meat free/recipes/snacks/starters

Restaurant Startup Pop-Up: Snack Bar

Posted January 4, 2016 by Stephanie
poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I’m always thinking about opening my own restaurant. I have so many ideas that I’m not exactly sure which one I would go with. I LOVE coming up with restaurant themes and creating fun menus and dishes that would be featured. So when Restaurant Startup, the super fun CNBC show, asked me to come up with a restaurant idea, kind of like I would be a contestant on the show, I jumped at the chance.

The format of the show is: two potential restaurant teams present their restaurant ideas to Joe Bastianich, Elizabeth Blau, and Tim Love. They pick one winning team to launch their restaurant with 36 hours and $7500. After they check out the decor, observe customer service, and eat at the pop-up, they decide if they want to invest. Since they base their investments on both the business side and the food side, I asked Mike to team up with me to be my numbers guy. Then I just focused on the fun part: the food!

snack bar menu - www.iamafoodblog.com

click to enlarge!

Mike and I came up with our restaurant concept together and I had a blast thinking of what would be on the menu. We were thinking a sort of Japanese-Asian influenced snack bar, with lots of fun drinking snacks, kind of like an izakaya. I love the idea of names that proclaim what they are (kind of like how I named this blog, come to think of it!) so we decided on: Snack Bar.

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Of course, every good restaurant needs a signature dish. This is Snack Bar’s: Potato Snack. It’s a 64° sous vide egg on top of the smoothest, butteriest mashed potatoes, served with grilled sourdough toast. It’s a combination of all the things I love: eggs, potatoes, and toast. I just love the texture of mashed potatoes with soft eggs on crunchy toast.

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Since this is a restaurant dish, and a signature one at that, I played around a little bit with the cooking methods. Instead of just a regular boiled egg, I went with a sous vide egg, which is basically the most perfect poached egg you’ll ever have. To go along with that I sous vide the mashed potatoes as well.

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I based the mashed potatoes on Heston Blumenthal’s mashed potatoes, which are the smoothest that I’ve ever eaten. He sous vides his potatoes at 72°C, which locks in the starches and ensures that the potatoes are smooth, but not gummy. Basically, the starch in the potatoes gelatinizes and the granules that contain the starch also firm up, making it harder to rupture and gum up during mashing.

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

After the sous vide, the potatoes are finished cooking in regular boiling water. They’re placed through a ricer and folded with butter and milk that’s been steeped with potatoes skins for some extra potato-y flavor. It’s a long process but completely worth it when you taste the end result. Definitely signature dish material.

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I wish you guys could all come eat at my restaurant. Although I’m really not sure I’d be a good chef – I don’t think I have the time management skills and I’m not very good under pressure. But if you’re okay with the dishes coming out a little bit slow and with me chatting over with you while I’m cooking – I would totally do an open bar/kitchen concept – then we’re good!

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Speaking of open kitchens and bars, I had fun shopping for decor items for Snack Bar. Because Mike is a designer, I had extra money to spend on cute stuff. I even made a little mood board so you guys could get a good feel for what I’m going for: a natural background palette with pops of metal and color, some fun dishes, and lots and lots of light fixtures so everyone can Instagram to their hearts content.

snack-bar-mood-board

I like to think that Joe and Tim would totally invest in Snack Bar. Maybe one day I really will open a restaurant. In the meantime, I’ll be watching the new season of Restaurant Startup on CNBC. It premieres January 6th and to get you in the mood I’m giving away a Restaurant Startup prize pack full of cookbooks and tasty treats. To enter, just leave a comment letting me know what you’d order from Snack Bar. And don’t forget to check out the show!

Potato Snack: 64° Eggs, 72° Potatoes, Toast
yield: 6 servings


  • 6 medium eggs, from the fridge
  • 1 lb potatoes, scrubbed and peeled, peels reserved
  • 1/2 cup full-cream milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced
  • fresh thyme, flat leaf parsley, or other herbs
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • sourdough toast, to serve

To sous vide the eggs: Fill a large pot with water and set the sous vide machine to 64°C. When the water reaches 64°C, gently place 6 eggs, straight from the fridge, into the water. Set a timer for 43 minutes. When the 43 minutes are up, remove the eggs from the water bath and plunge into an ice bath.

To make the mashed potatoes: Bring a saucepan of unsalted water to 72°C over a medium heat. Or use a sous vide machine to bring water up to 72°C. Cut the peeled potatoes into equal-sized pieces, rinse for 5 minutes and put into the pan and bring the water temperature back up to 72°C. If using a sous vide machine, place the potatoes in a vacuum sealed bag. Hold the potatoes at 72°C for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the cooked potatoes and rinse under cold running water.

Bring a saucepan of fresh salted water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook until extremely soft and falling apart.

Meanwhile, add the potato peels to the milk, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Allow to steep for 20 minutes before straining and discarding the peels.

