Word of Mouth: Spenard pop-up offers elevated comfort-foods with artisanal flair

Craft brews, live music and hearty food — need I say more?

La Bodega has been offering craft beers and wines to Anchorage residents for over 12 years. La Bodega has since been searching for an appropriate venue to host their events, such as Bodega-Fest, which have been a hit in the community.

With the help of The Potato, a restaurant with roots as a food truck dating back to 1995, La Potato was born! A beloved classic in McCarthy and Valdez, where they run their two locations, The Potato brings their unique flair on handmade comfort foods to Anchorage in the form of La Potato.

La Potato will only be around for six months as a pop-up, having opened on Nov. 3. The collaborative effort seems to be a trial run of sorts, as La Bodega and The Potato have bigger plans for the venue after the pop-up period.

“[La Potato is] the six-month venue, as it stands now, and it will still continue to be open. We just can’t say what it will be [after the six month period],” said The Potato owner, Rebecca Bard.

The interior of La Potato boasts casual, chic vibes that perfectly reflect the West Anchorage aesthetic. The bar is arranged beautifully, featuring the craft selections from La Bodega, and the bar-style tables are orientated around a stage where La Potato will host their various events.

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La Potato lunch and dinner menus both feature simple items that maintain The Potato’s aesthetic of elevated comfort foods with an artisanal flair.

Both menus feature their famous Potatohead Burrito and Spudniks which are original items from The Potato’s menu in 1995.

The Potatohead Burrito was originally designed for backpackers needing a hearty, filling, grab-and-go meal, according to Bard. The burrito definitely fulfills those expectations, as the “Potatohead” is generously sized and filled to the brim with quality ingredients.

Inside the burrito are: eggs, cheese, their house salsa, sour cream, jalapeños and their famous curly fries. One also has the option to add bacon, carnitas, breakfast sausage, roasted chicken or chorizo, which are all made in-house from scratch.

The Potatohead lived up to its expectations as a backpacker’s best friend because it was incredibly filling and well worth the $10 price tag; for daintier eaters, this meal has the potential to last the whole day.

I chose to add their chorizo to my burrito. The consistency was less crumbly than processed, store-bought chorizo, so it added to the overall heartiness. Furthermore, the chorizo was spiced perfectly, as it was the perfect lead instrument to a symphony of supporting ingredients.

La Potato’s Spudniks are what I was most excited to try. On the menu, they’re described as “curly fries, smothered in our sausage gravy and cheese.” I opted to go for the Spudniks Supreme option, which are the same as their Spudniks but with two eggs and jalapeños.

Like the Potatohead, the Spudniks were filling, warming, hearty, but most of all, absolutely delicious.

Unless you have something against any of the toppings, which most won’t, Spudniks just hit the every nail on the head in terms of what makes food good: fries in a greasy, cheesy, rich, gravy-covered ensemble, and adding fried eggs on top of the whole smorgasbord of flavor is an absolute home run.

The Spudniks are the perfect item for La Potato, as it pairs perfectly with one’s favorite glass of craft brew, courtesy of La Bodega’s selection. They’re easy to eat as well, as one doesn’t have to give much thought to scarfing down these loaded fries as they enjoy whatever entertainment happens to be taking place on La Potato’s stage.

Needless to say, the Spudniks and Potatohead Burrito are the perfect manifestation of why La Bodega and The Potato are a match made in heaven.

Like the neighborhood they are located in, there is nothing posh or gimmicky about La Potato. With a menu that is unapologetically boasts its own identity, La Potato stays true to itself as a collaboration — a great selection of drinks, a great selection of food and an even greater atmosphere that lets both of them shine.