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10 Restaurants That Serve Only 1 Thing

10 Restaurants That Serve Only 1 Thing

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Better to do 1 thing right than a lot of things poorly

Manhattan’s The Meatball Shop sells nothing but meatballs, in a handful of varieties and applications.

In the past couple of years, restaurants have popped up all over the country that do one thing, and do it very, very well. In many cases, these are small eateries, serving well-executed versions of classic comfort fare to a cultishly devoted crowd. We’ve rounded up 10 of these cutting-edge restaurants that are worth seeking out.

10 Restaurants That Serve Only 1 Thing (Slideshow)

When you think about it, restaurants that serve just one dish are nothing new. Look at pizzerias, for example, or Asian dumpling shops. Or ice cream parlors, for that matter. What is new, however, is a crop of chefs, who usually have professional training and fine-dining backgrounds, setting out to create the perfect version of a popular food, then unleashing it upon the masses. From meatballs to biscuits, no dish is safe.

So why are we so attracted to these single-minded restaurants? For one, we know what we’ll be getting, and we know that it’ll most likely be good. Second, they’re still a bit of a novelty, so by nature we’re inclined to check them out. Third, it’s usually a lot of fun to visit these places and see what all the fuss is about!

So read on to discover 10 restaurants that serve only one thing, and do it very well.

27 Cream Cheese Recipes To Use What's in the Back of Your Fridge

We love cream cheese for its serious tang. But we're also guilty of holding onto that tub or package a bit too long. Here's what you should do with it.

Alexandria Restaurants

Known for its independent restaurants, many housed in historic buildings in walkable, picturesque Old Town, Alexandria’s culinary scene boasts a range of options, from locally-owned eateries to upscale and trendy. Relax riverside as you toast the weekend overlooking the Potomac. Travel the world without leaving home as you dine in restaurants with culinary influences from around the world. Savor sweets and see why Forbes calls Alexandria the “Ice Cream Cone Capital of the United States.” Follow in a food writer’s footsteps as you try spots highlighted in 𠇊 Weekend Dining Guide to Alexandria, Virginia.” Explore all of Alexandria’s neighborhoods and take a bite out of the dozens of new restaurants that open each year. Want more food news? Check out the visitALX blog.

Those not yet fully vaccinated are required to wear a face mask in shared indoor and outdoor public settings.ਊll visitors must wear masks when required inside certain businesses.

Beef short rib ragu

Start this recipe a day in advance so the flavours can develop further overnight.

Serves 8
4 beef short ribs (about 400g each)
500ml red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 litres beef stock
2 x 400g tins whole tomatoes
4 rosemary sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
Freshly grated pecorino or parmesan, to serve
800g dried pasta

1 Place the ribs in a plastic container in one layer, add the wine, cover and chill overnight.

2 Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Heat the oil in a casserole over a medium heat, remove the ribs from the wine (reserving 250ml liquid), pat dry, and cook, occasionally turning, for about 5 minutes or until browned.

3 Remove the ribs, reduce the heat, add the veg and tomato puree, then stir until tender. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, then gradually add half the stock, a cup at a time, reducing by half each time. Add the tinned tomatoes, herbs, remaining stock and ribs, cover and place in the oven for 4-6 hours until the meat is falling off the bone. Allow to cool. Remove the meat and shred with a fork.

4 Remove the fat from the top of the liquid and set aside 750ml. Strain the reserved liquid and then reduce by half. Add the meat, season to taste and serve tossed with pasta and scattered with pecorino or parmesan.

Parsley gnocchi with goat's curd and hazelnuts

The balance of parsley's grassy notes with the creamy curd and aromatic hazelnuts is a real winner. Try it with a mild soft goat's cheese if you can't find curd.
Recipe supplied by Sophie Michell, Pont St Restaurant,

Serves 4
For the gnocchi
1kg floury potatoes, eg King Edwards, scrubbed
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
300g flour
50g butter
Salt and black pepper

To serve
200g butter
4 banana shallots, finely diced
100g hazelnuts, chopped
Fresh goat's curd or goat's cheese, to taste

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Put the potatoes on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until cooked through. Blanch the parsley in boiling water, refresh and blitz to a puree.

