We are in the midst of Passover, so why not enjoy one of the holiday’s well-known offerings: potato pancakes. Sure, the shredded-potato disks aren’t exclusively Jewish, but they are a pretty popular side dish in Western Pennsylvania.
And if you want to enjoy them at their freshest, crispiest and fluffiest, Dari-Villa, in Bellevue, has you covered. The old-style diner has been a main-street bastion on Lincoln Avenue since the 1970s.
Domenic Schepis has been the owner for 35 years. He says he added potato pancakes to the menu two years ago after requests from customers. Schepis keeps the recipe simple, using just flour, eggs, butter and garlic and onion powders. But the real difference lies in the freshly shredded Russet potatoes.
“I personally don’t like them, but people tell me they like them,” says Schepis with a chuckle.
The cake’s interior is light and fluffy, with a significant crunch to the outer edges. Schepis says that most potato pancakes are cooked from frozen patties, but he takes pride in making the batter fresh every day. The pancakes come three to an order and are served with sour cream or applesauce. (You can ask for both.)
The rest of the menu offers all the standard diner specials, including a burger that is the restaurant’s best-seller. And while Dari-Villa has not changed much over the years, Schepis says that it has started accepting credit cards for the first time.