Potato Soup
This specialty at Siné Irish Pub and Restaurant is the best potato soup I've had besides my mother's —thick, creamy and full of cheesy goodness. The chunks of potato were cooked just right, and combined with bacon, green peppers, scallions and cheddar cheese. One bowl left me wanting more. 1327 E. Cary St., 649-7767.
Sweet Potato Fries
Situated underneath the Stuart Court Apartments, The Cellar Door is a small restaurant that offers a mouthwatering menu with both steak fries and sweet potato fries. Go for the sweet option — an addictive side that's salty, a little sweet and perfectly crisp. 1600 Monument Ave, 716-0346.
Gnocchi al Ragu
La Grotta in Shockoe Slip transports its patrons to Italy via dishes like this one, consisting of house-made potato dumplings in Bolognese-style meat sauce. Buon appetito! 1218 E. Cary St., 644-2466.
Roasted Garlic Potato Cakes
The Sidewalk Café has an unusual take on the generic potato cake — creamy with roasted garlic, versus shredded or fried. These rather large potato cakes have a smooth consistency on the inside and are smothered in sour cream and chives. 2101 W. Main St., 358-0645.