HUNTSVILLE — If you’re looking for a tasty, filling meal and some entertainment, head on over to the Potato Shack in Huntsville.

This restaurant and bar combo is a smorgasbord of food and drink with the appeal of a smaller, more intimate Buffalo Wild Wings. Half the shack is a small bar with TVs showing the latest game, and the other half has table seating and a small game room with tall Jenga and cornhole.

There is also plenty of outdoor seating available for a quieter experience on days when the weather is pleasant.

One of the first impressions I got is that the menu is huge with many classic and unique options. Some friends and I tried a variety of appetizers and potatoes that caught our eye.

The Beer Battered Onion Rings, Boudin Balls, Fried Pickles, and Jalapeño and Cheese Stuffed Shrimp were great. The Boudin Balls were perhaps the least delicious, though that’s saying something.

They were on the darker flavor side that went great with the Buffalo hot sauce that came with them. The crunchy batter paired well with the warm boudin inside.

The Fried Pickles were very good. Many versions of the appetizer have a great crunchy outside, but the inside becomes runny or detaches. This is a light batter that is equally distributed for a round flavor.

The Beer Battered Onion Rings were incredible, with a nice smooth batter and wonderful sweet flavor that leads into a savory warmth. They were delicious alongside the Jalapeño and Cheese Stuffed Shrimp that ended up being an instant satisfaction.

The Potato Shack has a daily special, and on the day we went, the Bacon Cheeseburger Potato was $7. The taste was quintessentially cheeseburger with piles of ground beef and bacon bits. It had a flat flavor that paired nicely with an extra order of barbecue sauce.

The rest of the potatoes ranged from $8 to $9. The Italian was perfect to satiate that pasta craving. The butter, mozzarella, grilled chicken, marinara and Parmesan went well together, and the potato filled the hole left by the pasta.

The Al Carbon also was amazing. Drippy, creamy yellow queso and tender steak covered a well-cooked potato. The combination was wonderful, but I did find myself wanting for a little crunch. Maybe some bacon would do the trick.

The Shrimp Creole was another good choice. It was buttery and savory with a light kick. The combination of butter, cheddar cheese, boudin, fried shrimp, onions, bell peppers and hot sauce was delicious. The best bites had both boudin and fried shrimp, but the boudin was a tad light. The hot sauce was a great pairing, as well.

The winning potato of the evening was the Mango Habanero. Piles of crunchy chicken perfectly flavored with light and spicy sweetness covered another well-cooked potato. It was amazing on its own, but with the ranch served, the whole experience was rounded out.

Olive Waldorf is a pseudonym for the food critic of The Lufkin Daily News. Her email is foodcritic@lufkindailynews.com.

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