SFoodie's countdown of the 92 best things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.
Maxine Siu reverse-engineered her side potatoes, based on what she didn't like about every other version in town. "Nobody does good home fries," says Siu, who with husband Joel Bleskacek opened Potrero Hill breakfast-and-lunch place Plow last fall. (The couple also owns Ruby Wine, a shop two blocks up on 18th Street.)
"They're always soggy or mushy, never crispy," Siu says of most breakfast potatoes. Before Plow's opening day, she worked out a better version at home. Siu started with Yukon Golds ("they're sweeter," she says, "and have a decent amount of starch"), boiled them slowly in salted water, drained and cooled them slightly, then semi-smashed each by hand. At home she browned them in a hot oven, but at the restaurant the cooks drop them in the deep-fryer till they crisp and the skins open up, like petals dangling from dried roses. Last step: a quick toss in a mixing bowl with salt, herbs, and caramelized onions.
Siu's right about the sweetness of Yukon Golds. Plow's are floury without skewing mealy, seasoned all the way through, and crusty where flesh has touched hot oil. As for the skins, they're papery as toasted nori ― you swear they dissolve on your tongue in places. With ingredients and technique, Siu made breakfast potatoes good enough to stand on their own, instead of as mere stodge for egg plates. Ketchup? Don't even think about it.
Plow: 1299 18th St. (at Texas), 821-7569.
Dishes in our series so far:
92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup
72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk
71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille
70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery