Tater tots at Comfort Kitchen

comfort kitchen tater tots overhead

By Daniel B.

What brings you comfort?

Even when it comes to food, the answer will be different for everyone. For some it will be a taste of home. Others will long for a taste of childhood. The answer could be situational, and refer back to some restorative dish eaten after a traumatic experience.

These foods aren't necessarily exciting. But dishes like biscuits with sausage gravy, fluffy scrambled eggs cooked in bacon fat, and mashed potatoes with gravy share a common heritage. They are all simple enough to be made, more or less from scratch, by the home cook.

So what could be more antithetical to unprocessed homemade food than the beloved tater tot? After all, its original purpose was to help Ore-Ida use waste created from the mass production of frozen french fries. How unlikely that this would turn into the comfort food of today. But there is a sea change surrounding the tater tot around this country. It's being taken back by talented chefs.

Now let me tell you why Comfort Kitchen in Saratoga deserves a top spot among their ranks.

comfort kitchen composite

Tots are hot. Over a half century since their invention and just about a decade since Napoleon Dynamite, these grated fried-potato nuggets are showing up in some rather unexpected places.

Just last week a food website, The Daily Meal, identified what they thought were "America's Top Tater Tots." They group ranges from well prepared versions of the original frozen Ore-Ida product to high dining versions conceived of by Alina's Grant Achatz for his cocktail bar, The Aviary.

Too many of these offerings miss the point. Some take the tot and use it strategically in a dish, often as a topping, providing a brown crown of glory for the food below. Others consider the tot a substrate -- a blank canvass -- for them to hurl a cacophony of delicious toppings upon. However, the most misguided try to imbue the tots themselves with the scourge of truffle oil or other "gourmet" touches.

comfort kitchen tater tots closeup

One look at the Comfort Kitchen tots and it's clear they have respect for the form. You get a red-and-white-checked boat full of housemade, deeply browned potato nuggets. There are no shavings of parmesan cheese, no sprinkling of chives, and no decorative parsley. What you will see is a smattering of large salt crystals clinging to the surprisingly greaseless exterior.

You may happen to see the faintest hint of something green, though.

It's rosemary, and it's amazing. I'm tempted to say it's even exciting. Because with great restraint, Comfort Kitchen has been able to elevate the tater tot while keeping it true to its roots. It's a crispy bite of potatoes that's so soft on the inside that chewing is almost an afterthought. And sure, they are great on their own. But the Comfort Kitchen tots are even better dipped in their "Awesome Sauce," a creamy concoction that's tart, sweet, and packs a little bit of heat.

comfort kitchen tater tots bite closeup

Plus, like everything else at Comfort Kitchen, these are made from local ingredients. The restaurant gets its potatoes from Stannard Farm in Cambridge and Sheldon Farm in Salem.

Comfort Kitchen's happy hour on Saturday now starts at 3 pm. And then you can get two Genny Cream Ales for $3 to wash down your $3 side of tots. I can't think of much that would make me happier and be more comforting at the same time.

Daniel B. is the proprietor of the FUSSYlittleBLOG.

Find It

Comfort Kitchen
454 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Comfort Kitchen is on the bottom floor of the Saratoga Marketplace.

Comments

I love the tots at Comfort Kitchen - I have been there five or six times and I've always been amazed that they're just as good as last time. They had loaded baked potato tater tots once, which were really good.

I have been on a health kick lately so have been staying away - but this post is not a good influence on that!

I can attest, they ARE delicious. A warning though, if you eat there, you may smell like a tater tot for the rest of the day. Which could be good or bad... you decide.

These are really good. Rosemary always is great with potatoes, and it's perfect here.

I should add, though, that when I was in after 3 p.m. on a recent Saturday, I asked about happy hour and was told they had no specials. Miscommunication, maybe?

Daniel, you have written another good & and tasty review!
Now, i'm sorry i don't have any taters in my house right now.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Private dorm opposition, a big downtown residential conversion, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience in Albany City Hall once a month in which... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Welcome to that transitional weekend when we go from falling leaves to holiday lights. This is also the last weekend before the holiday craziness sets... (more)

Morning Blend

Trial in the death of Noel Alkaramla The jury in now deliberating in the the trial of Johnny Oquendo -- accused of killing Noel Alkaramla... (more)

Today's moment of architecture

Architecture moods around West Capitol Park Thursday night: The Capitol: LOOK AT ME! The Smith Building: I just want to efficiently finish this file and... (more)

The Regrettes at The Low Beat

Garage rock band The Regrettes are set to play a show at The Low Beat December 6. Tickets are $10 and available online. The band's... (more)

Recent Comments

My grandmother has Alzheimers and sometimes comes to stay with us in Troy. Last week the absolutely highlight of her day was seeing the hundreds of crows that came streaming by the window at our apartment. I watched her go from completely unresponsive to engaged... stringing questions together and returning to her old joyful self for the half hour she watched those birds was enough to endear crows to me forever.

If you see someone running around throwing bird seed in Riverfront Park yelling "COME ON DOWN, BIRD FRIENDS!", it's me.

A few more details about the proposed mixed-use development near St. Peter's hospital

...has 19 comments, most recently from BS

Morning Blend for Nov 17

...has 1 comment, most recently from Summer

Today's moment of architecture

...has 3 comments, most recently from -B

The ethics of dropping your dog's poop in a neighbor's garbage can

...has 38 comments, most recently from Howz

The Regrettes at The Low Beat

...has 1 comment, most recently from Brian