When your potato already has bacon and cheddar cheese, what more can you add? A quick Google search suggested sour cream and chives, the former of which I swear my refrigerator keeps setting the expiration back by five or six months, and the latter of which risks giving the T.G.I. Friday’s Loaded stuffed potato skins some semblance of being healthy. So I’m going this one commando style, just me, the potato, and enough cheddar to embarrass Mayor McCheese.
The loaded potato skins comes in a package of five, and cooks in a quick fifteen minutes at 450 degrees. According to the packaging, not only do the loaded potato skins offer a “great snack or side dish,” but some nutjob clearly on his last two weeks at work went ahead and loaded up each potato with 20% more bacon and 50% more cheese than you’d find by wasting your gas and time driving down to the normal T.G.I Friday’s.
And since I am two feet into denial, let’s talk about the health benefits of this sodium engraved monstrosity. If you eat all five of these, and my condolences if you do, you’ll be enjoying 75% of your daily need for calcium, as well as 30% your requirement of Vitamin A, and 20% your need for iron. But enough talk about health food, how does it taste?
The potato skins themselves are crisp, and salty, without being dry. Unlike a lot of the frozen potatoes you’d find, what filling is still in the potato is moist, not flaky. The bacon and the cheddar cheese come together with the potato and the three flavors compliment each other, without one overpowering the other. The bacon is actual shredded bacon, rather than the cubes of “meat” that haunts bagel bites and most other frozen anything with bacon or pepperoni.
I have to admit though, this doesn’t bold well for T.G.I Friday’s restaurant. If this is what constitutes 50% more cheese and 20% more bacon, the loaded potatoes at the restaurant must be really lacking. Also, if the combination of cheese, and bacon, and potatoes didn’t strike a flare in your head, the sodium levels on this are high. Every potato offers 600mg of sodium, so if you eat all five you’re at 3,000mg or more sodium than many of you should be consuming in a day. Remember, this is an appetizer that should be shared among friends, presumably with a bottle of Pepto.
Overall, the loaded potatoes are a few steps above your average frozen meals, probably because T.G.I Friday’s is pretty well known to treat their frozen foods about the same, and in many cases even better, than what they serve at their restaurants. There might not have been any bloomin’ onions, but that may be the best for my blood pressure.
Pros: The potato is moist, bacon and cheddar combine to make a trifecta of taste. Real bacon, real cheddar cheese. Getting a better deal than if I’d eaten at the restaurant. The feeling of needing a nap after eating the whole box worth.
Cons: There is no sour cream in the fridge. If I added chives, I’d be committing criminal fraud. Not allowing the potato to sit 1-2 minutes before I sank into it. Not using a food thermometer to make sure that the potatoes were 165 degrees internally.