2 Remove the potatoes from the oven. When cool enough, cut them in half and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Keeping the potato covered with a tea towel so it doesn't dry out and go hard, gradually pass it through a coarse sieve, potato ricer or a mouli into a large bowl. Add the egg, pureed parsley, flour, butter, salt and pepper to the sieved potato and mix into a soft dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as it will go gluey and tough.

3 Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a rapid boil. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into sausage shapes roughly 2.5cm wide, then cut into 2.5cm pieces and lay on a floured plate.

4 Add half the gnocchi to the saucepan of boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.

5 When you are ready to eat, heat up a large frying pan and add the butter and shallots. Fry until translucent then add the hazelnuts. Continue to fry for a few minutes until the butter is foaming, then add the gnocchi. Cook for 8-10 minutes until browning, puffy and warmed through. Season well and spoon into a bowl, then dot with goat's curd. Get the guests to stir in the goat's curd when ready to eat and tuck in.

One Restaurant's Recipe For Social Good: Same Meals, Different Prices

Everytable sells healthful food in low-income neighborhoods like South Los Angeles at prices competitive with fast food. The restaurant's outlets will have different pricing structures depending on the neighborhood. Courtesy of Everytable hide caption

Everytable sells healthful food in low-income neighborhoods like South Los Angeles at prices competitive with fast food. The restaurant's outlets will have different pricing structures depending on the neighborhood.

A restaurant chain that charges twice as much for a meal in one location as it does in another? You would think that's a recipe for angry customers.

But Everytable in Los Angeles is betting that this will prove a successful business model, while also serving up a hefty side of social mission.

Here's the concept behind the new chain: Customers walk in and grab a to-go container of pre-made, healthful meals prepared by chefs who've previously worked in some of the finest restaurants in LA and New York. They can heat up the meals in microwaves at the restaurant, or take them home. And everything is priced affordably — though the price changes, depending on the neighborhood. The goal is to make nutritious food more available to everyone.

The Salt

A Restaurant That Serves Up A Side Of Social Goals

The first location opened this summer in South Los Angeles, a low-income area. The next one will soon open in a well-off neighborhood of downtown LA, and there are plans for outlets in other parts of the city. Each location will have the same exact menus and decor, but with different price plans.

Founders Sam Polk and David Foster spoke with Robin Young of Here & Now at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Highlights from their conversation follow, edited for length and clarity.

Interview Highlights

On using their Wall Street experience

Everytable's California Cobb salad dish Courtesy of Everytable hide caption

Everytable's California Cobb salad dish

Sam: In 2013, I founded a nonprofit called Groceryships, which works at the intersection of poverty and food-related health issues like obesity and diabetes. Groceryships is in South Los Angeles, where per capita income is $13K a year. It helps parents who live in food deserts — places where there's very little fresh food and tons of fast food. It helps parents get healthy through a program that includes nutrition education, healthy cooking schools, fresh produce and emotional support groups. We kept hearing from a lot of the parents we were working with. Things like, "I need to get food on the go, and I don't have a lot of money. So I go to McDonald's."

I'm a former hedge fund trader, and David's a former private equity guy, and we basically took out our pencils and tried to figure out a concept for a business that would make healthy food that would be affordable for the families in the neighborhoods that Groceryships was serving.

On the difference between the two restaurant locations

David: At the location in South LA, we offer meals on average for under $4. We've got a variety of items like kale Caesar salad and a California Cobb salad, as well as some warm items like puebla chicken tinga and Jamaican jerk chicken. We offer some kids meals that sell for $2.95. The model for that store is to try to be priced affordably for the local community, but also priced competitively with what else is there — like fast food. . The second location is opening up downtown, which is about 2 miles from the first one, but the demographics are quite different there. It's more of a professional crowd. That location is going to be offering the same meals, but for about $7.95 on average. We think that's priced really competitively with what's downtown, like Whole Foods and Sweet Green and Tender Greens. Those are great, healthy and fast options that typically cost about $10 to $12. So we think that even though it's twice the price [as the same meal you can buy at the South LA store] only a couple of miles away, it's still offering great relative value.