Drain the potatoes, and return to the pan over a very low heat to dry out slightly.

Use a ricer and rice the potatoes onto the butter in a bowl, and fold together, push the mixture through a fine sieve add the warmed infused milk and salt to taste. Heat up the eggs by placing in very hot tap water. Crack the eggs into a small dish and tip the dish slightly to pour any loose whites.

Place a small dollop of potatoes in a bowl and gently slide the egg on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with fresh herbs. Serve with hot grilled sourdough toast.

Notes: Potatoes based on Heston Blumenthal’s Perfect Mash.

For the eggs, if you don’t have a sous vide machine, you can try this slow-poaching method.

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Giveaway: CNBC is giving away a Restaurant Startup prize pack featuring cookbooks, a chefs coat, and tasty snacks.

To enter: Let me know what you’d order off my sample Snack Bar menu! Open to US residents only. Contest closes Friday, January 8th at 12pm PST. Good luck!

Update: This contest is closed! Congrats James! Keep your eyes out for an email shortly!

poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com
poached egg on potatoes recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com
This post was sponsored by CNBC for Restaurant Startup. #RestaurantStartup premieres January 6th. Tune in to CNBC Wednesdays at 10p et/pt and follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Thanks for supporting I am a Food Blog!

85 Comments

  1. Eliza says:

    Japanese Cheesesteak is an intriguing fusion idea. I would love to try that, along with the rest of this entire menu!!

  2. Ellie says:

    Everything sounds delicious!! I think I would have to try that Japanese Cheesesteak… and the warm chocolate chip cookies for good measure :)

    xo, Ellie

  3. The details on this are the bestest: the perfectly cylindrical fries, quail eggs for the scotch eggs, crispy edges to the lasagna and the frozen chocolate cake <3 (that would be my 4 course meal btw)

  4. i’d get the fried chicken balls, negitoro, grilled mochi, fried chicken bao and banh mi sliders (or i could just take a bunch of people with me and we’d order the whole menu).

  5. Jill says:

    I’d love to try the Ultimate Cinnamon Toast! I’d LOVE to see Snack Bar happen, the food sounds amazing and the concept is refreshing. I’ll be watching!

  6. I’d eat at Snack Bar. For realz.

  7. Barbara says:

    Love your idea for tots! Post that one soon :)

  8. Mary Beth Hunt says:

    Oh THAT’S easy! Bread. And. Butter.

  9. Megan says:

    I would order everything ;) the grilled mochi and bread and butter would be at the top of list for me!

  10. Bev says:

    I would totally eat at your snack bar.. Actually I think i would be a regular!

    So what to order at your snack bar. Shishito peppers for sure… I would know secretly which one is the spicy one and give the 10th to my husband. Potato snack…and a bahn mi please!

  11. corrin says:

    There’s a great restaurant in Austin called Snack Bar~

  12. Dan says:

    Will definitely order the negitoro with special request add on of a onsen egg and ikura on top. Also, will order the poutine for sure.

  13. Ariel says:

    I would order the chocolate freezer cake! mmmmm!

  14. ali says:

    yum… great menu! I would definitely order the potato snack :)

  15. Jaime says:

    I would totally order that Potato Snack. Yum!

  16. Erin Ellis says:

    The Ultimate Cinnamon Toast sounds fabulous on this rainy day! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    Erin
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  17. The mac and cheese, croquette, and the cookies for dessert :D

  18. Ellen says:

    I would absolutely order the potato snack. I want it right now!!

  19. Lily says:

    That potato snack does look pretty good. But I’m intrigued by perfectly cylindrical chickpea fries too!

  20. Kim says:

    Potato snack and fried chicken balls to start! Everything looks great.

  21. Jan Quarles says:

    Calamari for sure…then the banh mi and the can I order some snacks! Everything looks good!

  22. Spyros says:

    Reading your blog post made me salivate! Heston is my chef hero and you’re my blog hero so i would definitely order your signature dish!Then i would go for the chips 2.0 i have a soft spot for chips, bao and mac&cheese oh and the ultimate cinnamon toast! Looking forward to the show – good luck Snack Bar
    x, S

  23. April says:

    I would order the GRILLED MOCHI. Mochi rules my life!

  24. Anabel says:

    Given your blog’s mac and cheese repertoire, I’d have to order the mac and cheese from Snack Bar!

  25. Noel says:

    Those potatoes or the Japanese cheesesteak! Also loving the cookies baked to order.!

  26. It’s hard not to order one of everything! I will take a potato snack, fried chicken balls, japanese cheesesteak, cube of cafeteria lasagna and cinnamon toast for dessert. Of course, this is just for me. :)

  27. The Patatas Bravas sound amazing! I want to try everything on that menu!

  28. leah says:

    japanese cheesesteak!

