Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rosti Toasty

Like the video below that takes an everyday object like a sticky note and turns it into something extraordinary, Donald Kotler of Toast has done something of the kind with the potato.

Now, I'm a big fan of the tuber in all its forms, whether mashed, cubed, shredded or creamed, fried, baked, boiled or roasted. It's a nearly perfect food, used as a thickener for soups and sauces, a side dish for all kinds of meats and even as a meal in itself. And, no, I'm not counting a giant basket of fries with a beer as a meal, though that has, at times, been known to occur.

What Kotler has done with mere shredded potatoes is nothing short of magical, and maybe even miraculous. I'd heard his rosti (or rösti or röschti in Swiss and Swiss German, respectively) was a pretty fine example of the art of the potato, and expected some variant on what we all know as hash browns. Boy howdy, was I wrong.

These bad boys are to hash browns what Oscar Meyer is to prosciutto di Parma, i.e. barely on the same planet. Golden, crunchy and richly buttery outside, this little cake also manages to be creamy and warm inside, the shreds of potato almost dissolving in your mouth. It comes with many of the breakfast entrees, but it's worth ordering an extra just to make sure you get enough (or to keep your dining companions from gobbling bites of yours).

In related news, Toast is now open for dinner Wednesday through Friday from 5:30 till 9 pm. Read my previous review of a dynamite dinner I had there.

Details: Toast, 5222 SE 52nd Ave. Phone 503-774-1020. Breakfast Wed.-Sun., 8 am-2 pm; dinner Wed.-Fri., 5:30-9 pm.

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