One of our good friends is a consultant. I’m not too sure what this means or what he does on a day to day basis, even though he’s explained it to me multiple times. What I do know is that he travels a lot, which means he gets to do what I like to call “travel eating.”

Travel eating is the best kind of travelling. It means planning out your vacation based on food. Really, it’s the only kind of travelling I do and thankfully, Mike is kind enough (hungry enough?) to indulge me. Don’t get me wrong, we throw site seeing in there occasionally, but really, what is travel for if not to experience new places and cultures? To me, really food is the perfect way to discover a new place.

The Consultant (as I’ll now refer to him) is currently situated in LA, and he kindly invited us to live in his spare bedroom so we could check out the LA food scene. When I asked him what he had that was good he told me: the balls.

Apparently the potato balls at Porto’s were out of this world. Deep-fried mashed potato balls stuffed with spiced ground beef. I love potatoes, especially in ball form, so when The Consultant sang Porto’s potato ball praises, I was hooked.

Mike and I went early one morning to the location in Burbank. We had potato balls (of course!) and a Cuban sandwich. The Cuban was amazing and I loved the fresh plantain chips that came with. But honestly, the sandwich was nothing compared to the potato ball.

The potato balls were seriously amazing. Soft, flavourful mashed potatoes with a centre of saucy ground beef, the potato balls were addictive. The outsides weren’t crisp or oily, but the just the right texture. Really, I could have ate a dozen of them, easy.

Next time The Consultant comes back to Vancouver for a visit, I know what I’m asking him to bring: a dozen potato balls please!

15 Comments add yours

  1. Yep, just yesterday I was reading recipes on Taste of Cuba and saw this one:


    Ooh, I will have to try making my own potato balls!

    steph on September 19th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
  2. What are the potato balls dredged in?

    I think it’s bread crumbs.

    steph on September 19th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
  3. oooh… did you have the guava pastries?! those are also not to be missed!!!

    I didn’t and I’m kicking myself for not trying them. Everyone has said they’re awesome.

    YES! The Guava Cheese Pastries-if we (or anyone we know) make a trip to Porto’s it’s an unwritten rule that you bring back a dozen guava cheese patries.

    downtowngirl on February 23rd, 2011 at 9:25 am
    steph on September 19th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
  4. looks delicious, wish I can have a travel eating too :).

    Everyone needs travel eating…

    steph on September 19th, 2010 at 1:04 pm
  5. Yep – ballz it is!
    My friend even tried to recreate them!

    Ooh! Ballz! I’m really going to have to give making them a try.

    steph on September 22nd, 2010 at 12:45 am
  6. I LOVE Porto’s! If you are ever in LA a must go and you won’t spend over $6 for lunch! Wait I take that back, someone with restraint won’t spend over $6. I usually get everything! I came across a recipe for the potato balls and will post if I find it. Go to Porto’s!

  7. Porto’s is good for their Cuban sandwich (so I hear), their potato balls (only if made fresh), and their cheese or guava/cheese pastries. Their other pastries are cloyingly sweet and leave a greasy film across your tongue, and their savories are very unspectacular. Their tamales, sadly, are especially awful.

  8. they are tasty. probably around 150 calories (hopefully)

    christian santos on August 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm
  9. Ok, I used to go to Portos just for those. I’ve since moved from LA but I still dream about them. Couple tips for making them yourself– make sure they’re well chilled or even frozen before frying them, and add some lard or beef tallow to your cooking oil to give them more flavor.

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