Chef Keith Fleming came to Greenville, Alabama, on a mission, but he did not accomplish it. You see, he is a sushi chef; and having found a small available restaurant space in a corner of the Texaco station at Exit 130 off I-65, his goal was to open a sushi bar there. “The more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea,” he recalls. “Somehow, ‘gas station sushi’ doesn’t cut it.”
Undaunted, Keith refocused his plan and instead of a sushi bar, opened a baked potato bar. “Like sushi rice, a baked potato can be the base for so many things,” he enthuses. The menu of the Big Potato Company is proof of that. Starting with one of the extra-large, high-quality bakers that emerge hot from the oven throughout the day, he adds your choice from a list of possibilities that ranges from ham and cheese to steamed lobster with eel sauce and from Buffalo chicken ranch to Japanese crab. There’s a plain one with only butter, sour cream, and chives, and there’s one loaded with seasoned crawfish tails and spicy mayonnaise. I went for a classic bacon-cheddar potato, which came piled with an unconscionable amount of real bacon and a huge crown of good grated cheese. Below them, the spud itself was fluffy and full flavored.
If you are allergic to root vegetables, alternatives include big sandwiches and a few salads and soups. For dessert: cheesecake on a stick.