Show-Me 5: Tater Tots

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In 1953 the Ore-Ida founders, F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg, created an ingenious use for the potato slivers leftover during the French fry making process. The result was the golden, crispy, barrel-shaped delight we know today as the tater tot. Thus, on National Tater Tot day, it feels appropriate to pay homage to this wonderfully tasty creation, and Missouri offers plenty of ways to do so.

Rob and Kricket’s Tater Patch, Rolla – family-owned and -operated, this hidden gem’s Ozark Nachos are plate-licking good. Crispy potato medallions are smothered with house-made pulled pork, mozzarella, BBQ sauce, jalapenos and sour cream.

Coley’s American Bistro, Columbia – located in the heart of The District. Stop in for an order of their sweet potato tots. Since sweet potatoes are loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals, you can consider this a “healthier” version of the tot (well, almost).

Southbound Bar and Grill, Springfield – enjoy the straight-up, classic version of the tater tot while listening to live country music Thursday through Saturday nights. Or heck, you only live once, you can get up and sing karaoke on Sundays.

The Rockhill Grille, Kansas City – step up your tot game at this modern but classic American grille. Not only are the gourmet tater tots house-made, they are filled with gooey, spicy jalapeno cheese and served with a garlic aioli and catsup.

Lulu’s, St. Louis – for a twist on the classic, visit this food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant. The Loaded Nacho Tots are topped with jackfruit carnitas and smothered with house-made butternut squash cheese sauce, salsa and sour cream, and garnished with green onion, pickled jalapeo and cilantro. Added bonus, they are gluten-free!

Whether you’re a casual lover of tots or a die-hard fan like myself, the Show-Me-State has no shortage of delicious ways to celebrate National Tater Tot Day.