West Village newcomers Pota-topia and 5oz Factory

Lauren Glassberg reports
October 10, 2013 2:46:34 PM PDT
Two new restaurants are now open for business in the West Village and each one is serving up a unique specialty.

Between the two menus, you can get your fill of cheese, custard, and potatoes.

You'll take in a few calories at either place. One spot helps a Wisconsin native overcome being homesick, and the other offers a modern day twist on those baked potato bars of the 70's and 80's.

"People say potato-topia, people say pot-to-topia, but it's pota-topia," said Allen Dikker,

Or a utopia for potatoes at the five week old spot in the West Village you can have your potato one of 10 ways, curly, potato chip, or au gratin, just to name a few and that's just the base.

"You chose a style and that's just the base and then you build it up with the veggies and the proteins and the cheese and then you top it off with the sauce," Dikker said.

And those sauces are actually how Allen Dikker got into this business.

"Every dish I would make, I would need a condiment with it, so I would make the sauce from scratch," Dikker said.

Potatoes were a perfect vehicle for those sauces and all those other toppings for that matter.

The combinations are endless. Around the corner there's another new niche spot called 5oz Factory.

"Every custard shop from Milwaukee, where I'm from, the portion size was a five ounce scoop so that stuck with me and I wanted to bring that scoop size and that tradition to New York City," said Dan Schuman, of 5oz Factory.

So Dan Schuman serves up Wisconsin style custard made with Wisconsin milk.

It's thicker than ice cream. You can get it plain or with toppings, in a shake, or as a concrete.

But wait, the other half of the menu is all about melts. Wisconsiners' name for a grilled cheese.

"Our basic melt with the swiss, gruyere, cheddar and Colby is very popular, and then our Wisconsin to New York, which is our Johnsonville Wisconsin brat soaked in Pabst Blue Ribbon beer with horseradish and Wisconsin mustard on what we call a trencher, which is a long hoagie," Schuman said.

And if you're good with dairy you may want to go for custard and a melt.

"The custard goes perfectly with the grilled," Schuman said.

Both spots are open every day for lunch and dinner. Potatoes, grilled cheese, and custard are the kinds of things you can eat for any time of the day.

For more information please visit: