Area Four and Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes

It was supposed to be like any other brunch.

Except we ended up getting pizza.

(I’ve had other unconventional things for brunch, so pizza wasn’t really a stretch.)

And then we tried the potatoes. Crispy, well-seasoned, wood oven-roasted home fries that I had to restrain myself from devouring, and that I couldn’t stop thinking about for days. And the brunch immediately got elevated to must do again soon.

Two of my friends and I went to Area Four in Kendall Square a couple of weeks ago.  While I was originally planning on getting an egg-based dish, which is what I usually order during brunch, I couldn’t resist trying one of the pizzas. I’ve heard many fantastic reviews of their pizzas.

I went with the Mushroom & Fontina pizza – with mushroom sauce, pecorino, and gremolata. I really liked the sharp flavors in this pizza, and the balance of topping to crust. The leftovers tasted great, too.

Leah went with The Hot Mess – two sunny side up eggs, home fries, bacon, breakfast sausage, caramelized onions, cheddar, scallions & pickled banana pepper relish (whew).

And Melissa went with the Pepperoni – a classic with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and pecorino.

Let’s take a closer look at that pizza. The crust is a wood oven-baked sourdough with just the right amount of airiness and chewiness. The disc-like slices of pepperoni were also charred to perfection. This was very, very good pizza.

And then there was this:

They look really plain but don’t be fooled; these were one of the best home fries I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot). So crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, nicely seasoned, and tossed with some parsley. Thanks to these potatoes, brunch at Area Four became something etched on my mind, and something I can’t wait to do again.

And naturally, to calm my obsession I had to try and replicate the crispy potatoes myself.

The one thing I did differently than my usual way of roasting potatoes is that I microwaved the potatoes first to soften then up.

I wanted to make sure that these potatoes would not be lacking in flavor, so I added little pats of butter, in addition to olive oil, garlic, lemon, and rosemary. Then a little bit of white wine, because what doesn’t benefit from some wine?

Yield: serves 6

Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes


1 lb potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
rind from 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs rosemary
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Microwave the cut up potatoes for 8 minutes (you can also boil them), until the edges are softened but the centers are still hard.
  3. On a foil-lined baking dish, combine all the ingredients - except the butter, salt, pepper, and parsley - together. Toss and make sure that the potatoes are evenly coated. Before placing inside the oven, top the potatoes with the butter, cut into chunks.
  4. Roast for around 45, flipping the potatoes around every 15 minutes, until they're evenly browned and crispy.  Season with salt and pepper, top with parsley, and give it one more toss before serving.

It smelled amazing while roasting, and the potatoes came out crispy and flavorful – something worthy of a memorable brunch.

Do you like home fries? What’s the best you’ve tried?

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22 Responses to “Area Four and Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes”

  1. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted December 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Oooh, your potatoes look SO crispy! I can never get mine crispy without them sticking to the pan :( I’ll have to try your method!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Hi, Amy! I think the high heat and the flipping every 15 minutes helps :)

  2. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife posted December 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Little crispy roasated wonders these potatoes are! This is one of my fave ways to enjoy a spud. MMM!
    Also, cheers to pizza for brunch. Really, oven roasted pizza is far too delicious to restrict to a conventional time of day!

  3. #
    Ashley posted December 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    You’re right, who doesn’t love added wine? Ha! The sourdough pizza crusts sounds delicious, though your roasted potatoes look amazing. I’ll have to try them soon!

  4. #
    Daisy posted December 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I still have not been to Area Four. Damn.

    I had a potato, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast this morning, (from a local cafe called The Grasshopper). The potatoes are lightly crispy, well seasoned homefries flattened into the egg sandwich and it was awesome. Homefries are always a must!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Potato, egg, and cheese sandwich sounds perfect right about now…

  5. #
    Shannon posted December 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    those look so amazing, i need to try out that place for brunch!!

  6. #
    The Squishy Monster posted December 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    You’re killing me with this pizza porn…incidentally, my favorite time to eat pizza is breakfast and i LOVE potatoes with it. I don’t know why more places don’t serve french fries or a beautiful roasted potato like yours with their pies. YUMMY, girl…I wholeheartedly approve =)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

      On some weekend mornings (aka after a night of drinking), pizza does seem like the perfect breakfast food hehe. Or maybe a breakfast pizza with an egg?? Yum.

  7. #
    Sacha posted December 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I can wolf down good roast potatoes–and they have to be crispy! No hash browns for me. I’m all about the homefries at breakfast or brunch. The Area Four potatoes and your version both look delicious.

  8. #
    Melanie @ Easy Recipes With Pictures posted December 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I love oven roasted potatoes! They are so delicious, and so much healthier than fries!

  9. #
    honeywhatscooking posted December 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

    i love rosemary potatoes.. i make mine without wine, your version looks exceptionally good. nice job. i do like home fries, i’m guessing you mean the kind you get with eggs?

  10. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted December 10, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I love potatoes in all forms, but there’s something extra special about crispy roasted potatoes. These ones look perfectly roasted and delicious!

  11. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted December 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

    The Hot Mess is always my item of choice at Area Four brunch! Nice job on making those potatoes look absurdly good!!

  12. #
    Joanne posted December 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    My stomach is growling in a raging kind of way at those crispy potatoes! THE BEST.

  13. #
    A Plum By Any Other Name posted December 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I LOVE Area Four. I go there pretty much every saturday for coffee + pastry + school work. And then by ~3 I’m ready for pizza + beer at the bar. ;) (It’s helped to get me through the semester.) Also, your potatoes look so lovely!

  14. #
    Adri {Food-N-Thought} posted December 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Potatoes look amazing, but I can’t get over the charred pepperoni… is the little things I tell ya’

  15. #
    Meghan posted December 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Everything looks amazing! I am a huge fan of potatoes in any form. :)

  16. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted December 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I love that you recreated these – they look just like the original! I can never get home fries to turn out well at home for some reason…

  17. #
    Taryn posted December 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    That Hot Mess looks seriously out of this world. I also LOVE potatoes, and love that you recreated them at home! I need to try your recipe stat.

  18. #
    Molly Galler posted December 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I have been wanting to go to Area Four since it opened. Now I think I’ll go for brunch. Home fries, here I come!

  19. #
    petit4chocolatier posted January 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Wow! I love your potatoes and everything looks delicious. I especially love the hot mess!!

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