Monday, August 8, 2011

QuikTrip’s Loaded Potato Rollers

The latest creation from the QT food Frankensteins is a garlicky monster.

About a month ago, I saw a sign at a QuikTrip for some kind of new mac and cheese something or other coming soon. First, I wondered if the rolling food geniuses had devised a way to make a Cheesy Mac Log. Second, I got frustrated that if they had made that breakthrough, they were just teasing me with it and I couldn’t try it right that very second. For the waiting, as they say, is the hardest part.

I kept checking back at the roller grill wonderland for weeks to no avail, when out of nowhere QuikTrip blindsided me with the brand new Loaded Potato Roller. While it wasn’t a Cheesy Mac Log, I wasn’t about to wait to try it.

The Loaded Potato Roller has a crunchy-crispy coating that’s flecked with chive bits, and the breading reminded me of the outer layer of a hush puppy. Inside it, there’s a potato-ish core that features shredded cheese, bacon bits and more chives -- but all of that is nearly overwhelmed by intense levels of garlic.

The texture of the potatoes is akin to wall spackle. Light and fluffy wall spackle that looks like you could frost a cake with it, but still wall spackle nevertheless. In other news, you probably don’t want to eat any cakes I make.

I think the QT mad scientists have some more work to do on perfecting the formula with this one. The Loaded Potato Roller is a great concept -- who doesn’t want the tasty goodness of mashed potatoes on the go? If they cut way back on the garlic, this thing might have a shot.

Perhaps the Loaded Potato Roller would be better enjoyed as an accompaniment to a cow-related main dish, resulting in a convenient steak dinner. Maybe like a KC Strip-Go-Round? Current QT beef offerings don’t work -- the Steak Taquito is a taste mismatch, and the Cheeseburger Roller seems a bit low rent.

But the biggest problem with the Loaded Potato Roller is that it’s a little dry and starchy, and there’s nothing you can really put on it to alleviate the glue mouth effect. Ketchup and mustard? Awful. Mayo? Maybe if you’re European. I guess you could try emptying a couple of those tiny packets of salsa into a nacho cheese cup.

My solution? Gravy dispenser. A warm gravy dispenser right next to the nacho cheese would seal the deal. The only other potential option is sour cream in either packets or a dispenser, but both would require refrigeration and that might be iffy right by the rolling food. Besides, you can top nearly anything with gravy -- or even better, give me a little cup for dipping. Everybody wins with gravy.

Note: Reporting on the Cheeseburger Roller last summer, your Lunch Bloggers also made some guesses as to the next rolling food innovation. While writing this up, it hit me -- I think QT is following the bar appetizer menu model. They’ve now got items approximating buffalo wings, mini burgers, potato skins, etc. So what’s next? Jumbo Rolling Jalapeno Poppers. Boom.

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