The Maine Potato Board has announced that the popular Caribou russet potato will be used in two restaurants in Bangor starting with high school basketball tournament week.
Geaghan’s Pub and Craft Brewery will use the spud in a variety of potato-based dishes, and Hops House 99, inside Hollywood Casino, will use it to make hand-cut fries. Both restaurants are across the street from the Cross Insurance Center, which also serves the Caribou russet at its own concession stands.
“The popularity of the Caribou Russet has been strong with the retail consumer,” said Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board. “It’s flavorful and is great for everything from baking to mashing to frying. We are excited to be partnering with Geaghan’s and Hops House 99 to bring this potato to restaurant customers.”
Geaghan’s plans to use the Caribou russet in dishes like Irish nachos, mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie and potato-based stews. Hops House 99 will create hand-cut fries to accompany the variety of burgers and sandwiches on the menu. Both restaurants plan to continue using the Caribou russet until the supply runs out, which should be around mid-spring.
“Because this is a relatively new variety with high demand, the supply eventually runs out for the season,” Flannery said. “Growers are planning for next season and more acreage is being devoted to it going forward. It’s a tremendously popular potato and our growers are working hard to meet the consumer demands every year.”
“We are excited to be able to share the experience with our guests, especially those that will be visiting during the tournaments,” said Peter Geaghan, co-owner of Geaghan’s Pub & Brewery. “We have always felt it was important to serve Maine potatoes at our pub, however to serve a potato that was developed right here at the University of Maine is something really special.”
The Caribou russet hit store shelves with limited supply in 2016. A year later, Hannaford stores began stocking the new variety in its produce sections throughout Maine. This year, more Hannaford stores are carrying the variety, as well as Stop & Shop stores, making it widely available throughout New England.
This was originally published in the Fiddlehead Focus.