Toward a More Perfect Potato

Potato chips, french fries, pommes frites . . . call 'em what you like, but spuds, sliced and fried to crisp-edged magnificence, must be as close to culinary nirvana as mere mortals are allowed to trod. A number of Cleveland-area eateries cook up good ones -- freshly cut, well seasoned, and simultaneously crunchy, crisp, and moist. Among the most seductive, we would include the rosemary and sea-salt-piqued potatoes at Lola; the twice-fried Belgian-style frites at Touch; and the thick-cut "Notso" fries at Yours Truly, with their cargo of melted cheese, sour cream, and bacon. To this pantheon of fried potatoes, we recommend a newcomer: the House Chips at Hudson's on the Green, the family owned and operated eatery recently launched in the former Mary & Ted's (80 N. Main St., Hudson). The kitchen -- operated by brothers and Culinary Institute of America grads J.J. and Kevin Altomare -- does lots of things right. But its version of fried spuds is downright killer. Spiral cut into see-through disks, deep-fried to greaseless perfection, then topped with crumbled Gorgonzola, bacon, chopped tomato, scallions, and a tangy balsamic glaze, these babies are as addictive as anything you'll find peddled on this city's Norman Rockwellian main drag. And at $4.95 for a massive portion, they're undoubtedly the cheapest. Scarf some up for yourself from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For spud-nuts, it doesn't get much better. -- Elaine Cicora

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