Few items on the school lunch menu appeal to adults, but Tater Tots are one of those timeless comfort foods. The crispy, potato cylinders make great fry alternatives, classic casseroles and, for some, serve as the perfect hangover remedy.
For the record, "Tater Tots" is a trademarked name, registered by Ore-Ida in 1953. Many other companies introduced their own version with names like "potato gems," "potato pom poms," "oven crunchies," "Mexi-nuggets" and "potato puffs."
And, of course, we can thank "Napoleon Dynamite" for popularizing the simple term "tots."
If you’re hot for tots, there are a variety of places in Milwaukee where you can score some, such as Palomino, 2491 S. Superior St. Bartender Bill Rouleau claims, "After MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools), Palomino buys the most tots in Wisconsin."
Sure, they are available in the frozen food section of most grocery stores, but if you want to bag the bag and order them out, here's a list of places to nosh the round fries. As always, feel free to add others via the Talkback feature.
1114 N. Water St, (414) 847-1492
5750 Bayshore Dr., (414) 831-2700
Bar Louie offers a dish called "Loaded Tots" that features a pile of potato tots covered in cheese, bacon, scallions and giardiniera. The cost is $7.99.
2491 S. Superior St., (414) 747-1007
Palomino is the home of the Tot Sandwich, which is no longer on the regular menu, but is occasionally offered as a special. However, side orders of potato tots are always available, as is the tot appetizer ($6.95). Plus, the biscuits and gravy ($6.95) is served over a bed of tots.
2080 Miller Park Way, (414) 384-5002
Sonic serves plain tots, or smothers them in cheese and / or chili. They are available as side orders with a sandwich basket or on their own for under $2.
735 E. Center St., (414) 264-3630
Stonefly offers the Brat & Tot or the Tofu & Tot ($7.50) featuring tots layered with bratwurst or tofu, pepper jack and cheddar cheese, then baked until golden brown. Tots are available as side orders or appetizers, too.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.