  29. Jennifer R. says:

    I adore cinnamon toast! It was a favorite childhood treat and yours sounds delicious!

  30. Angela says:

    Grilled mochi and Bao. I’d order both. Yum!

  31. Bianca says:

    ultimate cinnamon toast please!!

  32. Alice says:

    This is such a fun, fun fun post Stephanie! The potato snack sounds unreal, I love that you included a recipe – it will absolutely be one for me to try once I get my hands on a sous vide machine! In addition to ordering the potato snack item on your menu, the Japanese cheesesteak sounds like a load of fun, I’m curious how the miso cheese whiz would work with the dish. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  33. love, love the concept!!
    i’d order the classic potato snack, alll the healthy-ish and alll the sweets (well, at least i tried to narrow it down a little…).

  34. Simon says:

    Of course I’d order the potato snack, but anything with fried chicken would be a close second. Really great ideas!

  35. Diana says:

    everything sounds delicious! Definitely the potato snack. And negitoro. And tots.

  36. Tori says:

    That is so cool that you were asked to do this for the new show. I’ve never heard of it, but now I definitely want to watch it. This recipe looks delish!

  37. Jordan says:

    The poutine!

  38. Rachel says:

    shishito and shichimi sounds like the most fun for sure! but i’m also a sucker for bao and mini scotch eggs, oh decisions, decisions

  39. Sooji says:

    I think I’d like to try the Japanese Cheesesteak!

  40. David says:

    If it’s the signature dish, I am going with the Potato Snack! Great concept and design.

  41. grace says:

    omg i wish this place was real. i would eat potato snacks and tots and mochi and naan and daal and shisito peppers and tiny salad! what’s left?!

  42. Kimberly says:

    Oh my gosh, your menu is amazing? Can I make reservations now? I also think it would be a great food truck concept.

    I would order the chickpea fries, bah mi slider, and potato snack. Now I just need a sous vide machine and those salt and pepper grinders!

  43. Stephanie, this is so fun! Isn’t menu brainstorming so much fun? I am constantly daydreaming about opening my own bakery and coming up with things I might put on the menu never gets old for me :) I LOVE your whole restaurant concept. So unique! I think I would definitely have to go for the Japanese Cheesesteak, that’s what caught my eye first. But then I’d have to come back every day so I could try it all haha

  44. Kaela says:

    Definitely the bahn mi slider, the bao and all the chips & dip – my favorite snack!

  45. Danai says:

    Could I stay and order the whole menu? It’s so hard to choose!! The first thing i’d order though would be your signature dish, it combines my food heaven ingredients egg, potatoes and salmon roe! YUM! Good luck tomorrow

  46. phi supper says:

    WHAT an awesome idea! and the decor, oh we would spend our evenings there nibbling on snacks until we’ve tried the whole menu! on our fist visit we would order the grilled mochi because we’re so curious to see how these taste and the bahn mi slider. Now we’re off to buy ingredients and make your signature dish recipe for dinner

  47. This is so awesome. I am always dreaming up menu ideas and restaurant themes, but like you, I’m not sure I would be very good at running one. Then again, I wouldn’t have a problem with you chatting and cooking at your own pace if I got to eat some of the things on this menu! Seriously, I’m reading it and thinking “I want to go here. I want to go here every week.” One of the things on the menu that intrigues me most (besides the potato snack) is actually the bread and butter. It’s such a simple thing, but I think it would be so much fun to experience a little tasting of the different butters and salts!

  48. Marissa says:

    I’d order the bao. I’ve never had it, but your previous post featuring them looked delicious!

  49. Sue-Na says:

    The potato dish sounds like a dream but I would also order the mini scotch eggs ad the toasted mochi in a heartbeat. Honestly pretty much everything sounds amazing.

  50. Ileana says:

    This is incredible, and I would totally eat at your restaurant. Love the concept and the look of your signature dish! Lasagna cube, bao, potato snack, fried chicken balls and cinnamon toast, please!

  51. Fanny says:

    I don’t live in the States. I’m a fellow Vancouverite. :) Not here for the give-away. But I just wanted to tell you how exciting it is about the whole restaurant idea thing! I would definite eat this dish at your Snack Bar. Only the look of the gooey eggs already killed me! Good luck with the show!

  52. Rachel says:

    I want those potatoes with the roe!!!

  53. Shelley says:

    I love your snack back idea and especially your decor to go with it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  54. Linda Liu says:

    I would try the mini scotch eggs or your signature dish, because I absolutely loveeee eggs. I can never cook them perfectly myself, but yours always looks so beautiful!

  55. Katie says:

    I’m thinking that the patatas bravas and the Japanese cheesesteak sound like a delish combo! Sriracha mayo! Yum!!

