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Totally Baked in NYC

Written by Meredith Farley
1/28/2009

What do you want on your baked potato?

An IC alum is making a name for himself in the big apple -- with potatoes. Jason Apfelbaum '91 is the owner of Totally Baked, a potato-slinging restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood that’s closing in on its million-dollar sales mark.

The novelty eatery features both classic and creative takes on the traditional baked potato; the fancy spuds are served alongside house salads in eco-friendly, recycled cardboard containers.

Apfelbaum, who studied advertising at IC, came up with the idea of a gourmet baked potato restaurant back when he was a student; the first version of Totally Baked was a proposal for a potato-selling street cart for a marketing course Apfelbaum was in. Seventeen years later, Totally Baked is up and running in NYC.

Clever packaging, kitsch-appeal, and massive amounts of press aside, what's the draw? Instead of the utilitarian sour cream and chives that have regulated the potato to the role of perennial side-dish, these potatoes deserve center stage on your plate.

Some of the most popular versions are brisket (braised beef brisket, parsley and marsala reduction), steak (grilled rosemary skirt steak, caramelized shallots and Maytag blue cheese), and buffalo chicken (spicy chicken, bleu cheese, carrots, and celery.)

The truffle, which is topped with truffle compound butter, truffle oil, truffle salt, and truffle shavings has been getting a lot of press for its hefty price tag -- $55. The rest of the potatoes range from about $7-$11. The menu also features salads, two soups, and sweet potatoes with dessert toppings.

Totally Baked is actually the store front of Apfelbaum's private catering company, Chef & Company. In the future, Apfelbaum plans to expand Totally Baked into a chain, with the majority of locations in college towns. Perhaps there's a Totally Baked in Ithaca's future?



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