This April, we are putting the spotlight on the Fairgrounds Farmers Market with five weeks of blogs at five different Market stands.
Berks County has never really been known for creativity – at least when it comes to food.
The Pennsylvania Dutch are not exactly the most adventurous eaters in the world either.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to introduce something new, something different, something unique.
Unique is the best word to describe the spudwiches at 1 Potato Two at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market.
The concept for 1 Potato Two began as a food truck in New Jersey. The best in the state, according to the USA Today article that hangs from one wall at the stand.
(Almost) everything at 1 Potato Two is built around – you guessed it – potatoes. There are tater tots with multiple topping choices. There are potato balls, deep-fried bites filled with potato, meat and cheese. And then there are the spudwiches.
So what exactly is a spudwich?
It’s a sandwich, but with no bread. Instead, the filling is placed between two carved out potato halves.
Over the weekend, I visited the stand with my friend Dennis, already a fan of the spudwich. We ordered our two spudwiches and waited for a few minutes while the potatoes and some of the ingredients took a quick bath in the deep fryer.
The selection of spudwiches rotate weekly, and there is quite the variety. I ordered the eggplant parmigiana while Dennis ordered the buffalo chicken.
Our spudwiches were delivered to our seats. “You’re nice guys so I’m going to leave you these,” said the cook as he laid down some extra napkins. They came in very handy.
My spudwich was fantastic. The fried eggplant was light and tender. The mozzarella and tomato sauce were nicely portioned. But the best part about it is the potato.
I could have eaten the potato by itself. Give me three or four of them, and it would be the best potato skin appetizer I have ever tried. But as part of the spudwich, it is actually very complementary to the other ingredients.
Now, I have to point out that it is greasy – the potato and eggplant having both come out fresh out of the fryer – so if that does not appeal to you, you probably won’t enjoy the spudwich. If you don’t mind a little fried food every now and then, this is right up your alley.
Dennis’ spudwich, I dare say, may have been better than mine. It was certainly more robust than my own, with chicken strips spilling out over the sides.
The chicken was delicious. I’m not a big fan of buffalo sauce, but Dennis allowed me a small piece and I was impressed.
What really worked – and what Dennis found to be the best part – was the combination of the buffalo chicken with the bacon. And the potato made for the perfect addition.
It was so good that he completely forgot about the cup of blue cheese on the side. Quite frankly, it didn’t need it.
Together, our two spudwiches were just short of $20 ($8.99 each). For me, the spudwich was hearty enough on its own that I didn’t need anything else for my lunch.
One other note: the challenge of dining at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market is seating. We were lucky to grab two of the four stools at 1 Potato Two’s counter. It was a win for us because the Saturday lunch rush makes it hard to find a seat in the Market’s main dining area.
1 Potato Two certainly brings a new perspective and a whole new idea to Berks County.
And it’s an idea that I can really get behind.
1 Potato Two
Fairgrounds Farmers Market
2934 N. Fifth Street Hwy
Reading, PA 19605