The Single Item Restaurant Challenge

When my sister and I travel, I normally sort out places to eat, and she organises the activities. Since we had done all of the activities there are to do in New York, she suggested doing a walking tour of Manhattan but eating our way through the restaurants that focus on a single item. I did the research (there are a lot of them) and we ended up tried spending a whole day eating our way through Manhattan (and definitely adding to our waistline).

Although I suggested we have some guidelines, at the end of the day, we tried the ones that we felt like trying and felt it qualified. We struck places off the list that weren’t particularly unique such as all the cupcake, macaroon or ramen stores. We also tried to strike out those places that served too many other main dishes such as Tommy Lasagne that serves much more than just Lasagne. We struck off food trucks (too many of them) and tried to avoid chains. Here’s where we ended up on a single day.

Treat House (452 Amsterdam Ave –

A place that only sells Rice Crispy treats, we tried a small selection. They aren’t particularly cheap but we figured that we were going to try a small selection and they were beautifully decorated. I think the ones we tried were sugar cookie (blue but nothing particularly special), salted caramel, candy cane (a nice seasonal twist) and gingerbread (which I enjoyed eating the head of the gingerbread man). A sugar rush for the morning that goes well with a black coffee!

Treat House

Baconery (911 Columbus Avenue –

Our next stop wasn’t also technically restaurant but located in the same neighbourhood as the previous. This shop/cafe sold all products that incorporated. They sell everything from chocolate covered bacon, bacon cookies and bacon salt. Basically, you name it they bacon-it. They also had a lot of bacon based merchandise such as this pillow:

Eating Bacon Pillow

We split a bacon “blondie” or basically a white brownie. The sweetness tempered by the salty bacon went quite well.

Bacon Blondie

OatMeals (20 W 3rd St-

You can find most of the other single item restaurants located in the east and west village – I guess it’s a testament to the tastes and the area’s reception to new things. OatMeals focus on being an oatmeal bar. You can go simple with oatmeals and construct one of your choice, or one of the “approved combinations”. I went for the Canadian “cheese, bacon and maple syrup” whilst my sister went for the “Gorgonzola and fig”. I tasted both but preferred the Canadian but even that was a bit hard to stomach. Next time, I’ll just stick to simple berries or honey on mine, I’m not sure I’m ready for oatmeal to have savoury flavours.

Meals at Oatmeals

Peanut Butter and Co NYC Sandwich Shop (240 Sullivan Street –

Another stop in the village was a quick peanut butter sandwich. This place basically does a whole heap of dishes with peanut butter and lots of variations of peanut butter sandwiches.

Peanut Butter and Co

I continued on the bacon theme with the “Mighty Maple” (maple, crispy bacon and peanut butter) which I have to say was definitely a winning combination but I can see why that might have put Elvis in the grave. My sister opted for a daring “The Heat is On” or chilli peanut butter served with chicken and pineapple jam. This ended up being a bit like a chicken satay in a sandwich combo and actually worked pretty well.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Finished

S’Mac (345 east 12th Street –

Our last visit on our day (many of the others were closed for the period and we were just a bit full from eating) was Sarita’s Mac and Cheese (or S’Mac) for short.

Mac and Cheese Pan

Wanting something with a bit more spice, I opted for the CajunParisienne (Creamy Brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms & fresh rosemary) was a bit too much on the sweet side for me but she managed to finish as well.

Easy to do, too much to eat

We didn’t get around to some of the other places we wanted to (mind belly much bigger than actual belly) but out of interest, here are some of the other places we would have liked to have tried:

  • Melt Shop – A place that just does melted cheese sandwiches. Another one called “Little Muenster” is an alternative
  • The Meatball Shop – ‘Nuff said
  • The Nugget Spot – Nuggets made of different meats
  • Pommes Frites – Belgian Fries with a hundred or so different toppings
  • Porchetta – Italian pork! Yummo
  • Empire Biscuit – A 24 hour new place that sells different types of biscuits + gravy
  • The Protein Bakery – A bakery selling baked goods with high levels of protein

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