Appetizers have always struck me as a strange idea — on the surface of it, there’s not much sense in eating food in order to get hungry for more food. On the other hand, appetizers are a nice way of getting something on the table quick to facilitate conversation and minimize the kick of that first beer or cocktail. It can also be fun to order up several things from the appetizer menu and make a mini-buffet right on the table, picking and choosing bites at random. An appetizer should be light, fun to eat, and either small enough not to ruin the appetite or possessed of enough versatility to make the transition to side dish once the main course arrives. With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite appetizers around — and if there’s one that you all think I’m missing, by all means tell me how incomplete my life is down there in the comments.
One good place to start with any appetizer menu is with a fried potato of some sort, and the crispy Kennebec Chip Bucket from Big Orange is a strong contender for the best of the lot. Kennebec potatoes are firm, light-tasting potatoes, which makes them perfect for slicing thin and deep-frying since they hold up well to heat. Big Orange’s fry cooks are also doing their part to make sure that each bucket of chips comes out fresh, lightly salted — and most important: crisp. There’s nothing worse than reaching into a basket of chips or fries and winding up feeling like you’re fumbling around for limp, slimy nightcrawlers to use for fishing bait. These chips don’t have that problem with their almost translucent appearance and satisfying crunch. The side of chipotle red pepper mayo is a decent dip that could stand to be a little spicier, but these chips don’t really need a dipping sauce, and while the portion is large, they certainly fulfill the criteria of an appetizer able to transition to a side dish for whatever burger is on your plate your mind for a main course.