National Tater Tot Day is Tuesday, Feb. 2, and there are a few things you should know, including this: We eat 70 million pounds of them every year.
Tots are hot, commonly found in hip, casual restaurants and aboard food trucks. The Ore-Ida frozen-foods company invented the cylindrical morsels from seasoned grated potato in 1953 and named them Tater Tots, but the registered trademark has become genericized to simply “tots.”
Tyler Williams, owner of Tank House BBQ & Bar, knows what his customers like, and that includes tots with unusual toppings. His Dirty Tots are a menu staple (covered in cheese sauce, pulled pork and tangy ’cue sauce), and the Tiki Tots (pineapple, pulled pork and Polynesian sauce) are sold during happy hour, 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays.
In observance of Tot Day, he and his crew have added six more variations, to be sold only on Tot Day. All eight will be $6 per serving.
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Joining the two mainstays are Buffalo Tots (Buffalo chicken, diced celery, blue cheese dressing), Tot-Chos (smoked chicken, black beans, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, cheese sauce, roasted salsa), Chili Cheese Tots (nacho cheese sauce, smoked brisket chili), Disco Tots (melted cheese, gravy, green onion), T-Man Tots (smoked brisket, provolone, onion rings, sweet BBQ sauce) and Animal Style (grilled onions, cheese, Thousand Island dressing).
Tank House is at 1925 J St., Sacramento; 916-431-7199; www.tankhousebbq.com