At Oasis Café, Jim and Mel’s Incredible Potatoes is a twice-baked potato made with cheddar cheese, spices and a dash of Worcestershire and portioned into individual pan-fried potato pancakes. $3.75. Not fancy, just delicious. 3542 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota. (941) 957-1214.
Many fans wouldn’t dream of eating at the Bijou Café without ordering the Pommes Gratin Dauphinois. This oven-baked casserole is made with Gruyere cheese, copious amounts of cream and garlic, then broiled until there’s a crusty cap on top. A small portion is $9; larger serving $12. 1287 First St., Sarasota, (941) 366-8111.
The duck-fat roasted potatoes at Indigenous are sensibly paired with the house gourmet burger for $16. Deceptively simple, yet sinfully indulgent and rich. 239 Links Ave., Sarasota, (941) 706-4740.
The signature potato dish at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is a casserole made with russet potatoes, heavy cream, butter, leeks, two kinds of cheese and—here’s the magic—jalapeño pepper. It stands up to any steak and begs to be tasted first. Enough to share at $11.95. 2001 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, (941) 358-9463.
You just can’t duplicate the Outback Steakhouse classic baked potato at home. It sounds simple: Rub oil on a russet potato, sprinkle on kosher salt and bake. But it always tastes better at the Outback, especially when you add butter, mixed cheese, chives, sour cream and, of course, bacon bits. 7207 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 924-4329.
Irish Pub 32 knows how to make those plank-style deep fried potatoes they call chips. Sprinkle with malt vinegar or enjoy with ketchup or just a little salt. $12 if you have the large portion with fried fish. 8383 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 952-3070.—Marsha Fottler