There’s a new trend hitting America: great food in odd – or just plain cool – settings. Forget fancy restaurants. The big deal here is to visit that place that, most of the times, doesn’t even look like a restaurant. The problem is, these places can be a little hard to find, so we have selected for you. Enjoy!
North Branch Inn, New York
You may be a little tired of Brooklyn… until you visit North Branch Inn. When you step into the hotel’s tiny cinema with seats from Radio City Music Hall, you’ll never want to leave that. Dinner is served off the lobby next to a tiny bowling alley. The pins are so old they have to be set manually. You will certainly have fun spending a couple of hours eating farmer-style food and bowling.
Melba’s, New Orleans
It’s hard to say whether Melba’s is a restaurant inside a laundry or a laundry inside a restaurant. What is clear is that Melba’s hit the scene a few years ago with a menu with superlative versions of neighborhood classics: seafood po’boys, boiled crawfish, bell peppers stuffed with meat and shrimp and the famous Gumbo filled with smoked sausage and spice.
Taco Bambo, Washington, D.C.
Hidden at a strip mall, there’s a tiny Mexican restaurant owned by the son of the woman who runs a market next door. That son turns out to be Victor Albisu, famous chef of Latin restaurant Del Campo. Taco Bambo serves the best crispy tongue and tripe or spiced braised goat you will ever taste.
Trois Mec, Los Angeles
Located in a storefront wedged beside a dry cleaner and a doughnut shop, Trois Mec is led by Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, a.k.a “the three guys”. The fine-dining-in-a-strip-mall thing isn’t the only trend they pioneered. The went democratic by lowering prices and not taking reservations at Petit Trois; and brought their flavors to the masses with Mexican influenced fast casual at Trois Familia.
Dai Due, Austin, Texas
One half of Dai Due is a butcher shop and the other half, in the back, is a restaurant that Texas food critics are calling the best in Austin. Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield, owners of the place, source almost all ingredients from Texas. Beer-braised collard greens, venison hot dogs with kimchi are among the most popular choices. On weekends, Dai Due offers shareable family-style dishes of seafood or fried chicken.