Theme and variations?
I've noticed lately there seem to be a lot of restaurants that serve many versions of the same item -- not just typical things like pizza and salads and ice cream, but for example an all risotto restaurant, all mac'n'cheese, all rice pudding, all peanut butter, etc.
Here's my actual question: Is there a word or phrase for this?
If anyone knows, I'd really appreciate it. Random comments about these restaurants and what you think of them more than welcome.
Here in SoCal we have quite a few Asian restaurants serving mostly or entirely one kind of food, the banh mi and pho houses being the most common. The big Hong Kong-style seafood places, if they're open during the day, specialize in dim sum up until 3:00 or so. You can order from the regular menu, if you insist, but the kitchen staff during these hours is usually dim sum specialists who aren't so good with fancy dishes.
Back in the '60s, it was not uncommon to see omelet shops in the kind of artsy neighborhoods where bookstores and gourmet groceries might be found. I haven't seen any of those for years, though.
Usually referred to in industry articles as "one-ingredient" theme or "specialization" restaurants. Focus is on one main ingredient that is served in a variety of ways.
One of my favs is Potato Valley, all baked potato all the time! They have some great filling combinations including cheeses, veggies and proteins. A great place for lunch. I'd also welcome a grilled cheese or peanut butter place in my area! Or puddin' - rice, bread and just plain old puddin'!
I'm in NYC (--I guess it figures, right?) We have a whole bunch of them, here are the ones I've especially noticed:
Rice to Riches: http://www.ricetoriches.com/frameset.php?content=/startpage.php
I'm interested if there are more... we used to have a grilled cheese one but I'm pretty sure it closed.