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The Hot Potato Truck (provided via Damon and Ece Krane)

Uptown Eats: New food truck 'Hot Potato' brings Turkish tradition to College Green

You should try it at least once.

These words are all too familiar to picky eaters and foodies that like to play it safe. By depriving your taste buds of the possibilities the culinary world has to offer, you are wasting a gift and a chance to try something that may end up rocking your world. Most Americans have a bad habit of not culturally expanding their palates beyond so-called Chinese food (we have somehow Americanized even un-American food) and pizza.

But Damon Krane and Ece Ucoluk Krane, owners of the Hot Potato food truck, are determined to change that.

The potato-loving couple has brought an eastern european staple — kumpir — to the streets of Athens. 

“Kumpir is a very popular street food in Turkey,” said Ece, who wrote to The Post by email. “It is basically a baked potato with its inside mashed and mixed with butter and cheese, and then completed with a wide variety of toppings”. 

What could be better than a starchy potato with all sorts of crazy fixings? Although that may have been a rhetorical question, I’ll answer it: nothing. On July 23 the Hot Potato food truck began blessing the construction-filled area by the class gateway on Union Street. No longer is Hot Potato just a catchy song and children's game, but it's also a place to experience a revolution in the potato game. And though it has only been up and running for about four weeks, its owners say locals have taken a liking to its offerings. 

Damon Krane told The Post via email: "The other day a woman who walked by and saw someone eating an ‘Athens Greek’ exclaimed, ‘Oh my god — it’s like a gyro on a potato! This is the best idea ever!’”

Some Athenians take on an attitude toward cuisine that emphasizes organic and locally-grown foods, and the Kranes said they take on the same philosophy. 

“We already know how much locals appreciate our use of many locally-sourced, high quality, organic, GMO-free ingredients — and we expect OU students will as well,” said Damon.

The Kranes plan on stepping up their game even more this coming semester. 

“In the near future we plan to start serving southwest breakfast wraps, fresh brewed coffee and orange juice weekday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. once classes start,” Damon said. 

I’m getting hungry just thinking about the part these potatoes will play during busy work weeks and fun-filled weekends. Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast or a late night snack, it seems Hot Potato will provide a different flavor for those adventurous enough to step up to the window. 

Damon and Ece know that people may be a little skeptical of something so different, so they've come up with ways to ease into the magical potato journey. 

“The American Standard, which just comes with sour cream, chives and veggie bacon, and the Broccoli Cheesy, which comes with broccoli florets, sautéed red onions and cheddar cheese sauce” can appeal to even the pickiest of eaters.

As the school year gets started, keep Hot Potato in mind if you're looking for a new and fun eating experience. Ece promised “you won’t be disappointed.” 

Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can disapprove of a decadent potato, but there are always skeptics out there.



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