I must have discovered The Belmont Grill's potato skins as soon as they put them on the menu in the mid-1980s. They were my favorite.
"You used to get them all the time," said Jeff Anderson, one of the owner/managers, after I placed my order for some skins this week at the Poplar location.
Over the years I moved on to other Belmont items and stopped ordering the skins. "You went to the hamburger right away," Anderson said.
The potato skins still are popular, said John Deweese, an owner/manager. Other businesses "use a pre-frozen product with the skins scooped out," he said. "We bake our potatoes and scoop them fresh."
Some of the potato is left in the skins, which then are deep fried.
After they're deep fried, the skins are loaded with cheese and bacon and put under the broiler, Deweese said. They're served with sour cream on the side.
People also order them with salsa or jalapeño peppers. "If we've got it in the kitchen, we'll put it on it if they want it."
The potato that is scooped out is used in The Belmont's stuffed, twice-baked potatoes, Deweese said.
The still-delicious potato skins, listed under "Appetizers," sell for $2.75 for two.
The Belmont Grill is at 4970 Poplar at Mendenhall, 767-0305; and at 9102 Poplar Pike in Germantown, 624-6001.
-- Michael Donahue: 529-2797