Everytable opened its first location, in South Los Angeles, on July 30. Courtesy of Everytable hide caption

10 Easy Side Dishes to Make That Chicken Dinner a Winner

When it comes to the protein portion of a healthy diet, boneless, skinless chicken is a hero. It&rsquos versatile, easy to prepare and naturally lower in fat and calories than many other meat options. But by itself, chicken can be, well, a little boring.

If baked, grilled or roasted chicken is a regular part of your dinner rotation, you&rsquoll need some great side dishes to add a little spark to the plate. From lentils to slaw, these 10 side dish recipes that can help breathe new life to that chicken dinner.

Green Beans with Miso and Almonds: If you haven&rsquot tried miso, the flavorful, fermented Asian ingredient made from soy, then you should. Miso adds umami, or savory flavor, to any dish. Serve this recipe as a side dish for grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic and lime.

Chef Meg&rsquos Three-Cheese Macaroni: Chef Meg loves this healthy mac 'n cheese as a side dish with grilled or baked chicken. Make a batch for dinner one night, and then serve the leftovers alongside your chicken.

Couscous with Roasted Vegetables: You can use a mix of your favorite vegetables in this easy-to-prepare side dish that&rsquos perfect with simple roasted chicken. Summer or winter squash and any root vegetables work well. Use whole-wheat couscous for added fiber.

Herbed Bulgur & Lentil Salad: Hearty, flavorful and packed with nutritious fiber and protein, this salad makes a terrific accompaniment to herbed chicken breasts. The recipe makes an ample quantity, and the salad is a terrific, easy-to-pack lunch option, too.

Garlic-Herb Potato Packs: Whether you prepare your chicken on the grill or in the oven, wrap up a batch of these herbed potatoes and cook them at the same time. Use baby redskin or fingerling potatoes, which cook up tender and sweet.

Arugula Salad with Cranberries & Pistachios: With a main dish as straightforward as chicken, you&rsquoll want sides with bold flavor. This simple salad pairs peppery arugula with zingy cranberries and healthful pistachios. A little of the shallot dressing goes a long way.

Image courtesy of

Creamy Corn Pudding: This lighter take on the classic Southern side dish would be great with oven-baked crispy chicken cutlets. Chef Meg&rsquos recipe is creamy without being heavy like traditional corn pudding.

Chimichurri Sauce: This Latin American sauce is traditionally served over steak (as seen below), but you can&rsquot beat it as a condiment for grilled chicken breasts. Spiked with citrus zest and a splash of vinegar, this blend of herbs is beautifully green and vibrantly flavored. Use similar flavors to marinate your chicken before grilling: lime and orange juice, red pepper flakes, cilantro and garlic.

Tangy Summer Slaw: You&rsquoll want a big bowl of this creamy and flavorful slaw to serve as a side dish for grilled chicken at your next barbecue. Tahini, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar make for an unexpected&mdashand delicious&mdashcombination.

Easy Grilled Vegetables in Foil: This super-simple side dish for grilled chicken is endlessly flexible: Use whatever combination of fresh seasonal vegetables you like. Some combinations include: tomato and zucchini butternut squash and red onion or zucchini, corn and green beans.

Image courtesy of

What's your favorite side dish for chicken?

Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter.

10 Things to Do with Hummus

Cook 1/2 finely chopped red onion in olive oil until softened. Mix with 1 lb. ground beef, 1/2 cup hummus, and about 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley. Shape into burger patties, then cook as desired squirt with lemon wedges. Serve on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomatoes, and more hummus.

Thin 1/4 cup hummus into a sauce using 1/4 cup chicken broth, 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce. Toss with 6 cups cooked spaghetti (8 oz. dry) and 1 Tbsp. sesame oil. Top with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Mix hummus with Greek yogurt and season with lemon juice to taste. Toss with minced shallot, shredded rotisserie chicken, crumbled feta, chopped tomato, and sliced olives. Spoon into lettuce cups. Sprinkle with chopped fresh dill and parsley.

