Neither French Nor Fried, 3 Potato 4 Opens on Market Street

Categories: Opening, SOMA
Pete Kane
Not to be confused with Oakland vintage shop Three Potato Four, cosmonaut-themed spud emporium 3 Potato 4 is now open on Market Street near Sixth. The neighborhood may be unsavory, but their salted potatoes certainly aren't. See Also: Report from Tu Lan, Now Re-Open on Sixth Street

In fact, they are delicious. Fans of extra-crispy things might find them slightly underdone, but there's really a lot to like about this place, starting with the prices: a small, medium and large are $4, $5 and $6, with dipping sauce a dollar extra. (Chinese Firecracker is particularly good, with smoked citrus salt added on.) The emphasis on "vegan," "gluten-free" and "organic" for what is essentially a nutrition-free comfort food may strain credibility, but 3 Potato 4's retro-future aesthetic is too winning for anyone to be a sourpuss. This is exactly the kind of gentrification "Mid-Market" needs: bright, unassuming, and affordable for practically everybody. With Aztec chili soup.

Pete Kane
Pete Kane

The Banana Rocket, a frozen banana coated in vegan chocolate, is basically a Bluth's Original Frozen Banana from "Arrested Development." Sure, there's always money in the banana stand, but the downside to 3 Potato 4 is that it's about the same size; indeed, it is small potatoes. There isn't so much as a stool or a window ledge to lean against, so you have to walk straight out with your cone of fries, through a neighborhood with nary a bench or a park. Dipping the fries requires either exceptional dexterity or a third hand, because you can't exactly place that cone on its side. If you don't work in the immediate vicinity, this is going to be very frustrating, especially in chilly weather.

But hey, they're opening another of Salem, Mass.-based mini-chain in Berkeley shortly. And in a city where mediocre $17 sandwiches are no longer universally considered an insane outrage, a tasty $5 cone of fries is a rocket to the moon.

3 Potato 4, 1051 Market St., (415) 500-2468.

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Even though you gave 3 Potato 4 a pretty good review, I'm thinking you were peeved at not being able to sit yourself down somewhere. Boo hoo. Have you ever been to one of the hundreds of food trucks around SF lately? Same thing pal. Get over it. Ever tried eating Indian food from one said truck? These potatoes are PERFECT for eating on the go. You really had that hard of a time holding a small bag of fries and the dipping sauce? I did it lugging a backpack and chewing gum at the same time. No problemo for me. And sorry but apparently I need to educate you Mr. Kane. Potatoes are NOT nutrition free by any stretch of the imagination. I medium sized potato contains (percent of daily value): Potassium: 25%, Dietary Fiber: 18%, Total Carbs: 12%, Vitamin C: 70%, Iron: 9%, Vitamin B6: 30%, Magnesium: 12%. So yeah, there's all that. I've been to 3 Potato 4 a few times and I LOVE the place. The best part is that it takes a healthy food that's made unhealthy by always frying it, and just heats it with super hot hair... BAKED. Comfort food that's good for you. All good. 

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