Saratoga chips: A tasty double-edged sword

By Graham von Carlowitz

Haines’ Boulangerie, named after Miami Merger couple Bob and Dorothy Haines, graduates of the 1941 class, has been around since the inception of Armstrong Student Center, circa 2014. The sandwich shop boasts a satisfying selection of deli toppings and a respectable a la carte salad station, both of the “build-your-own” variety.

But the reason I (and presumably most others) frequent the eatery is not necessarily the passable paninis, but rather one rather addicting side option, which goes by the name of Saratoga chips.

The build-your-own-sandwich and heavenly chips combo, available for the daily awesome price of $5.85. Photo by Graham von Carlowitz.

Oh, these chips. They are simultaneously the saving grace and the bane of my existence. They’re the only reason I make excuses to build my own sandwich a few days a week. They are also, however, the only reason I shy away from the class discussions that follow my filling lunch. Some days it’s stronger than others. But as a rule, the delectable chips leave a lingering stench in your mouth for a minimum of three hours, due in large part to the overload of garlic salt seasoning — a necessary evil, if you ask me.

There are a few solutions to this persisting problem. First, I could give up heaven’s potato chips for good and switch to an alternate side option, either the banana or the green apple. Not to be too cynical, but if those were my sole options, lunchtime would be sit-and-wait-for-class time. I eat apples and bananas when I buy them from a grocery store. The point of eating at a place like Haines is to try something different, or at least something you would otherwise have no chance of experiencing. That’s half the appeal right there: the uniqueness, the rarity, the bad breath.

It might sound crazy, but knowing that there’s only one item in the culinary world of Miami that can light up my mouth with fires of garlic potency, I almost want to embrace the bad breath. It might help to grab a pack or two of gum, as well…

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