For those that don’t know, the entire month of February is Sweet Potato Month! Socially Superlative was invited on a Sweet Potato Tour to try different restaurants and highlight their dishes that include sweet potato as an ingredient.
Even though this month is Sweet Potato Month, most people don’t know that sweet potato is on menus year-round. Sweet potato is such a versatile ingredient that, depending on its’ preparation, can be used in cuisines ranging from Thai to Latin to Indian and of course American.
For our first stop, we trekked up to 114th Street for Melba’s Restaurant. The space is on the smaller side, and do not take reservations for their lively brunch scene, so come early or expect to wait a bit to get a piece of the action. This hidden gem is well-known for their Southern Fried Chicken and Eggnog Waffles, which were even featured on the Food Network, but most people aren’t aware of their Sweet Potato Pancakes. We tried both dishes during our visit, not to mention a Mango Mimosa and Mellini, and this is what we came up with.
The crispiness of the fried chicken skin is worth the trip alone. We found ourselves gnawing at the bone to get everything we could from the one piece of chicken that is served with the waffle. It was also served with strawberry butter, which complimented the waffles. Honestly, I didn’t taste the eggnog in the waffles, but my friend said she tasted it more when the waffle was hot, which is when I was more concerned with the chicken!
For those that have had the sweet potato pancakes at Melba’s, they know that they give the other dishes a run for their money. The amount of flavor that comes through is completely unexpected and perfect for a comforting meal during winter months. Flavors of cinnamon and pumpkin come through on these fluffy pillows, giving the dish a complex taste, which is unusual for pancakes. The dish was extremely filling, tasty, and satisfying.
We definitely recommend taking the trip for these dishes and even to try some that we didn’t get to try, like the Salmon Croquettes and Mac N’ Cheese.
Stay tuned for our next Sweet Potato Tour spot, we’ll be trying a dish at LES wine bar Desnuda!
– Stephanie Carino