“Where do you live?”
When most people think of Idaho—the Gem State—they don’t think of our abundance of elegant stones. Nor do they imagine rugged snow-capped peaks, towering above pristine rivers. They don’t consider the herds of bugling elk, the willing trout of the waters, or the endless networks of hiking and biking trails.
They think about…potatoes.
While the common association may become a tiresome motif for residents, it comes as no surprise. Our license plates do read “FAMOUS POTATOES” . Heck, we’ve even got a potato museum. In fact, Idaho produces about one-third of the United States’ potato crop. But let’s not get caught up in quantity—Let’s talk about quality.
The town of Ketchum knows how to do a lot of things right, and potatoes are no exception. Our myriad of local restaurants will delight tuber enthusiasts of every breed, at any time of day. Serving up the state’s proudest, local bounty in all of your favorite shapes, cuts, and spoonfuls, no one will go home from Ketchum with a starch deficiency.
The Tuber Tour:
Breakfast is typically agreed upon as the most important meal of the day, so let’s start there. And by there, I mean the Konditorei Bakery and Cafe. Located right in the Sun Valley village, the “Kondi” will jumpstart your day with their Potato Rosti—a Swiss, pan-fried slab of frittered Potatoes. The “fancy hash browns” are well-suited to absorb the yolks of over-easy eggs, and are known to cure most ailments associated with a hangover.
Lunch time is fry time in Ketchum, and, like anywhere else, the burger and beer joints are the pros. Grumpy’s, a main staple for Ketchum locals, offers slender-cut fries cooked to a perfect crisp on the outside with a pleasant chewiness on the interior.
If you prefer a beefier version of this classic fry shape, the Cellar Pub is your destination, and their seasoning will undoubtedly make you clear your plate and leave you wondering what just happened.
For the condiment addicts, Lefty’s Bar and Grill offers “Monkeys”—crinkle-cut potato disks that are perfect for scooping, and render no bottle of ketchup or fry sauce safe. Fry sauce, by the way, is a typically a blend of mayonnaise, ketchup, and more than likely, holy water. It is delicious, it is important, and it is vastly available in Ketchum.
Dinner is the prelude to a social night out on the town, and if you went to college, you know that a starchy base is the pivotal first step in responsible alcohol consumption.
The Sawtooth Club compliments their succulent cuts of meat and fish with a heap of garlic mashed potatoes that will put your grandmother’s secret Thanksgiving recipe to utter shame. But don’t tell her that.
With that said, no trip to Ketchum is complete without a visit to the famous Pioneer Saloon, which, in terms of potatoes, offers the main event: THE JIM SPUD.
Now, you could just order a baked potato with butter and salt, and you may be content with that. Don’t strive for contentment—strive for excellence. Excellence is achieved with the Jim Spud, which is the biggest Idaho baked potato you’ve ever seen, split open, and jam-packed with grilled onions, molten cheese, and a mound of teriyaki prime rib. You will try to consume it in it’s entirety, and you will be breathing heavily if you manage to.
Idaho is certainly famous for it’s potatoes, and in Ketchum, we’re OK with that. After a visit, you will be, too.