There are restaurants, and then there are concepts: polarizing eateries that have a shtick, sticking to one familiar dish or ingredient with a twist. Does it pay to diversify? Here, we put six dish-centric spots to the test.
There are restaurants, and then there are concepts: polarizing eateries that have a shtick, sticking to one familiar dish or ingredient with a twist. Does it pay to diversify? Here, we put six dish-centric spots to the test.The Dish: Sliders at Cray Eatery & Drinkery
The Verdict: Are we the only ones who are burgered out?
The Reason: Columbus wasn't clamoring for a slider joint, but this Italian Village spot filled the niche with a menu of 15 different mini-burgers. The space is fun, sleek and reliable for catching a game or grabbing a drink.The Dish: Meatballs at 1831 Tavern
The Verdict: All kidding aside, the balls are worth a try.
The Reason: Yes, 1831 Tavern was originally called "Balls," but its Italian-inspired menu has more in store. We recommend building a bowl with a choice of balls (beef-pork, sausage, chicken or veggie versions), sauce, veggies and pasta.The Dish: Hot dogs at Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace
The Verdict: Cheddar cream cheese, crushed Fritos and Sriracha on a hot dog? Why the hell not?
The Reason: We wouldn't call Dirty Franks gourmet (though likely neither would they), but this Downtown eatery was undoubtedly ahead of the gourmet hot dog curve. And props to owner Liz Lessner for setting up shop, in 2009, on now-bustling South Fourth Street.The Dish: Kolaches at Kolache Republic
The Verdict: Yes, we will mess with Texas.
The Reason: This cute cafe was a welcome addition to German Village in 2011, becoming the go-to spot for popular Texas-Czech-style stuffed, pillow-y pastries. Stick to the savory side of the menu and grab a cup of Brioso coffee.The Dish: Ramen at Meshikou
The Verdict: It's a shop dedicated to ramen. Case closed.
The Reason: Since Jobu Ramen in Grandview closed, Mike Shek's Bethel Road eatery has been leading the ramen charge with his rich, 12-hour tonkotsu pork broth with braised pork belly.The Dish: Potatoes at Tatoheads
The Verdict: Look at yourself in the mirror and ask: "Just how much do I love potatoes?"
The Reason: Tatoheads' spud-centric menu works for a food truck (think build-your-own potatoes). At its South Side restaurant, though, the starchy menu-fries, pierogi, spud-crusted tilapia-can be borderline overkill.