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Best Passionate Potatoes Phoenix 2002 - Peruanitos

A potato is no simple spud. There are hundreds of varieties grown around the world, each with a distinct shape, skin, color, texture and taste. There's a different potato that's best for different uses, such as mashed, French fries, chips, salad, boiled.

But we're not concerned with what type of potatoes the kitchen uses at Peruanitos, an outrageously delicious Peruvian restaurant where absolutely everything on the long menu sparkles. Picking potatoes is the chef's job. Still, we are smitten with the spuds that arrive at our table, one glorious creation after another.

We could live on this stuff -- papas a la huancaina (in creamy, spicy queso fresco with palillo herb), papa rellena (spicy beef wrapped in a mashed potato shell with red onion salsa), causa rellena de atun (layers of mashed potato stuffed with tuna and Peruvian spices), sopa de leche (potato soup), papa a la diabla (potatoes with a creamy salsa of onion, queso fresco and boiled egg), and carapulcra (mashed and sun-dried potatoes with pork, peanuts and spices).

Peruanitos changes its potato dish selections periodically, but we've found that a woeful stare at our server works wonders with special requests. Any way you slice it, these tubers are tops.

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