  56. I AM UNREASONABLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS SITUATION. Holy crap, Steph. I’m currently DEVASTATED that Snack Bar isn’t real. If it were, I would move in because everything—from the gorgeous natural, minimalist decor to the exquisite menu—is perfect. Obsessed. GIVE ME POTATO SNACK.

  57. Laura Walsh says:

    All 3 desserts!

  58. Nikki says:

    I think perhaps you should just move to Utah and open up your Snack Bar here so I can eat there all the time! The Japanese Cheesesteak sounds ahhhhmazing! Miso cheese wiz…yum!

  59. Deru says:

    I think I would HAVE to order the potato snack! How can you not!? yum.

  60. Travis says:

    I’d be all over those scotch eggs! They sound delicious and perfect with some drinks!

  61. Geoff says:

    Want bao, poutine and mochi!!!

  62. Olga says:

    Definitely tots! I love this combination

  63. Michelle says:

    The ultimate cinnamon toast sounds pretty amazing! I would also order the tots.

  64. Megan Barrie says:

    If I visited ‘Snack Bar, I’d order the negitoro for some yummy freshness, shishito & shichimi for some spiciness, naan & black daal cause I love your twist on the Indian classic, and some warm chocolate chip cookies for something satisfyingly sweet! Excited for the premiere tomorrow!

  65. Heather says:

    You had me at “hello.” Or rather, “sous vide egg” with the Potato Sack.

    I also couldn’t resist the fried chicken balls, poutine, Japanese cheesesteak (miso Cheese Whiz…mmmm). And the bread and butter with rilettes?? Down.

    I’ll take all the desserts, please. But if I have to choose, I’m a sucker for anything brûlée, even though cooked-to-order cookies are a super solid touch.

  66. Pam says:

    The signature dish – potato snack! It will pair well with the fried chicken balls!

  67. The menu makes me think of fusion Japanese tapas and I love it!

  68. Brent says:

    Patatas bravas for sure – love crispy potatoes!

  69. Emily says:

    love this! your whole menu sounds delish, but I would have to order: grilled mochi, bao and the ultimate cinnamon toast!

  70. Jenny says:

    From Snack Bar’s menu I would order the potato snack, Japanese cheesesteak and bao for sure!!!

    Please open a restaurant! I would definitely go :)

  71. Caroline says:

    Looks awesome! I’d get the patatas bravas. Or the banh mi slider. Or one of everything.

  72. Crystal says:

    I would DEF order the ultimate cinnamon toast, the bao and the chips 2.0!

  73. Janice H says:

    So many things I would order! I would really go broke if you opened this restaurant haha

    Here’s my list:
    whipped feta and flatbread
    grilled mochi
    tiny salad (because I like mini foods)
    mini scotch eggs (mini..)
    tots
    and of course your signature dish, potato snack

    Then end the snack meal with chocolate freezer cake and warm chocolate chip cookies

    ^__^

  74. conni says:

    Put those patatas bravas in my face immediately

  75. Serena says:

    totally totally the whipped feta flatbread!! *.*

    (hides away .png of menu to use as cooking inspo…)

  76. James says:

    Can’t go wrong with poutine, esp with triple fried!

  77. JP says:

    Potato Snack! All of my favorite things eggs, butter and carbs!

  78. Can you open a Snack Bar for real please? That menu looks amazing! I would definitely go for the Japanese Cheesesteak first, and then try everything else.

  79. Carly Wicks says:

    Tiny Salad, Tots and Bao, and a Potato Egg snack with a cookie for dessert!! Yeah–I’d be stuffed, but it would be worth it!

  80. Lauren says:

    OMG what wouldn’t I order!?! This is right up my alley but if you had to limit me to, let’s say 3 things, I would have to have the naan and black daal, the bao and the japanese cheesesteak. I’m only convincing myself I could leave off the potato snack because I’ve actually made your version of the egg slut and I already know it’s DELICIOUS!

  81. Bach says:

    I love the concept of a Japanese snack bar!

    I would absolutely want the potato snack. I can imagine the ultra creamy potatoes just dripping with the rich yolk and making this super rich dish of everything I also love. I would also ask for the rillette from your bread and butter order to smear over the toast to put the whole affair over the top.

    I hope you do open this one day! It would be amazing.

  82. kaman says:

    This menu looks delicious!!! I would order potato snack, tots, mac and cheese, instant noodles, mini scotch eggs, banh mi slider, chocolate chip cookies, but I want to try everything deciding on what to get it so hard. I might just let the chef decide for me ;D.

  83. Lynn Andrews says:

    I’d order the mini Bahn-MI and the cinnamon toast :) though it all sounds amazing!

  84. Fiona says:

    mini scotch eggs!

  85. For a second I thought you were for real opening a restaurant and I got SUPER excited. I’d sure as hell drive my butt up there and eat at it if Snack Bar ever does come to fruition! For now, I’ll just drool over Potato Snack. Because that would be the first thing I’d order ;)

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