Updated
Feb 11th, 2019
First Posted
Apr 21st, 2017

Potatopia

2262 S University Dr
Davie FL, 33324
954 990-5761
Overall Rating
1.3
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
04/21/2017

Details

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri/Sat 11am-11pm
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Beer
Outdoor: Yes

Pros

No Tipping.

Cons

Place your own order
Long Wait times for the Bowl of Stuff
Bad Food

Critic's Review

With a shortage of new openings, I made the mistake of trekking up to Davie to try out yet-another new fangled bowl concept. This one features potatoes as the base product. I say mistake because Davie Road has construction that made the trip up here a disaster.

There's only 5 of these open country-wide, and it's a franchise operation. Which means that the owner probably has no idea what he's doing. More on that later.

The store fits right in here in this new strip of stores that is 80% fast food restaurants. Right next to Bento Asian Kitchen, which I tried a few weeks back.

This place is long and narrow with no organized line to the register.

Of course there is no register; there are 3 ipad terminals where you enter your order yourself. So this place has taken the no-service concept to the next level; you get all of the inconvenience of online ordering even if you go into the store.

The multiscreen system is quite cumbersome; the teenager next to me was getting totally stressed out (her own words). The Revel based system has some bugs also; you can get your smashed red skins either baked or fried but there's no way to specify this. It's also a bit deceiving because a bowl of potatoes costs $7.15, but there's no protein included. I decided against any protein, but if you want some it will cost you extra. Charge me for it and I may not buy it.

$1.70 for bacon. So your bowl is really 8.85 to compare it to the other bowl places.

There's a couple of pages of drinks that all say $0 and you have to pick what you want; then the next screen has the sizes with the price. It's pretty clunky stuff. What's interesting is that the system is so unintuitive that they have people assigned to help, so they're really not saving any money on labor.

You swipe your card, take your receipt and then kind of hang out. There's no number; they just have the name you entered on the system. I don't know what happens if you want to pay cash. I guess they have to have a register for that.

Once your order is acknowledged, they call your name and you can go up and get a cup. Then you can go over to the beverage station and get whatever you want. So there's no reason to select a specific drink on the system. They do have lemon (cut into tiny pieced too small to squeeze), but no regular iced tea. 3 flavored Iced Teas.

After 12 minutes they called my name. Wow, that's a long time for a bowl of stuff. However my bowl wasn't ready. They informed me that they were out of cheddar cheese and I'd have to select another. Great, just give me mozzarella.

The owner was milling around shaking people's hands and asking them what they ordered. Just what I needed. He looks at my receipt; "Oh, you didn't order any protein?". "No, I did not". Fun fun fun.

I'm thinking to myself why would a late middle-aged man with a couple hundred grand to burn buy a place like this? Buy a restaurant. Have drinks with your friends. Why do you want to serve potato bowls to cretins?

A few minutes later, my bowl was ready. The seating inside is pretty klunky, and I didn't want to sit next to the teenagers. So I sat at one of the klunky tables outside.

Wow, what a mess. I'd asked for my sauce, garlic aioli, on the side. I'd seen some pretty ugly photos online with sauce striped across the top. I opened it up to see what was inside. The "smashed red skin potatoes" seemed strange. I expected just roasted potatoes, but these have some sort of coating. Not sure what it was, but they were terrible. Mozzarella on potatoes doesn't work, and the "melted onions" didn't have any taste, which is what happens when you don't prep them correctly.

I wasn't going to eat this; this was just a bad idea. Maybe the Aioli would act as a dipping sauce? I tasted it. Picture my head shaking. It actually had chopped garlic in the sauce. Sorry, but bad mayo with garlic in it is not garlic aioli. This stuff was inedible garbage.

Ok, time to go home. They have a garbage can outside, but nowhere to put the trays. I saw another guy just leave his tray on the table. I just dumped my bowl, grabbed my iced tea and sped away, never to return.

Conclusion

This place takes the QSR restaurant to a level never before considered; A cheap feeling restaurant, totally impersonal non-service, and an awkward implementation that just makes you wish you had gone somewhere else. Anyone not computer literate need not enter; I can imagine my Mom trying to order a bowl of stuff on the computer. This place was designed by someone who doesn't understand the restaurant business; who doesn't understand that not everyone is a Millenial; who doesn't know how to deliver a positive experience; everything about the place is wrong.

The idea here is that potatoes bought in bulk are dirt cheap, and with the self-order system, you can save on labor while making a nice margin on the bowls. But would you pay $9 for a bowl of loaded fries? One of the choices is a baked potato. $9 for a loaded baked potato?

Based on the Aioli and potatoes it's clear that there's no culinary skill put into the recipes, When you combine cumbersome ordering, awkward delivery, long prep times and bad food you have a problem. They'll probably get over the problem of running out of key ingredients. But this place is a disaster from head to toe.

They opened one in NYC and it closed in 6 months. The only saving grace is that the also lousy Halal Guys is right around the corner.

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Rick
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How is this place still operating selling this garbage?
Administrator
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I thought about this place when I got my bowl at Bowlicious. Kids today have a very low bar. An order of fries is better than this, so why would anyone come here?

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