Let me tell you a tragic tale:
Once upon a time a struggling graduate student (who is definitely NOT me) attended a conference in the mountains in Washington. One day, she (or he, since it’s definitely NOT me) went inside the cafeteria to get lunch. They were apparently serving potatoes that day; large baked potatoes accompanied by a variety of different toppings. Being a great lover of potatoes, she quickly picked up a tray and got in line, salivating in anticipation as she imagined sinking her teeth into the soft flesh of a potato, smothered in a mound of creamy sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Unfortunately, that fantasy never came to fruition, for just then her supervisor/boss (who was also attending the conference) burst through the doors of the cafeteria. “Let’s go!” he barked, gesturing for her to follow him. “We need to leave right now!”
You see, there was a 5-6 hour break between lunch and when the conference resumes, and her boss (and the rest of the lab) wanted to drive up to the mountains to do some snowshoeing. Having no choice, the graduate student (who is definitely NOT me) was forced to grab whatever portable/packaged food was available, including a few gluten-free brownies even though she did not have a gluten allergy and knew that gf foods provides no health benefits whatsoever. She was forced to forgo her potatoes.
On a completely unrelated note, I recently heard about this shop called Russet Shack that apparently specializes in loaded baked potatoes. Having a tremendous desire to eat loaded potatoes (and NOT because I’ve had an incident where my boss got in the way between me and a loaded potato), I decided to pay their shop a visit. You can either choose from a variety of different toppings or go with one of their specials, which are either $6.50 for (mostly) vegetarian varieties or $8.99 for meat varieties. I sampled their Taco, Steak & Cheese, and Turkish flavours. Now, one thing that I’d like to mention is that during my visit, they had apparently run out of ground beef (which is supposed to be for the Taco potato) so they replaced it with steak. However, the staff did not inform me about this: I only learned after overhearing them talk. It’s not a big deal – their steak is certainly tasty – but I do wish that they could have checked with me first before making the modification.
Taco Potato ($8.99):
Disclaimer: The potato was supposed to come with ground beef, but they were apparently out and replaced it with steak instead.
This was filled with ground beef (which in my case has been substituted with steak), salsa, sour cream, green onion, cheddar cheese and taco chips. I quite enjoyed the sour cream and cheddar cheese, which provided great creaminess and flavour to the potato, which on its own was unseasoned and bland. The chips were also a nice touch, lending a nice crunch. I did find them to be a bit stingy with the meat – I only found maybe 3-4 slices of steak.
Steak & Cheese Potato ($8.99):
This was filled with steak, cheese and onions. Even though it was probably the most straightforward, it was also my favourite of the three. Unlike the Taco, there was quite a generous amount of steak present here, which was very tender albeit a tad salty. The cheese was gooey and provided a great creaminess and tang, while the green onions lent a nice fragrance.
Turkish Potato ($6.50):
This came with sausage, corn, pickles, ketchup and mayonnaise. I was a bit disappointed to find that the “sausage” was not real sausage, but rather hotdogs. It’s not a big deal per se, since I do like hot dogs, but I did find the description a tad misleading. I personally did not care too much for the corn and pickles, which I didn’t think added much to the dish. The ketchup and mayo were surprisingly tasty however, and went well with the potato.
Although I wasn’t exactly blown away by Russet Shack, I did quite enjoy my visit. While I do think that their food can do with some tweaking, it was still overall quite tasty and has certainly satisfied my potato craving. This is definitely worth checking out if you’re a tater fan or ever had some incident where someone got between you and the potato of your dreams.
Recommendations: Steak & Cheese Potato