Spoon 1 1/2 cups hummus into a small ovenproof baking dish then and drizzle 2 Tbsp. melted butter on top along with 2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or sumac. Bake in a 400-degree oven until most of the butter has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Squeeze half a lemon over and serve with crusty bread.

Spoon cooked brown rice into a baking dish. Top with a mixture of chopped cooked chicken thighs, diced cucumbers and tomatoes, and sauteed diced onions. Top with a layer of hummus, then drizzle with olive oil and soy sauce. Broil until browned in spots. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Brush 4 pitas with olive oil and bake in a 400-degree oven until crisp, about 5 minutes. Spread each pita with 2 Tbsp. hummus. In a medium bowl, toss 1/2 chopped cucumber, 1/2 chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives, 1/4 diced red onion, and 1 cup baby arugula, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the 4 pitas, and top each with crumbled feta.

Combine one 15.5-oz. can of chickpeas with 2 Tbsp. hummus, 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley, and 2 tsp. lemon zest in a food processor process until mixture is thick enough to hold the shape of a ball. Season with salt and pepper and shape into 1 1/2-inch balls, then lightly roll each ball in flour. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the croquettes, pressing to flatten slightly, until browned on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt mixed with lemon zest, chopped dill, salt, and pepper.

Whisk together 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp. hummus, and 2 Tbsp. olive oil season with salt and pepper. Toss 1/2 of dressing with 3 torn romaine hearts (about 1 lb.), 1/2 sliced red onion, and 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes. Drizzle remaining dressing over.

Halve 8 hard-boiled eggs lengthwise, then scoop the yolks into a mixing bowl. Mash the yolks with 1/4 cup hummus and 1/4 cup olive oil and pipe back into the eggs. Sprinkle with sumac or paprika.

Thin hummus with olive oil and rice wine vinegar, then toss with cooked rotini pasta, chopped parsley, toasted almond slices, and plenty of coarsely ground fresh pepper.

Hummus with pita (or whatever crackers you've got lying around) has become a part of the standard American snack pantheon. It might not be quite up there with chips and guac, but it's definitely earned a demigod slot. But the garlicky, rich chickpea puree is a lot more than just a dip. You can use it like miso to mix into salad dressings, as a crispable crust for casseroles, and even as a substitute for pizza sauce! It's the perfect way to add some creamy, tangy richness to whatever you're making, so check out these 10 new recipes to get your summer hummus on. --Sam Dean


Locations: Throughout the United States

As a general rule, fast food has no place in a nutritious, calorie-controlled eating plan&mdashbut there are a few exceptions that serve up healthy options in a hurry. While it's best to steer clear of their original (aka fried) chicken sandwich and waffle fries, there are plenty of diet-friendly choices on their menu.

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich (310 calories, 6g fat, 36g carbs, 29g protein, 7g sugar)
  • Grilled Chicken Nuggets (140 calories, 3.5g fat, 2g carbs, 25g protein, 0g sugar)
  • Egg White Grill (300 calories, 7g fat, 31g carbs, 25g protein, 1g sugar)
  • Grilled Market Salad (330 calories, 14g fat, 27g carbs, 27g protein, 13g sugar)

Veggie Grill

We applaud the West Coast-based fast casual chain for its 100% vegan menu. With loads of plant-based offerings like burgers usingꂾyond Meat patties, whole grain bowls, tacos, salads, and plenty of veggie-centric sides, Veggie Grill is a perfect choice for customers looking to eat less meat. 

CLEAN PICK:  BLTA Sandwich—smokey tempeh bacon, sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro pesto tossed arugula, aioli mayo, grilled sourdough
Cal: 520, Fat: 22.0g, Sat Fat: 3.5g, Sodium: 730mg, Sugars: 5.0g, Protein: 17.0g


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