The Spud Bracket

Pit Portland’s most awesome potatoes against one another in a drag-out battle for carb-loading supremacy.

Edited by Kelly Clarke January 15, 2016 Published in the February 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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Aji sauce-drizzled russets at Chicken & Guns.

Image: Kelly Clarke

From crisp, hot fries to spicy tots and creamy mashers, this town boasts a wealth of awesome potato dishes. We chose a handful of local favorites in order to create a March Madness–style bracket to crown Portland’s best tater creation. Download our Spud Bracket Sweet 16 Tourney and start chowing through the list to choose your own winner.

Check Out the Field of Contenders

Chicken & Guns “Guns”

Crusty-wonderful baked, then fried, then lemon- and oil-rubbed russet quarters drizzled in garlicky, neon-green aji sauce.

Old Salt Salt Potatoes with Mama Lil’s Aioli

Crispy, buttery, velvety Yukon golds the kitchen roasts, smashes, and deep-fries to produce an addictive potato chip spliced with dinner spud.

Sunshine Tavern Gravy Fries

An easy-to-devour pile of hand-cut thickies slicked in herby, black pepper–bombed gravy pocked with nubbins of pork sausage and swathed in elastic bands of provolone. 

P’s & Q’s Market Side o’ Fries with Thrive Sauce

Salty, lava-hot, and skinny as a French model. Eat yer heart out, Mickey D’s!

Screen Door Mashed Potatoes and Tasso Gravy

A deeply tuber-y whip of butter-bombed russets drizzled with thin, salty, super-oinked hog sauce.

El Gaucho “The Full Gaucho” Baked Potato

A crisp-skinned baker crammed with sharp cheddar sauce and butter, showered with scallions and cracked pepper, and fluffed tableside, no less.

Boxer Ramen Okonomiyaki Tots

It’s sizzling potato surf and turf: proper-fried bar tots zigzagged with spicy Kewpie mayo, sweet-savory tonkatsu sauce, and a feathery mountain of sea-salty bonito curls.

Olympia Provisions Laser Potatoes

A brunch stack of whisper-thin Yukon gold rounds perfumed with onions and butter: silky inside, crunchy all over. 

Swiss Hibiscus Rosti

The world’s best Swiss-style hash browns, golden-crisp and brimming with bacon and onions.

Potato Champion Poutine

Craggy fries pooled in thick, hearty beef sauce and big, fluffy Wisconsin cheddar curd clouds will always be a winner in our book.

Laurelwood Brewpub Famous Garlic Fries

Lumpy, beer-battered sticks swimming in garlic infused oil; sticky with Asiago cheese and parsley.

Reel M Inn Jo-Jos

Dive-bar gluttony at its finest—crusty, spiced, gut-bomb russets with a side of ranch. 2430 SE Division St

Ataula Nuestras Bravas

Instead of the usual skillet-fried patatas bravas cubes, Ataula conjures Ruffles from a tapas bar in paradise: deep-fried packets of chorizo zeal beneath tomato sauce, parsley oil drips, Catalonian mayo, and piment d’espelette.

Tasty n Sons/Tasty n Alder Chocolate Potato Doughnut

A just-fried dough round, feather-light and suffused with earthy chocolate flavor, resting in a pool of sweet crème Anglaise. They’re made with milk-and-sugar boiled, mashed russet potatoes. So it counts.

People’s Pig Jo-Jos

Cliff Allen’s refined, golden, spud logs pretty much humiliate every fry in town. 

Maharaja Samosas

Barely sweet, golden fried Indian ziggurats—filled with a delicately spiced potato and pea mash—that taste like a cross between a state fair fritter and Madhur Jaffrey cookbook. 

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